Jun 15, 2011

Pet Obesity & Shit

Weight loss and diet products seem to be everywhere you look these days. What seems really pathetic is that now the pandemic has spread to pets. REALLY?! I find it really interesting that pet owners poor level of knowledge and care about their pets is causing them to grossly overfeed their animals. Just because you have self esteem issues doesn't mean your pets have to have them too. Here is a short list of common owner mistakes when it comes to feeding their pets.
1. My dog keeps eating no matter how much food I put down. He must still be hungry
WRONG! Dogs are scavengers. They eat as much as they can, when they can. 
Most dogs cannot be free fed all day or they will literally eat an entire bag of dog food. Having regularly scheduled meal times 2-3 times a day is a veterinary recommended solution to curb overweight eating habits. 

2. My dog is a big dog, he needs to eat an entire bowl full of food so he stays big and tough.
Number one reason guys have "big" dogs. Just because you have a "large" dog they still should probably only be eating about 3 to 4 cups of dog food a day. What you are mistaking for a big dog is probably just a fat dog. 

3. Have you tried measuring your dogs food? No? How about you start doing that. Almost every bag of dog food has a recommended amount of food to feed your dogs. They don't spend all that time to figure out those numbers just to have something else to put on the bag, try looking at it sometime. 

4. I have a small dog that needs to eat only soft food because I spoil the absolute shit out of it. Unless your dog is geriatric or has no teeth, there is no reason to only feed it soft foods. Soft dog foods can cause some animals teeth to rot away. Hard dog food is beneficial in that it scrapes the dogs teeth instead of getting stuck to it. If your dog is that picky it won't eat anything else, eventually it will get hungry. You just need to have some will power to not cave in and give it whatever it will eat. 

5. I give my dog a whole treat every time it even remotely does something I want it to. Geez, no wonder your dog is fat. If you really feel like that is the only way to get your dog to behave try giving it a piece of dog food instead. You might want to actually keep track of how much you give your dog because if you are giving it as many treats as you are food something is wrong. 

6. My dog eats what I eat. Haha, yea stop that. Bacon is not a good treat for you OR your dog. They only "people" food that is even remotely good for dogs is fresh meat. Chicken is best but don't deep fry it just because you think it tastes better, your dog doesn't give a shit. It will still think its Christmas. Stay away from high fat content because that can also cause issues like pancreatitis. If you normally don't give your dog table food, good for you. You have joined an elite group of pet owners that know what is good for their animals. 

7. I carry my dog around everywhere I go. Dogs are not accessories so stop treating it like one. Get a leash and actually let it use its legs and walk somewhere. Maybe it wouldn't need to diet then.

8. I've cut back on Fido's food but he still isn't losing weight. If you really are cutting it back enough, your pet will lose weight. Are you sure someone else in the house isn't sneaking him goodies? Children especially like to give dogs their left overs so you think they ate all their food. Maybe someone else thinks your a bad owner and gives him pity meals. Make sure everyone is aware of what you are trying to do and why it is beneficial. 

These are just a few of the excuses I hear owners spew at me when they bring their dogs in for a checkup. O yes and cat people this all applies to you too. If your pets looks or feels obese, all you have to do is cut back the amount of food you give it. They aren't going to starve, they aren't going to hate you. They are not teenagers, they are animals. "But I feel bad when he whines at me for more." TOUGH SHIT. Grow a set and get over it. Would you rather pay for a $3000 orthopedic surgery when your dog is only 5 or have a happy active pet that will probably live longer? All of the things you should be doing yourself you can control and make sure your dog is getting what it needs. Lack of exercise and portion control are literally the only things keeping your dog fat. Oh yea, please don't waste money on "diet" food. It's less nutritious, a waste of money, and a huge gimmick. Just give your dog less food and save yourself some money. 

Jun 13, 2011

Chinchilla Depression

When you leave for extended periods of time do you think your animals even notice? Damn right they do! Well, reptiles probably don't but other furry bastards know when their favorite caretaker is gone. How would I have come to this conclusion? My personal favorite furry companion is my chinchilla, Chilla. Yea I know, I'm the most creative person ever when it comes to giving my pets individualism. I spent the past three weeks in Costa Rica and left my pets at home because I didn't think the furry ones would appreciate 95% humidity. Upon returning this past weekend, I walked into my room to see my normally rambunctious chinchilla with adhd laying in her hammock, head hung low, like she'd never be happy again. My family informed me that she wasn't very active while I was gone and did not let them pet her or play with her. Normally she can be heard from the other room bouncing around in her cage. Most nights I'm tempted to put her in the hallway because she keeps me up, if only the cat wouldn't eat her for a midnight snack. As soon as I called her name in a stereotypical girly high pitched voice only dogs can hear, she jumped up and came running to be pet. She took a treat from me and practically rolled over like a dog.

Why is this information relevant? When you choose to periodically abandon your pets, you should find someone they know and trust to take care of them. Clearly my family wasn't the best choice because I normally live away from home, you know being in college and all, so she isn't exposed to them often enough to be satisfied with their attention when I'm gone. Other pets are not so sensitive to your presence. My crested gecko seemed completely content and showed no interest in me other than staring at me like, "Bitch, give me some crickets!" Dogs and cats are variable when it comes to their owners. Some dogs have separation anxiety when their owners are only gone hours, others like mine could care less as long as they get fed eventually. For needy animals, I suggest having a designated caregiver that interacts with them often enough to have your pets be comfortable with them when you are gone. This can help keep your pets happy and well behaved when you are gone, and when you come back they won't be staring at you like your girlfriend when you forgot her birthday, again.

I don't claim to be an expert, then again I can almost back up my bullshit with a BS degree.


About Me, My Experience, and Shit

So what gives me the impression that I have anything valuable to say about anything, especially pets, animals or other shit? Well, I'm finishing my animal science degree from Purdue University (some super awesome agriculture college in Indiana for all the squares that don't know wtf Purdue is), I have owned various animals during the 21 years I have inhabited this planet, and have a stockpile of observations and useless knowledge about animals and pets. Until now I haven't had a way to share the things I've learned or experienced, or I've just been too damn lazy to write it down. Now that I have free time, or am just avoiding doing something else with my time, I've decided to start this blog and share my views with the five people that actually are going to read this smut.