Post # 61 “Give a Dog a Bone . . .”

October 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

First off, I goofed on the numbering sequence last Friday but it’s been corrected and the current numbering scheme is the right one.  Oooooops!  Now, on to the post!

“This old man, he played one, he played knick knack on my thumb, With a knick knack paddy whack give a dog a bone, this old man came rolling home!”

Guess what today’s post is about?  Feeding your dog!  Yup!  That’s right.  Feeding your dog.  I’m not talking about giving your pal table scraps (not a good idea ever), or making gourmet foods costing a ton of money.  I’m also not talking about reaching into a bag of kibble and putting into a bowl on the floor for your canine friend.  I’m talking about cooking for your dog in a way that meets his or her dietary needs which are basically the same as ours.  Oh!  From this point on, I will refer to your pet in the masculine gender.  My dogs are all males so it’s what I’m used to.  No disrespect intended but saying he/her or he/she all the time is awkward.

Okay, here’s the wrong way to feed your dog.  About a hundred years ago when I was in my late teens, we had a neighbor couple down the street.  They were retired and augmented their social security by selling food from one of those silver, flip side sandwich trucks.  For a while, I had the “enviable” job of cleaning it out every afternoon when they returned.  It was an okay job, and they paid me a lot to do it.  When I was finished, I would knock on their front door and have them inspect it to make certain that I hadn’t forgotten anything and to see if there was something else they wanted done.  Invariably, I would find the old lady sitting on the couch with either a beef roast or a cooked chicken.  She’d be shredding the thing with busy fingers while watching some talk show on the television.  I assumed she was prepping the food that they would selling the next day.  The old man would be lounging in his recliner in a t-shirt and undershorts with a beer.  One or the other would come out and inspect, then pay me.  Each of them would always give me extra with instructions not to tell the other that they were doing so.  One of the tasks that I would do each day was walk their dogs.  They had two of the fattest chihuahuas you ever saw.  Both dogs were white and they looked like overstuffed sausages with legs at each corners and a tail.  They were so fat they couldn’t open their eyes all the way.  The didn’t walk or run; they waddled from side to side.  I found out from my mom that the food I thought she was prepping for sale was given to the dogs!  Not just a small portion of it to be doled out through the week, but every bit of it that day.  Each dog got either half a chicken or half a roast!  I don’t know about you, but I’m a grown man six-foot tall weighing in at around 200 pounds and I can’t eat half a chicken.  But she thought she was doing right by the dogs and it wasn’t my place to say any different.  But not healthy for the dogs, hence their severe extra poundage.

My dogs are moderately overweight.  Part of that is the breed.  I love cocker spaniels.  I have ever since I saw “Lady and the Tramp” from Disney.  Jack is not overweight as he gets plenty of exercise with Buddy, our only non-spaniel.  He’s a Boston Terrier and we call him the Terror.  He’s still a puppy and has that boundless energy of youth.  Keeps Jack going so they both are trim.  Dusty, the other spaniel, just ignores them both and takes little exercise.  He’s overweight but it’s a good overweight.  He’s not unhealthy, just lazy.  But he had a very tough life before we got him so we tend to spoil him.   However, none of my dogs get table scraps, and none of my dogs get half a chicken, de-boned or otherwise.

Dogs are like people.  If they get overweight, it can lead to other discomforts and diseases.  Dogs are subject to cholesterol problems.  Dogs can be diabetic.  Dogs can get hypertension, and they can get liver or kidney diseases.  My dad used to say that it was a good thing to have a dog skip a meal once in a while.  I know it’s difficult, but it doesn’t kill them anymore than it would kill us to skip a meal once in a while.  I skip meals routinely.  Mostly breakfast.  I’m just not a morning eater.  Unless it’s donuts.

Dogs have the same basic nutritional requirements that we have, too.  They need to eat a well-balanced diet.  Their protein needs tend to be higher due to their more feral metabolism.  They need vegetables and starches same as we do.  People often think when they see a dog eating grass that he’s trying to throw up to clean himself out.  What he’s really doing is having a salad before dinner.  The reason they throw up is because they don’t know when to stop.  A dog will also eat the poop from another animal that’s high in vegetable matter.  My brother used to have a rabbit and he never had to clean under the cage because all the neighborhood dogs would fight over the rabbit pellets.  ‘Nuff said.

It’s common mythology that dogs eat bones and like them.  However, it’s not really good for them.  What they’re really doing is eating meat scraps, gristle, tendons, and bone marrow.   The actual bone matter is not good for them, especially if they’ve never eaten a bone before.  The bone can splinter no matter what kind it is and lodge in their throats or perforate their intestines.  Even if that doesn’t happen, the bone matter is indigestible and runs through them causing diarrhea which can be severe at times.

Dogs can also have allergies, some of them food based.  Same as humans, dogs can have allergies to wheat or gluten or any other grain or starch.  It can lead to itching and scratching, sometimes so severe it draws blood.  It can also lead to weight loss from an inability to digest.

I’ve had two dogs who loved to eat paper towels.  One was my second cocker spaniel, Sporty.   He was a rescue from a bad situation so I tended to spoil him a little.  But I couldn’t keep paper towels away from him.  Paper tissues were also fair game.  I remember one time when I was walking him, he squatted to poop and an entire paper towel came out.  It had gone through his entire intestinal tract intact.  I could still see the pattern on the paper towel!  Buddy, The Terror, also likes to eat paper towels.  One time I went into the backyard to check on him (he likes to lie in the sun since he has very little fur) and the yard looked like a snowstorm had hit.  There were bits of paper towel everywhere!

I’m going to end here, but I’ll continue with the next post.  I’ll discuss what you can feed your dog and how to cook for them if you’ve a mind to.


BTW – The pics are:  Dusty,  Jack,  Buddy

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