Conversing with Steve

Photo: Steve Dale’s Pet World

Photo: Steve Dale’s Pet World

Anyone truly involved in the dog world knows Steve Dale.  He’s a friend to all, no matter the number of legs you walk on.  He’s plucky, involved and passionate on so many fronts it’s hard to keep track.  Like me, he is currently dismayed with the military’s sudden suspended support for service dogs paired with veterans diagnosed with PTSD. As Steve informed me, the military sanctioned a study of the Service Dog program to report on hundreds of veterans aided by a service dog. Although funded primarily through private donations, the study ended almost before it began. Funding cut, study closed. No discussion. Knowing first hand how essential a loving, well-trained dog can be to anyone suffering from stress or trauma, it breaks my heart that this program could be cut short.

Our passionate frustration with the military’s decision was a side note to a happier discussion. My meeting with Steve was prompted by a liaison set up by Royal Canin who is promoting a phenomenal new cat food targeting both the prevention and aid of obesity in spayed and neutered cats.  Banfield Pet Hospital, State of Pet Health reports that 70% of cats in America are overweight, a 90% increase from just five years ago. Not surprisingly, veterinarians are also seeing a sharp increase in diabetes mellitus, arthritis, and indirectly to skin problems and mood fluctuations.

Cats who have little control over their exercise and food choices enjoy being fed tasty treats and eat more when their food is not regulated.  Free feeding and tasty treats paired with a lack of stimulation and interaction takes it toll.  Bored, under-stimulated cats develop mobility problems, have trouble self-grooming and may develop the much-dreaded Litter Box Issues.

Cats who sit on the couch all day don’t sound lazy to me—they sound depressed and under-stimulated! How to break this cycle? The first step is to combat feline weight gain.

Are you ready for some good news?!  Cat welfare is making mainstream connections and no cat could have a better friend than Steve Dale and Royal Canin.  Together they have paired to promote a cat food formula that curbs appetite as it reduces caloric intake.  Toss in fat control and some healthful antioxidants to improve health, and you’ve got a satisfied cat well on the way to reducing (or maintaining) their waistline.  I want some of that for me!  It’s an effort that I am hopeful will make it into the canine circles.

Of course a good diet isn’t the be all and end all, though it is the best way to begin.  Once you’ve addressed the dietary needs of your cat, add some razzle-dazzle into her daily routine through play and interaction.  Hide bits of dry food throughout your home to awaken her search and hunt drive or leave a treat ball on the floor to encourage investigation. Experiment with the wide variety of cat toys available in your local pet center: laser lights, feather toys and cat nip balls are all creative and inexpensive ways to lift your cats spirits and improve your bond, enhance their health and well being, and promote a long and lasting life together.

To read more about this new product log onto Royal Canin’s Facebook page: