Pet obesity linked to emotional eating?
Stories like these make me smile and cry at the same time.
In an article in the latest edition of the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Franklin McMillan suggests pets sometimes eat to dispel negative emotions, stress and nervousness
Pet obesity linked to emotional eating – MyWebTimes.com
I smile because it is great to learn of research that attempts to increase our understanding of a dog’s “emotions” and how they manifest in behaviors.
I cry because this article is suggesting that our pets are fat in part, because they overeat due to emotional stress!
Most pets, especially dogs, will eat what you feed them. If you have a fat dog, it means simply that you are feeding them too much given their size and activity level, assuming no underlying health issue. It is not because they are stressed out.
Does emotional stress cause the human to overfeed the pet? Perhaps it does. Which is why pet owners need to have a good idea of how many calories their pet needs each day and a plan to make sure that they get this amount and not more. But the pet obesity problem is a human problem, not a pet problem. Let’s “come correct” and acknowledge this and stop trying to find excuses or other lame reasons for why our pets are fat.
If you need some help figuring this out, download the SlimDoggy iPhone app. It will help you determine your dog’s daily calorie needs and has an extensive dog food calorie and ingredient database. Use it in conjunction with a measuring device or look into some of the new smart feeders like that being created by Petnet.io (aka PintoFeed.com) to make sure your servings are what they should be.