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Monday, June 11, 2012

Not for me thanks, I'm a vegetarian: Sausages are off the menu for this DOG who is allergic to MEAT

By James Titcomb

Most dogs love nothing more than a juicy chunk of steak or piece of sausage meat.

But life as a carnivore is off the menu for this guide dog, who has had to turn vegetarian after his owners discovered he was allergic to meat.

Irwin, a two-year-old black labrador-golden retriever cross, gets rashes and swelling on his paws when he eats beef, chicken and pork, meaning he has had to adopt an entirely vegetarian diet.

It's a dogs life: Two-year-old Irwin is unable to eat any for of meat because his paws get swelling and rashes

He instead has to eat a specially approved diet of potatoes, and won't even touch meat if it is placed in front of him or accidentally lands on the floor.

Owner Liam White, 17, has not fed Irwin a single piece of meat since he arrived from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association a year ago.

Liam, who lives with his mum Tracey and dad John in Cudworth, South Yorkshire, said: 'Most dog owners would give them the occasional sausage or chop as a treat but that's not for Irwin.

'If we are having a Sunday roast there's no chance of him begging and if a bit of meat drops on the floor he just ignores it.

'If he does eat meat Irwin gets rashes on his paws and he can't walk properly which is a problem for a guide dog who has to go everywhere with me.

'He has to have special food because of it which the Guide Dogs for the Blind
Association pay for. It's better if he avoids meat altogether.'

Helper: Owner Liam White, 17, from Cudworth, Yorkshire was one of the youngest people to get a guide dog

Oblivious: Irwin, two, completely ignores meat and instead subsists on a specially-approved diet of potatoes

Liam became one of the youngest people in the UK to get a guide dog after the charity relaxed its age restrictions to include those under 16.

The student was born blind and had only been able to go out with his parents until he was paired up with Irwin.

'It took about a year to find a suitable match for me. He's absolutely brilliant, all my family love him,' Liam said.

'I could do nothing before, besides going out with mum and dad to do a bit of shopping, but he's transformed my life.



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