I was visiting my bother and his wife (or should I say my sister in-law) the other day. Her parents were there as well, and her dad had brought his dog, Buster, along with him. My sister in-law was telling me how they had bred their patterdale/jack russell and she was now pregnant. (I will have to go and take puppy pictures when they are born.) We were both standing there looking out the window at Buster, who was standing out on the porch.
“Are you sure Buster’s not the one who’s pregnant?” I asked.
“I keep telling my dad, you’ve got to stop feeding him so much, you’re killing him,” she said.
Indeed, Buster bore great resemblance to a potbellied pig, and the slightest exertion caused him to wheeze.
Now, I know that many people love to give their dogs extra food and treats. And I can understand the enjoyment they get from watching their dogs enjoying the food. But come on… allowing the dog to become obese to the point where they can hardly even walk, that is not kindness. Our dogs don’t have the capacity to make good decisions when it comes to food. (If they did, they wouldn’t attempt to eat avocado pits, *cough cough Brèagha.*) Your dog doesn’t have to be a world class athlete, but pets can be fit. Just because you’re not competing in dog sports doesn’t mean it’s okay for your dog to be overweight.
Even more common is that many people don’t know what a fit dog looks like. They don’t actually realize their dogs are overweight. So let me show you some helpful things.
This video is long but includes some good discussion about how to get a dog into shape.