As a nation we are thought of as obese. From babies to the elderly obesity is now a problem. In some ways this can be blamed on fast food and sedentary lifestyles as we only have to look back to the 1950s and 1960s to see that there were fewer overweight people at a time when we mainly cooked meat with two vegetables and eating out was a treat.
This tendency towards obesity now affects our pets as we have inflicted out own enjoyment of junk food and lack of exercise onto them. This can be blamed in part to the complete food revolution in dog food. Where once the diet for dogs was either butchers scraps and a basic biscuit topped up with table scraps or perhaps a can of cheap dog food there wasn’t quite the opportunity or budget to overindulge our dogs with ultra expensive and fatty food or doggy treats. These days the array of available foods is quite daunting with choices such as puppy dog food and complete dog food for adult dogs right through to special food for the elderly dog, pregnant bitch and even dogs with food intolerances. Dog treats often have a section to themselves in pet stores - with owners feeling as though they do not love their pets if they do not make purchases from these shelves on a regular basis.
Is it any wonder then that many dogs are now overweight and unhealthy? It affects their daily lifestyle and leads to illness and early death. Going back to basics and cooking for our dogs means that we are able to control what goes into our beloved pets rather than rely on over complicated guidelines on instant pet food.
Understanding dog nutrition is not hard. Meat and a good biscuit is all that is needed to keep a dog healthy and fit. Observe your own dog and use your hands to check if he is gaining weight. You should always be able to feel his spine and ribs without them being covered in a layer of fat. If you feel that a meat and biscuit menu is too boring there are recipes for dogs’ meals that will add variety. There is no need to purchase expensive meat from your butcher, instead shop for food aimed at the pet owners, fish for dogs, chicken for dogs, beef for dogs and other types of meat for dogs can be bought in bulk and stored in the freezer.
Bone meal, calcium tablets, yeast pills and dog vitamins are all available to purchase from pet stores and are advertised as supplements for dogs but are rarely needed as good food will hold the required nutrition for dogs. By taking responsibility and cooking for dogs we will soon see a return to the lean happy dog of yesteryear.