Overweight dogs – it’s an epidemic, no? My question is, is it directly related to the size of the owners?
When I was a kid, none of our dogs – or cats – were overweight. I don’t recall overweight dogs ever being an issue in the 70’s and 80’s, do you? None of us kids were overweight, either. Like the dogs and cats, we did a lot of running around outside, burning off the food.
Kids these days are inside a whole heckuva lot more. Parent are more fearful, and for the most part rightly so. We live in a different age. We also keep our critters indoor more than people used to. I just had that conversation a few days ago. Where is the balance in keeping kids and critters safe, versus giving them the freedom they need to grow, live, be happy?
If you looked at my family, including our dogs, you’d see a group of overweight people, but perfect dogs. I like to think the dogs are a healthy weight just because they’re Australian shepherd mixes. I’ve never known overweight Aussies. I also know that we don’t often give the babies people food, and that they get plenty of outside time, both factors in healthy dogs and healthy weight.
So looking for overweight dogs online, the first article was the one I expected. Kinda. Obie, the 77 pound dachshund was loved nearly to death with people food. He’s on the road to recovery. The article accompanying the video was unexpected. And hilarious. You need a chuckle, click away and read, by all means. Here’s Obie’s video tale:
So how do we tell if our dog is overweight? Dogs dot about says we should run our hands over their rib cage and be able to feel the rib bones. And when you look at your dog from the side, nothing should sag. Not like Obie. Pretty simple.
So why are so many overweight dogs and people floating around? According to the Journal of Nutrition:
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]the main reason for the development of obesity is having a positive mismatch between energy intake and energy expenditure[/quote]
Yeah. In short, looking over the article, there are many factors for canine and feline obesity, including genetics that are breed specific, neuter and spay, living in an apartment, etc. But it all boils down to the above quote – too much food going in, not enough exercise to burn it off.
More specifically, I wanted to know if obesity in humans could be directly linked to overweight dogs. It turns out, it can. But not to overweight cats. Huh. A factor they neglected to mention for cats is that most cats have food left out all day, where most dogs may not.
Here’s the deal – there’s a huge diet market out there. Y’all know that diet foods and exercise programs are a big deal in America. Take a look at the pet food shelves next time you’re buying dog food. Check out how many brands offer food for overweight dogs. Ask yourself if the dogs really need that food, or if they just need to stop eating people food and start exercising more.
Kinda like many Americans.
Much like me and my family.
And treats? If you feel the need to spoil your pooch with something yummy, give them a Jones Natural Chew instead of your leftover spaghetti. Really.
Speaking of people food and being overweight, I’ve been given a sweet cupcake award! Fortunately, it’s not real cupcakes. Um, I’m a pushover when it comes to specialty boutique cupcakes. My huge thanks to Mollie and Alfie, as well as to Clowie, for this scrumptious award!
I have to answer five questions:
1. Cookies or Cake?
Ice cream. What? That’s a legitimate answer. It is! Ice cream.
2. Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate! Wait! No! Coffee! Mocha!
3. What is your favourite sweet treat?
Ben n Jerry’s Chocolate Heath Bar Crunch ice cream. See? Obesity is the result of very bad habits. I used to say I wanted a tee shirt made which read, “Body by Ben n Jerry’s”. True story.
4. When do you crave sweet things the most?
When I’m stressed. When I’m hormonal.
5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?
Sugar Flea. Seriously. How southern is that?
Now I have to give the award away. I believe it’s a dozen, to match the cupcakes. Y’all, I’m not much of an awards person. I’ll give these away to five of you if you all promise not to give me awards I have to pass on. Pretty please? With sugar on top?
And our winners are:
Phew! Are we done? Because I need to get out of the house and find a cupcake. Kid! I kid! Kind of.
Until I write again …
P.S. I almost forgot the Petey photo!