Seemed like ages since Jerry and his sidekick, George, visited our store. His dog had a repertoire of tricks that even the my cousin the magician, aka The Great Shandor, would envy. I stood in awe of Jerry's dog-training ability, it was like he could teach George anything.
The only problem was that Jerry the dog-owner had this huge blind spot when it came to feeding George. True, he fed his pet a raw diet...and everything else under the sun. Pasta, pie, bagels, knishes - if it was edible, he fed it to George.
Needless to say, it showed. George was a whopping 120 lbs, or about 40 lbs overweight. It pained me to even look at him. You could practically hear the dog's excess weight grinding down his hip joints when he walked. One day I was so upset, I refused to let Jerry buy any food. Not that it would have changed anything, but I wanted to make a point that he was killing George.
Spoiler alert: that was the last I saw of George.
About six months later, Jerry called me out of the blue. Wanted to know if I was interested in a good deal on snow tires. Of course I was, I told him, but more important, "How's George? Any new tricks?"
"Ahhh, George died four months ago, the poor guy. Dropped dead from a heart attack while doing tricks for the kids at the park...Anyhow..."
Jerry's voice cracked, so I changed the topic and let him talk tires for what seemed like an eternity.
The sad part is that George's untimely demise could've easily - easily been prevented. Jerry just had to be feed him less. To this day, I still can't understand how Jerry didn't get that. An overweight dog is a time-bomb waiting to go off.
I always tell our customers that a lean dog is a healthy dog. You should be able to feel its ribs. Excess weight is a killer on the heart, hips, joints and almost everything else.
Be a disciplined feeder. There's no need to feed your dog anything but a balanced raw diet where there's no fillers, additives and preservatives. Follow this advice and you'll have plenty of extra years to teach your old dog new tricks.