Here’s some sobering statistics: McDonalds sells 75 hamburgers per second. They feed the equivalent of 1% of the world’s population everyday, a number greater than the population of Great Britian. According to the Slow Food Movement, that’s a bit of a problem. They argue that the hurried manner in which we prepare and consume our meals takes away the pleasure of good food, loses tradition and culture, and is bad for the environment and fair trade. We think that they are on to something, and it doesn’t just apply to humans.
Many dog trainers will tell you that a dog’s meal is also not something to just check off a list. How you feed your dog is as important as what you feed your dog. Your dog’s ancestors hunted for their food, it’s part of their tradition. There was a reward for their work, it stimulated their bodies and their brains. This is why feeding dogs through interactive toys, such as Kongs, food cubes and puzzles is often recommended as a cure for behavior problems and boredom.
We’ve adopted this practice at our house, and Zola loves it. After her morning run, she comes home expecting that treats will be hidden in puzzles (we’ve evolved to the point that we now hide the puzzles so she has to hunt for them). She’s fed two meals a day, both out of interactive toys which make her work for her food. The best part of Zola’s diet, however, has to be her frozen Kongs. The filling is made at home with fresh local ingredients. They take time to prepare, and are slow to consume.
So if you are lucky enough to be enjoying a well prepared Thanksgiving meal today, consider slowing your life down a little more often. Start off by watching Carla prepare Zola’s favorite Kong recipe. Then, when the turkey enzymes have worn off a bit, check out slowfood.com. You owe it to yourself and your dog.