My philosophy of wet dog food

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When it comes to my dog’s favorite humans, I’ll never be number one. In fact, if you handed him a piece of paper and a pen, asked him to make a list of his favorite humans, and he was capable of such a thing, he would probably do something like this:

(Illustration: Brendan Léonard)

If you said, “Okay, but who else?” He might then say something like, “I guess what his name is, the guy who lives here, he’s fine.”

I’m fine with it. Dogs need an alpha in their life, and Hilary is Rowlf’s. It’s settled, and it’s not a competition. But I still consider it my job to help Rowlf live her best life, so I try to do it when and where I can.

That’s why he’s been eating so well for about six months. We kept his kibble diet for almost the first two years we had him, but every now and then we gave him a little wet food, the Dear stuff in a box that looks like something a human might eat. Rowlf is not what you would call a food motivated dog, and several times I have hand fed him kibble while he was sitting on the floor, out of duty that he will not starve under my watch. .

But he seemed to really like wet food when we added it to his kibble, an improvement that I felt was like sitting in a restaurant and letting someone order for you in a different language and have a plate. of raw carrots in front of you, but two minutes later the server places two slices of pizza on top of the carrots.

Hilary, who is – and I can’t stress this enough – Rowlf’s favorite human, was of the opinion that we should use wet food sparingly, in part to keep Rowlf from expecting it and then stepping on us, and in part to keep him from gaining too much weight and stressing his joints. I casually lobbied, every now and then, for more wet food, more regularly, maybe even every day.

At one point, after maybe a dozen conversations about dog food, I presented my case like this:

“When we adopted Rowlf, a vet estimated his age at seven or eight, based on his teeth. That was two years ago, and who knows how accurate this kind of age estimate is? We really don’t know how old he is, he seems to have more and more white hairs around his mouth. Wet food seems to make him happy, and if we have no problem obtaining food financially, we should give the dog the food that brings him joy as often as possible.

And then, swinging for emotional closure, I said, “We just don’t know how long he’s going to be with us.”

Hilary nodded and, in her infinite wisdom, said, “I guess you could say the same about yourself or me, right?”

Our dog currently eats a third of a can of wet food with each meal. Sometimes half can.

Brendan Leonard’s new book, I hate running and you can too, is available now.

About Leslie Schwartz

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