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 Food Camp Canine will no longer accept!!!

When you bring your pet to Camp Canine, one of the requirements is you furnish food for your pets' stay. But there are some types of pet foods that I will no longer accept!!! The semi moist foods (Moist and Meaty type), the small plastic trays with a covering of foil (like Caesar) or plastic/foil pouches (like Caesar's or Pedigree).


The semi moist dog food is processed with sugar and I see too many "fluffy" dogs. Yes, they love it. Your children would love having candy or chocolate for 3 meals a day but that doesn't mean it is good for them.

As for the food that comes in those little plastic trays or the soft plastic/foil pouches, I do not like canned food in general for dogs. But it is none of my business what kind of food you give your dog. Your dog...Your choice!!!?

A while ago, I was watching a dog who ate Caesar's. Somehow the foil cover on one of the trays had been punctured. I have no idea when. It was the first day I had the dog, so it happened before the dog came to Camp Canine. There was a tiny pin size hole that you couldn't see unless you washed the inside of the foil. When I opened the food, the smell nearly knocked me over. The puncture was just a pin hole size spot, but it was large enough to let bacteria in and had gone bad.

Dogs often have upset stomachs because they are away from home and stressed. I will not add to that stress by feeding them this kind of food. I feel the chance of food poisoning is too high. I will not take a chance with their safety and health. While they are at my home, they are family. I wouldn't take a chance with my family whether they had 2 legs or four. I am sorry for any inconvenience may cause you. I appreciate your cooperation.

"Fluffy" dogs. (This is me being diplomatic!)

I read that in 2009 a study done by Association on Pet Obesity Prevention found that 44% of US dogs were either "Fluffy" or 10% are obese. I have seen the shape of the canine population on Okinawa and agree completely. (Cats are 57% are overweight and 17% are obese.) Vets are hesitant to speak up.

I have heard all sorts of reasons and/or excuses. Here are some of my favorites...

"My husband is deployed"... "My work is really busy now"... "The baby has been sick"... "The weather has been so bad"... "The kids feed him when we are not looking," and "I can't walk/run him like we use to because... (fill in your reason)".

If you can't exercise and you are gaining weight...what would you do? .... You would eat less. I suggest you use that same logic for your dog. I do not care what the dog food bag says. It is suggesting you overfed your pet. They are giving you an average...a rough idea how much to feed your dog. All 50 lb. dogs or all Goldens' do not eat the same, exercise the same or burn off calories the same.

Lots of things enter into the reason dogs don't use calories at the same rate. Sex (Male or female), are they fixed (Spayed or neutered)? How old are they? We burn calories slower as we get older and so do our dogs.

If your dog is gaining weight or not losing any, if he is already overweight, you have 2 choices. You can exercise him more. Yes, in a perfect world that would be the right answer. But our lives are busy. We have so many demands on our time from work, friends and family. Then add to that, bad weather, typhoons and just not enough time in the day. It all adds up to owners that feel guilty for not having enough time and wanting their dogs to be "happy".

If you are not able to find the time and energy to walk him more, than the only other choice is to cut back on his food. I recommend NO treats. If you must give treats give baby carrots or carrot slices, canned green beans (no salt added) or if you really want to do a little more, take a few pieces of his dry dog food and hand those kibbles out as snacks. Your dog is more interested in you handing him something, talking to him, patting him than he is about a "special treat". You are his special treat.

I do not recommend "diet or weight control" pet foods. They are made without fat or oil and it can cause skin and coat problems. Dogs get dry skin and something that looks like dandruff. There is coral dust everywhere on Okinawa. It can cause skin problems for both people and pets. If they have dry skin to start with because of their food, it can lead to more serious, itchy skin problems.

Some vets suggest the "green bean diet". Check it out online. It suggests giving an overweight dog 2/3 of their regular daily food mixed with the remaining 1/3 of his normal serving should be substituted with canned green beans. Green beans are already cooked, only have 30 calories for a cup and it makes his stomach feel full without adding a lot of calories. If you decide to follow this diet suggestion, consider giving your dog a daily pet vitamin while he is on this. He will be using up stored body fat for energy and he needs to get those nutrients somewhere.

Finding the right food.


The experts say that feeding your dog a "good" dog food adds 22 months to his life. Good food brands are available on base.

Newman’s' own is one of the best. If the commissionary and/or exchange does not have it in stock, they can special order it. It is one of the few pet foods that have listed ingredients that can be read and easily identified.

I, also, like Nutro. There are many different varieties of Nutro that you can't buy on base. They have fish, chicken, lamb-based food and some food that is very tiny kibble. There is one that is the size of "grape-nuts" in a pink bag for older small dogs. I have an old Yorkie named Munchkin (with no teeth) that really loves this one.

There is Science Diet, Ams to name a few. They are good but I have some issues with the cost. Expensive does not equal good. Each brand may have one or two types that are excellent...but that does not mean all their varieties are equally as good.

Finding the right food.

The experts say that feeding your dog a "good" dog food adds 22 months to his life. Good food brands are available on base.

Newman’s' own is one of the best. If the commissionary and/or exchange does not have it in stock, they can special order it. It is one of the few pet foods that have listed ingredients that can be read and easily identified.

I, also, like Nutro. There are many different varieties of Nutro that you can't buy on base. They have fish, chicken, lamb-based food and some food that is very tiny kibble. There is one that is the size of "grape-nuts" in a pink bag for older small dogs. I have an old Yorkie named Munchkin (with no teeth) that really loves this one.

There is Science Diet, Ams to name a ccccfew. They are good but I have some issues with the cost. Expensive does not equal good. Each brand may have one or two types that are excellent...but that does not mean all their varieties are equally as good.

You need to check the labels of all pet foods and keep checking them as the companies change the ingredients without notice. A food you have used for years could be different next time you buy it. Everyone is trying to save money, including the pet food companies. You need to read labels. It is your responsibility as an informed pet owner to read labels.

When you read the ingredients make sure that the word CORN is not in the top 8 items listed. Corn, corn gluten, corn meal, corn syrup...nothing that says corn. Corn is very difficult to digest, and it is considered a "filler". It doesn't have any nutritional value, can upset stomachs, it makes them feel full and it just goes right through them. Many dogs are allergic to it.

Remember if you change to a "better" food, they need less food to maintain their weight because they are unable to digest all the nutrition in the food. Although the cost of the "better" food is more expensive, you use less. So, it costs nearly the same per serving.

You will notice there is less to clean up in the yard once you change to a better food.... because they can better digest and use more of the nutrients with a "better" pet food.

My last word on food...I promise...maybe? Some of my customers bring home-cooked food or canned food to pour over their pets’ dry food..."because that is the only way he will eat". Dogs are much smarter than we are. When they are not hungry there can be several really good reasons not to eat.... the weather is too hot... they snacked on grass outside...their stomach is a little off...they are simply NOT hungry. That is not your clue to worry...to try to tempt them. They are not hungry.


Yes, you can put tasty stuff on top of their food, and they will eat it. But you are making them eat. Remember when you were little, and you may have been told you had to finish your plate. Come on...if you had been hungry, if you had felt like eating, no one would have had to tell you to eat or else. Neither does your dog need to be forced to eat "for his own good". Put his food down for 10 or 15 minutes while you shower or get ready for work or bed, then pick it up.


A side bar...if your dog does not eat anything for more than a day, is not acting like himself, has any other physical problems...do not hesitate to take him to the vet. This was only about dogs that don't eat as much as you think they should eat. They probably know better than you, if they are hungry or not.


If you cook for your dog because you have the time and truly feel you can feed him better "homemade" dog food than you can buy on or off base, you are my hero. I used to make my own dog food but I had the time then. Life has somehow stolen any "extra" time I may had then. Most people don't have that kind of time or enough knowledge of pet nutrition to successfully do it. I have nothing but good thoughts for you and wish I had that kind of time.