We all tend to spoil our dogs to some degree but while our intentions are good, the choices we make for them may not always be the wisest.
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The problem is that some of us think of them more as little people than as animals. We spoil them rotten and let them wrap us around their little fingers (or paws.) We agonize over the endless varieties of canned dog food on the supermarket shelves trying to decide which flavour sounds the yummiest. We give them sugary treats and expensive toys. We spend large amounts of money on luxurious heated beds and the warmest dog-coats. I know a woman who leaves the heating on all day at home while she’s at work because she doesn’t want her dog to get cold!
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These practices are not only unnecessary for our dogs, but can actually be quite harmful in the long run. But there is a solution – we need to learn to think like a dog.
Picture the way a mother animal interacts with her babies in the wild and about how she would ‘raise’ them. They learn by following her example. She does not provide cooked, mushed and processed food or fluffy beds. She quickly establishes her role as the dominant one and doesn’t take any nonsense.
Dogs have different tastebuds and a different digestive system to us, so we need to be careful what we feed them. Sugar is a treat for us but dangerous for them. Soft food weakens their teeth and gums and can lead to infection.
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Dogs are also covered in fur for a reason. They don’t need heaters and coats and they really shouldn’t sleep with us in our beds (well…maybe at the foot of the bed but definitely not under the covers.)
If we truly love our dogs and want them to live a long and healthy life, the best thing we can do for them is to start thinking like a dog and start treating them the same way.