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Reflections: Dogs, eat your vegetables

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By Thomas W. Ivines

Max is not happy with his diet and told me...

"Daddy, if you don't feed me more, I'm calling the SPCA."

Our dogs are overweight. Even our new rescue sheltie, Nikki, is fat, so we have put all of them on a diet. It's a good thing the phone is up high where Max cannot reach it.

But, oh well. Max needs to lose some weight. If he gets any fatter we will have to roll him into the car when we go for a ride.

Funny, all our dogs are eating broccoli and green beans now. Pumpkin for filler seems to be one of their favorites, too.

I never would have believed our dogs would eat those kinds of foods yet they love them. The woman at sheltie rescue said they would, and she was right.

Vegetables are actually good for dogs with few calories, and if you look into the ingredients in most dog foods, you will see that they are made primarily of vegetables anyway.

What calories they get in store-bought dog foods come from corn, rice and other carbohydrates. Fatty meat byproducts contribute towards putting weight on them as well.

I had to laugh, because the rescue lady we got our new sheltie from said, "Nikki does not bark much."

I have news for her, Nikki barks a lot, especially when she wants to eat. I think it can be contributed to the fact she is feeling more and more at home now and is hungry.

Since rescuing a dog, we have learned quite a bit more about dog nutrition. It seems we were fattening up our pets and did not even know it.

One of the first things we had to do was change their treats. Their favorite was frozen dog ice cream, which contains mainly chemicals and fat.

We now give them carrots and apples. And instead of regular dog biscuits, they are snacking on natural fish and sweet potato treats. Max gulps his glucosamine pills as if they were a tasty treat, and Molly is convinced honeydew is a special dog dessert.

It is amazing what dogs will eat - all of which is much better for them than commercial dog food.

McDonalds is definitely out. The only food on their diet from there is salad, and that's one thing they won't eat. No more french-fries, double cheeseburgers, and soft serve ice cream cones.

When we first put the dogs on a diet, we feared the transition would be difficult.

But, the only problem we have encountered has been the need to make several trips to the store to get more dog food - vegetables, that is.