Is the problem snobbery or ignorance?
Having a small store that doesn’t carry “mass marketed” brands that people see in commercials and magazine ads seems to set us up for accusations of being elitist, or snobs. We’re called a “boutique” store. We’re scoffed at when we try to explain how our foods can save money when it comes to avoiding repeated trips to the vet or pharmacy.
I have to chalk it up to ignorance.
So many times I speak to customers who cannot figure out why their dogs have loose stool. They may have experienced problems since the dog was a puppy, they may have experienced a change when moving to a new food, or they may have an older dog who recently seems to have a lowered tolerance for change.
While there are many possible reasons for loose stool in dogs (parasites, stress, antibiotics, poor quality ingredients) they all lead back to a lack of healthy bacteria in the gut. Most people are amazed when the introduction of a probiotic and/or enzymes makes all the difference in their dog’s stool. They’re even more amazed at the effect of feeding those enzymes and good bacteria as part of their animal’s regular food.
Are we dehydrating our animals to death?
More and more the conversations in our store are centered around the prevention of health issues for our animals. The past several months we have been talking about how much hydration is critical to the longevity of our dogs and cats. I’d have to say it actually applies to all our animals, including small animals, birds and reptiles.
It helps to gain some perspective of how much we use dry kibble as convenience, when it actually has the potential to cause more problems for our animals’ health than it solves.
More and more we are thinking about eating fresh foods and taking supplements to ease our stress levels and clear our minds. We know that we avoid illness or recover more quickly from common viruses when we’re eating healthy, naturally derived foods that boost our immune systems. We also know that we sleep better, and think more clearly when we eat fresh foods that are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
We often forget that our animals also benefit the same way. We don’t hear them complain about forgetting things during an important meeting, or feeling unmotivated when it comes to finishing a project or report. It’s often difficult to relate our stress levels and needs to those of our dogs or cats because they seem so completely different.
Common Sense doesn’t seem to come to the surface when it comes to our dogs.
One of the most common things we hear people say is “I don’t want to change my dog’s food because he has a sensitive system.” The other part of that is, “My vet said not to change his food because this one doesn’t upset his stomach.”
Since studying dog and cat nutrition is such a big part of my life, I’m always discouraged when people are willing to ignore basic common sense for an animal they really care for. Instead it seems many are willing to do what is convenient, rather than looking to the long term health of their animals.