Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Your Dog Is Fat

No, really, it is.

I've always had an issue with fat dogs. Maybe it's because I have my own body image issues, but it's so much easier (unless there's a medical issue) to control your pet's weight. Maybe it's because I Just Care. Maybe it's coming to a head now because I'm not an animal control officer anymore, so I am dealing mostly with the pets of well-off people, who a) can afford to keep their dog in all kinds of food and b) generally have the education to know what a healthy dog looks like. And maybe it's because of my 52 Weeks for Dogs project, where every week, I see these dogs, and while adorable, there are a few that are morbidly obese. While most of them are normal, there are maybe only one or two or lean/fit dogs. Most are OK, and a few are very round. And really, some are so fat that I'm shocked each time I see a body shot. These are people who are doting on their dogs, which shows. But they're hurting their dogs. Out of discretion and sense of community, I've been unable to gird my loins and post a discussion there, and won't post any examples from the group here.

I have, however, posted a picture of an Irish Wolfhound up above that was tied up outside of Gordo's a couple of weeks ago that is Really Fat. The dog took up the whole sidewalks, as Irish Wolfhounds are bound to do, but the owner was also really proud of her weight. Irish Wolfhounds, he said, run 150-200lbs. But this girl is one of the biggest females in the Bay Area, he also said. Well, yes, she is. You can't see her waist at all. She was also an older girl (I can't remember if he said 6 or 8) which is old for a wolfhound. And fat. And probably extremely uncomfortable. Fat causes extra weight on the joints, especially for giant breeds. And older dogs already have extra pain in the joints. Why do this to our pets?

I've conveniently uploaded a weight chart here. Peruse it, and if your dog looks anything like the one above or the ones below, use it. Sometimes it's hard to see because we live witdh our dogs every day- changes can be gradual or we get used to the way our dogs look. It's not like we're putting them in jeans every day and one day realize we need to buy them a pair of fat pants. Maybe have someone who hasn't seen your dog come look at him and force her to give you an honest opinion. If you need tips for doggy weightloss, I can provide those, too. But love your dog, don't overfeed him.