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Is That A Dog Or A Coffee Table?

A few weeks ago, I visited a home as part of the adoption process for our rescue group. This couple was anxious to find a friend for their mixed-breed dog. They told me over the phone that their pup was spoiled rotten. Even so, I was not prepared for the coffee table with a wagging tail that waddled over to greet me. The poor dog was so overweight that he was practically as wide as he was tall. He was only four years old, but he walked and breathed with difficulty, as if he was much older and in poor health.

It reminded me of a recent visit to the dog park. I had joined a large group of people walking around the grassy path. Most of the dogs were running ahead to chase one another and play. But one overweight dog labored to keep up with us. I wondered aloud if she was okay. Her owner assured me that she was "just old" at eight years of age and had joint problems. I was shocked and felt really sorry for the dog. I then asked the owner to guess the age of my Catahoula, who was romping in the field with the "young" dogs. She guessed five years old. I bragged, "He's 10 years old. He competes in agility and does recreational sheep herding." Maybe he just has good genes, but I think the fact that he is in great shape has added quality years to his life.

Canine obesity is literally a growing trend. Take control of your own dog's health by checking out Stop Canine Obesity. Simply fill out the BARC (Body Assessment Rating for Canines) to determine whether your dog could stand to lose a few pounds. You can also learn more about the National Canine Weight Check, offered next month through participating veterinarians.

Julia Kamysz Lane

January 25, 2008 in Current Affairs, Food, Health, Recreation | Permalink


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People who overfeed their dogs or cats are not doing their pets a service, they are shortening their lifespan and causing cancer and diabetes in their pets.
Exercise your dog. Take him for a walk!

Posted by: Teri | Feb 4, 2008 11:18:29 PM

A family member who sometimes watches my dogs for me when I'm away (and who is otherwise excellent) drives me nuts this way - showing their love for my dogs by indulging them in their every whim for food - which is constant when they know they're going to get it. I keep explaining that I prefer to show them love by making sure they live long, healthy lives, but for some people it just doesn't seem to sink in. Oddly enough, this person is fanatical about their own weight.

Posted by: John | Jan 26, 2008 11:32:58 AM

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