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Pill For Paunchy Pooches

Fatdog

Humans are always looking for the easy way to lose weight. Diet and exercise are just too much work! As someone who could stand to lose a few pounds and tone up herself, I'll admit I'd be tempted by a magic pill that would allow me to eat ice cream and watch TV instead of jogging and crunching carrots. But that would be my choice. Would it be appropriate to give my dog a drug to help him lose weight when I was the cause of him being fat in the first place?

The makers of Slentrol think it is! According to the ASPCA, not so much. You can also read more behind-the-scenes info from a scientific perspective on Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog. Thankfully, my five dogs are in excellent shape due to well, a good diet and plenty of exercise, so this is a nonissue for me. But I do see a lot of overweight dogs in the neighborhood, at the dog park and even at agility trials. Would the benefit of using this drug outweigh (no pun intended) its potential risks? Would it solve the problem over the long term?

Julia Kamysz Lane

May 17, 2008 in Current Affairs, Dogs and science, Health, Legislation, Science | Permalink

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Comments

Re: "To Meat or Not to Meat" referring to cultures that eat dog meat...having lived in Asia for nearly a decade, I came to understand that the practice of eating dog can be explained in part by poverty in certain areas and can also say that as the economy improved, the practice of keeping dogs for pets rather than food became more the norm.

I am not a vegetarian though I have often wondered about my own eating habits with regard to meat of any kind. However, as a member and supporter of the Humane Society of the United States (www.hsus.org), I have learned that there are humane and healthy ways to raise animals for consumption. This is similar to the work that you mention by Temple Grandin as well. So, I work to at least improve conditions for those animals who support our human drive to eat meat.

Posted by: Cynthia Carver | Jun 4, 2008 11:52:50 AM

Interesting information, This is well written and I will return. Keep up the good work! I enjoyed reading this.

Posted by: ed martin | May 22, 2008 5:54:22 PM

Once again people get to take the easy fix and not have to put and effort in keeping their pet healthy.

Constantly giving your pet food and treats does not equate to being a caring pet owner.

Ya don't want your kid to struggle with being fat, why would you do this to your pet.

Posted by: Taryn Evans | May 22, 2008 1:17:24 PM

Call me traditional, but I'm still a firm believer in proper diet and exercise. I just posted today about great ways to exercise during the summer. What are your favorite ways to keep your five dogs in shape?

Posted by: Rei | May 22, 2008 1:04:08 PM

No, the benefit does not outweigh the risks. It is very easy to keep a dog's weight under control. It requires a measuring cup, a leash, and some good shoes. If you reduce the calories, the weight will come off. It must.

I walk dogs for a living, and I choose not to work with fat dogs if the client will not commit (and re-commit each week) to a strict regimen. If they do not have enough control, then I ban them from feeding the dog ANYTHING. I take complete control. I come in the morning to feed, mid-day for walk, and evening for feeding. I take the dog each Friday to be weighed. Also, each Friday, I ask the client to sign a statement confirming that they have not fed the dog a single item. The weight does come off. Again, it must.

Posted by: Rick Roberts | May 17, 2008 7:25:08 PM

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