At the river

Overweight Dogs (and an Award)

Overweight dogs – it’s an epidemic, no? My question is, is it directly related to the size of the owners?

Pretty Patches
Patches is not an overweight dog. She’s just right. Unlike her mother.

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?

At the river
My boy with the dogs, at the river

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!

Our own 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:

  1. Hawk, or Brown Dog
  2. Jet
  3. Stella and her Pugs
  4. Roxy the Traveling Dog
  5. Blueberry


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!


6 thoughts on “Overweight Dogs (and an Award)

  1. Haaaahawwww..You just made work for yourself..You didn’t have to answer 5 questions ( see, you didn’t read it ) You just had to pass it on to 5 ( Alfie made that award because I never got the cupcake one ) Now, I’m honoured to say, I have about 6 of them..:) Oh don’t talk about fat dogs..My neighbor is feeding his to death..Thinking he is being kind. ( He’s really skinny ) Being the big mouth I am, I have told him..lot’s of times. Yes he’s going to cut down the bangers and mash !! That poor dogs insides are so messed up, it’s squitting through the eye of a needle.. Better go now, before I get carried xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie
    Pe-es..It was nice knowing all those things about you :) x
    Mollie and Alfie recently posted..YOUZ GOTTA READ THIZ!!My Profile

  2. Congratulations and also – thank you for passing it on to us!

    Good blog topic – don’t get me started! I feel so sad for pets and kids that are overweight. I think the most disturbing is when someone who runs a rescue or even a vet that have dogs or cats that are overweight. It’s like a doctor that smokes but tells you to quit. Crazy!
    Blueberry’s human recently posted..Wordy WednesdayMy Profile

  3. So sad. I’m glad this Dachshund is on the way to recovery though. I’ve never had a fat dog either but I’ve had a fat cat for the same reason you indicated… dogs have meal times, cat’s bowl stayed filled. The Jones Natural Chew as a treat for my dogs instead of spaghetti is a great idea. We get the shank bone and it lasts forever! When my dogs finally chew off all the skin (or whatever you call it) and hollow out the marrow, I put a little Smucker’s natural peanut butter in the center (Smucker’s natural peanut butter has no sugar or other sweeteners added). My dogs get plenty of exercise with tongue stretches when they chomp on their Jones Natural Chew. :0)

  4. Besides not getting enough exercise, people tend to over-feed their dogs based on what the dog food manufacturer puts in the feeding instructions. The amounts are much too high! You need to feed your pet based on how they look/feel and exercise, not because the bag says 2 cups twice a day. Usually the amount that is sufficient for weight maintenance looks like such a tiny meal, people feel like they are starving their dogs. It’s important to find what works for each individual dog and then always use a measuring cup to keep amounts accurate. I watch my guys’ weight like a hawk!

    Oh, that poor dachshund….
    Taryn recently posted..Another Bale-Out?!My Profile

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