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Dog food for thought; RECORD PETS.

Byline: NEIL MCINTOSH

EVERYTHING'S got to be so damn natural these days. Artificial is out. Additives are out.

In are "camp fire stew" and "venison and pheasant" - both apparently lovingly and personally cooked to perfection in some favourite aunt's kitchen.

Given the quantities produced, it must be some size of a kitchen and auntie must slave in it 44/7. I blame Springwatch myself for making Mother Nature appear a fair and benevolent matriarch when, in truth, she can be a cruel and vindictive dictator.

But then people don't like their evening's viewing spoiled by watching a blackbird's nest being raided by a magpie or a dormouse silently plucked from the undergrowth by a swooping, deadly owl.

The down side is that this ridiculous sanitisation of the harsh realities of nature is lulling us into thinking that everything that is natural is inherently safe.

Just Google "Natural Food For Dogs" and you will get an idea what I mean.

Manufacturers (sorry, I mean all the aunties that cook for dogs) are falling over themselves to claim their food is natural. And it gets worse.

Recently, unnatural chews for dogs have been replaced by superior natural products.

Thus deer antlers are now recommended as being ideal for removing tartar from dogs' teeth.

All over the country, dogs are wolfing (pardon the pun) into them.

And the result? Em. Lots of broken teeth. Loads of them.

The problem is deer antlers might be quite good at breaking off tartar but they are so hard they crack the large molars at the back of the mouth. Pain and abscess result and general anaesthesia is required to extract the teeth.

Which is not very natural but is costly to both patient and owner.

And this despite the natural, eco-ethical properties of the stuff.

And there's more. Not content with deer antlers, now we are encouraged to let our dogs chew on cow hooves.

And why not? After all, say the sellers, dogs have been chewing on them for centuries. Have they really? Did wild dogs in medieval times really bring down a modern dairy cow, remove its toes, allow them to dry for weeks, package them in polythene, then sit down and have a right good chew? No. of course they didn't.

Which is why these cow hooves are becoming a common cause of bowel obstruction necessitating surgery to remove the sharp, hard material before the bowel is perforated and disaster occurs.

Doesn't anyone realise that dogs that lived naturally frequently met a horrible and quite unnatural end? And that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

SHOW NEWS | November 21 Land O' Burns Canine Club's 70th Anniversary open show in the Ice Rink, Magnum Leisure Centre, Irvine, at 9.30am. | November 22 Clydebank & District Canine Club's open show in Lanark Agricultural Centre at 9.30am.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 19, 2015
Words:476
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