Overweight dogs – it’s an epidemic, no? My question is, is it directly related to the size of the owners? (Today’s post is gently recycled, but entirely relevant)
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 fur babies people food, their food is out all day for grazing, and that they get plenty of outside time, both factors in healthy dogs and healthy weight.
I’m amending this, four years later, to state that our third and fourth dogs are the same and different. Chewy, an Affenpinscher mix with a ton of energy, is trim and handsome. Gadget, whom we think is a Brussels Griffon/Chihuahua mix, is a little chub, complete with neck rolls. Their diets are the same. Gadget sticks to me like glue, while Chewy plays. I’m pretty sure Gadget is also sneaking food from Flash and Patches’ bowls.
Why Are Today’s Dogs Obese?
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:
… the main reason for the development of obesity is having a positive mismatch between energy intake and energy expenditure
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.
Can It Be Linked To Humans?
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 treats and Jones, Jones Natural Chews is giving some lucky dog an amazing all natural, two ingredient meat treat! The Bully N Bacon Twist, given sparingly, won’t make your dog fat. In fact, it’s a great treat for most dogs’ dental health, being a long lasting chew for the right size dog. Click this sentence and you’ll be whisked away to a new window, where you’ll scroll down to the Rafflecopter and click, then follow the instructions. Your dog will thank you. I’m thanking you in advance. Thanks.
Spreading the good chews …
P.S. I almost forgot the Petey photo!