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This is a little bit of a rant.
Recently I posted a thread asking about whether my dog was too skinny, I was assured that he wasn't and I was being told that by people who were used to seeing fat dogs.
Since then I've been really looking at dogs weight and am appalled at how many are overweight, I live in Shropshire in the UK and at least75% of dogs I see seem to be at least slightly overweight and about 40% are just downright fat. I just can't understand how people can't notice there dog is becoming overweight. Do their vets not tell them, or do they just ignore them.
There seems to be some breeds that are much more susceptible than others. I know some breeds gain weight more easily than others but I saw the skinniest Labrador Retriever today that I'd seen for a while, and i would still have to class it as slightly overweight. An the poor hounds I see walking around, most with their bellies dragging the floor. I mean people must buy these puppies not doing any research and then not give them the exercise they need.

I was just wondering what other peoples experiences are in different parts of the world with this. Is this a problem in your area? I just feel that most people don't even realise what there dog should look like anymore.
 

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It's a problem around here, although see healthier dogs at the large dog park. But there are many, many fat and overweight dogs in the Tacoma area of Washington state. It always makes me sad
 

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TruthAboutPetFood did an article on this the other day, apparently Bainfield (the largest owner of pet hospitals in the USA) has seen a 90% increase in the number of overweight cats, and a 37% increase in overweight dogs.

The article makes some good points as to what might be part of the problem. Considering some of the "advice" that I've had people tell me their vets gave them on the feeding of their dogs.....those aren't the only parts of the problem! And thats WITHOUT taking my personal bias about commercial dog foods into account!
 

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My pet peeve is diet or weight loss pet food. I think it's nothing more then a gimmick to make owners feel better. As in "I'm feeding him weight loss food, I don't know why he's still gaining weight."

If the dog or cat is getting enough exercise and is not being overfed then it isn't going to get fat. The owner controls how much food a dog or cat is getting, it's not like the pet sneaks into the kitchen in the middle of the night to eat the other half of the pizza or pan of brownies.

I know more then one fat dog, fat, not slightly overweight, not overweight, the poor things are fat. It breaks my heart to see it. Most of the owners do know that the pet is fat but they flat out refuse to acknowledge how bad it is for the animals health.
 
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Not to long ago I was at my vet's (weighing in Apollo) when a lady came in with what I THINK was a large American Eskimo, who was outright obese. She was saying, as she coaxed him onto the scale, that she thought he'd gained some weight since he was neutered 8 months previous....I don't recall what the number on the scale was, but she was horrified by it, while I stood there thinking "no, thats about the weight he looks....".
 

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Like Rain it is one of my pet peeves..I can not stand to see a dog obese and suffering...I have had some success with some clients. I do what I can when I can to help these dogs out. It is our responsibility to keep them healthy and at a good weight...:)..I have also noticed that some of the heavy clients have heavy dogs..Not much you can say there..
 

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Ditto the doggie diets! Can't stand them.
I get so many comments about how slight Nola is, and not all of them are very polite.
 

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We were just at Petco yesterday and saw this puggle that was twice its ideal size. I felt so bad for him because he couldn't move very fast. People think they are spoiling their dogs by giving them table scraps or over feeding, but you are actually creating more health issues for them down the road. I am very adament about not giving our dog any human food except for raw fruits and veggies. Btw, the owner of the puggle was overweight too....I wonder if there is a correlation, hm.
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The owner controls how much food a dog or cat is getting, it's not like the pet sneaks into the kitchen in the middle of the night to eat the other half of the pizza or pan of brownies.
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I'm guessing you've never had labs.

I see a fair amount of overweight dogs around, but I don't see many obese ones. Part of this is probably that I'm mostly around young dogs, farm dogs, hunting dogs and performance dogs instead of the laze around at home pets. That being said, I was shocked at my first Rally trial at how many dogs were overweight.

Good news is that I didn't have to give the weight-talk to my beginner agility class last night - the only two overweight dogs were the show ones and I know that's a losing battle.

I know a lot of the vets around here don't bother telling people that their dog is overweight because they lose clients that way. My vets tell people thankfully, but I'm not certain how much they follow through - my mother got told off last appointment for having her dogs slightly overweight (a handful of oz) but we are on good terms with the vets and asked them to point it out.

As for the "Geez, don't you feed your dogs" comments that I get a lot, I started doing what my friend did last flyball tournament and reply with a "Yes. The difference is that I don't overfeed my pets" suually said with the same level of snarkiness.

One more thing, human food isn't the automatic chunk your dog up that it's being protrayed as here. The problem is feeding human food without subtracting the calories from the dogs regular meal (and all things in moderation of course).
 

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One more thing, human food isn't the automatic chunk your dog up that it's being protrayed as here. The problem is feeding human food without subtracting the calories from the dogs regular meal (and all things in moderation of course).
My dogs get fed nothing but "human food" with the addition of some animal parts that aren't always sold for human consumption, and they are slim and trim. The vet comments on how good they look every time they're in. Done carefully, theres no reason you can't treat with human food as long as you watch the animal's total intake like Failedslacker said.

I have to admit I don't know how my vet handles overweight pets. My younger cat is definetly on the chunky side, but I KNOW that, and said so the first time she went in there, its a side effect of how I have to feed my older cat who has health issues. I put alot of effort into making sure the youger cat gets exercise and we go from there in trying to keep her from getting fatter.
 

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I should have clarified.

Some pets do gain weight due to medical problems, and through no fault of their owners.

Some dogs are smart enough to learn to open the fridge or kitchen cabinets and feed themselves. I've been lucky enough to not have had counter surfers and dogs the get into the pantry, fridge and cabinets but I have heard the horror stories.

It's not a raw or home cooked diet, calculated to give the dog the nutrition and calories that it needs, that I meant by people food, but owners who feed their pets calorie packed human junk food or processed foods.
 

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I wasn't talking about raw or homemade dog diets either. If the food calories are calculated in and nothing is done to excess, it's not an evil fattener.
 

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Exactly. Not to long ago someone posted down in the food topic that they fed their dog a hardboiled egg daily, and that they reduced the kibble amount to count for the calories. Of course someone had to post "OMG, YOU'RE MAKING YOUR DOG FAT!!!".

But it won't. The original poster was REDUCING the kibble intake to make up for the difference. Thats how to do it properly.

And on the same token, you can feed your animal nothing but kibble and 'dog appropriate' treats, and STILL GET A FAT DOG, because you're over feeding and under exercising (not to mention that some of THAT is over processed junk too). You might even be feeding according to the guidlines on the bag, but you can still be over feeding!
 

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I'm not saying it's evil, bad, or that no one shouldn't give their dogs pieces of whatever food they are eatting. I really can't since I'd be the worlds biggest hypocrite since I'll sometimes give Shadow a bite of whatever I'm eating.

The problem is that most people don't just give them a bite, or even a couple of bites. They'll give the dog a couple of cookies, a handful of chips, a bowl of cereal, a bunch of french fries, or a hot dog or two, in addition to the usual amount of dog food they normally feed. Those are the people who have dogs that are obese.

Like you said the problem is the amount that is being fed to the dogs.
 

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We were just at Petco yesterday and saw this puggle that was twice its ideal size. I felt so bad for him because he couldn't move very fast. People think they are spoiling their dogs by giving them table scraps or over feeding, but you are actually creating more health issues for them down the road. I am very adament about not giving our dog any human food except for raw fruits and veggies. Btw, the owner of the puggle was overweight too....I wonder if there is a correlation, hm.
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my neighbor has one of those that is over 60 lbs. His tail is so fat it looks like a baby's arm is sticking out of his butt. Yet they try to tell me how to teach my dog how to walk on a leash...my puppy needing to learn to walk on a leash isn't anything near as bad as a double size dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ditto the doggie diets! Can't stand them.
I get so many comments about how slight Nola is, and not all of them are very polite.
Yeah, I get the same sort of comments about Blackjack.

I have to agree about their being no harm in feeding little bits of human food as long as you don't overfeed. Blackjack gets a tiny bit of whatever's on my plate most nights as long as it's suitable. It's the people that feed them whole meals, table scraps are the worst. Lets just shove all of everybody's leftovers in his bowl and feed the the normal amount on top of it. No wonder some of these dogs get fat.
There was lady in my town who had her dog taken off her because she was so obese. She'd gotten that fat because the dog didn't get fed dog food. She had the same take out as her owner every night, MC Donalds, fish and chips, curry. The poor dog :/ thank god she was rescued.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Some dogs are smart enough to learn to open the fridge or kitchen cabinets and feed themselves. I've been lucky enough to not have had counter surfers and dogs the get into the pantry, fridge and cabinets but I have heard the horror stories.
Blackjack has learnt how to reach up to the counter and get his chews down luckily he did it in moderation and only when he wanted to chew on something. So we moved them into an easier position for him to get them. Luckily he hasn't found out how to get to any other food because I'm pretty sure he wouldn't eat treats in moderation :L
 

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Discussion Starter #19
haha, you'll have to get a stepladder, or hide them in a cupboard with a lock and key :L x
 
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