Energy & Nutritional Know-How: A to Z
Featured in the October issue of Cesar’s Way Magazine
A Few of the 26 things you may not have thought about—but need to!
Can something as simple as carefully reading a dog-food label add three to five years to your pet’s life? Can the wrong bite of an ostensibly healthy fruit have nasty and lasting consequences? Does your dog need a diet—and would you know if he did? For pups as for people, scientists are constantly -reexamining and revising the official live-longer-and-better guidelines.
All the stuff in apples that makes them nutritional powerhouses for humans (fiber, vitamins A and C, omega-3 and -6, antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols) works wonders for Rover, too—with a few exceptions. The seeds contain a form of cyanide, which human systems can filter out but our four-legged friends can’t, and too many apples can lead to diarrhea or, -because of their high sugar content, weight gain.
Bones—whether chicken, beef, or pork— just aren’t all that good for Fido. They can splinter into needle-sharp bits, which can damage any part of a dog’s digestive tract. The safest bone is a rock-hard—and virtually “shatterproof”—beef-marrow bone, at least 2 inches long. Note, too, that many commercially available bones have been bleached, which is also bad for your dog. Cesar is introducing a new line of natural bones.
CANNED vs. DRY FOOD
Reviewing the literature on canned vs. dry might make one think the Hatfields and McCoys were at it again. On one hand, canned foods tend to have higher-quality protein, and more of it, as well as fewer preservatives and fillers. On the other hand, the dry foods sold by reputable companies are just as nutritionally balanced as their wet counterparts. Dry foods can have more meat by-products, but remember, Lady isn’t as squeamish about animal parts as we are. Kibble lets dogs satisfy their urge to chew, and it’s good for knocking tartar off of teeth. But some dogs have delicate gums or are missing teeth, which means, yes, that wet food is the way to go. Dry food tends to be less expensive and is easier to store, but wet foods usually have fewer calories and carbohydrates. What to do? Go with what suits you and your pets’ lifestyle, but always pick nutritionally balanced food, the highest quality you can afford.
Dogs use constant energy to communicate. Energy is what I call beingness; it is who and what you are in every moment. Dogs don’t know each other by name, but by the energy they project and the activities they share. They know humans in the same way.
As humans, we too are communicating with energy—whether we realize it or not. And, though we may attempt to persuade, explain, and rationalize all day long, these energy signals are the only messages getting across to our dogs.
The first energy that a puppy experiences after birth is mom’s calm-assertive energy. Later, the puppy will follow a pack leader who projects the same calm-assertive energy out of association. As pack followers, dogs return a calm-submissive energy that completes the pack balance. It is important to understand that most dogs are born to be submissive, because there can only be so many pack leaders.
When a naturally submissive dogs lives with a human that does not lead, he or she will attempt to right the pack balance by filling what they see as a vacant pack leader role. This is how behavior problems develop.
To establish yourself as the pack leader, you must always project a calm-assertive energy. If you don’t know what I mean by calm-assertive energy, think about Oprah Winfrey. She is calm and assertive in the human world. This natural balance (calm-assertive leadership with calm-submissive behavior) nurtures stability and creates a balanced, centered, and happy dog.