Fat is Not Cute on a House Dog
This Tricolor Beagle is obese! Maddie came to have her nails trimmed. She is such a relaxed, peaceful Beagle when faced with stress, like having her nails trimmed, that she naturally laid down and rolled unto her side. She did not resist in any way!
She looked so profoundly obese in this position, Doc Truli just had to snap some photos in order to share with the world what notto let your beagle look like!
Maddie is a young, active dog. She enjoys life. She is friendly. She goes for long walks every day. Can you see the size of her bulging belly? She even has rolls of bulging fat starting to pooch out of her belly region. Her legs cannot relax and touch the ground when she is laid flat on her side. She resembles a day-old dead bloated WoodChuck on the gravel side of a busy road. She is obese.
Maddie’s parents said, “We haven’t been able to walk her as much because of the hot weather.” Doc Truli will now explore the common excuses and then let you know why Maddie’s fat was piling on, for real!
How Does a Small House Dog Get Fat?
I can tell you what most people say. Many people are in denial, “Ha! Ha! Yeah, I know. But it’s not that bad.” or “You should see my other dog!” (OMG, says the veterinarian.)
These same people will be upset and helpless when their pet needs expensive knee surgery, emergency disc surgery on their back, or needs expensive daily heart medications from heart failure. They will bargain and try to make deals with the universe,”What else can we do that doesn’t cost so much?”
Doc Truli cannot professionally say the truth, “Go back in time and start a weight-loss program for your dog.” So counseling about how, since the dog is already in pain and debilitated, it’s harder to exercise or change the diet, it really becomes a difficult-to-resolve situation very quickly.
Many, many people just do not take responsibility for their own, pets, children, themselves, or what goes on in their household. The pet will be obese, they will be obese. Thy know it. They act helpless. They blame grandma for feeding the dog. Their children and sweating and out of breath and obese at 8 years old. These people talk as if they are helpless. As if everyone else in the house is out-of-control and as if no one has the force of will or strength to establish and maintain some ground rules.
For these people, your Truli breaks out the demonstration pictures.
“Did you know a 1 ounce little square cube of Cheddar Cheese for a 20 pound dog is like a 150 pound person eating 2 1/2 cheeseburgers with the works?”
That usually jars some people into realizing just how indulgent they have become. There’s really no sense in putting anything into your body or your dog’s body that isn’t needed. No canine needs an unlimited supply of cheese, or pretzels, or ice cream nightly, or whatever other food ritual makes you feel bonded with your obese, suffering pet.
Many people feel helpless to really change anything. These people seem to feel the world will do whatever it is the world will do with or without them. They feel overwhelming guilt about the dog’s obesity (or their own). They feel undeserving. They feel stuck and helpless. They usually have no idea where to begin.
These people benefit from their veterinarian calculating the day’s calories for the dog. Estimating and counting calories in the food and treats the dog eats and discovering where the bulk of the extra calories are coming from. Is the food bowl just overfull? Is there a very high-calorie treat no one realized was so fattening? The veterinarian should also provide a realistic guide to how much weekly weight loss is healthy for the pet. This is scientific and experiential information every veterinarian basically knows and must share for the benefit of the patients.
Fact: Maddie weighed 35 pounds. (17 kg)
Veterinary Advice: Ideal weight about 20 pounds (9 kg)
Fact: Maddie ate 1.5 level 8 ounce measuring cups of kibble twice a day
Fact: Her kibble was all-natural brand which contained 455 kilocalories per cup (call the 1-800 # on the packaging and ask kilocalories per cup). Her family switched to an organic, holistic brand to help her be healthier.
Most people do not realize nutrient dense “health foods” for dogs may have about 350-550 kilocalories per cup compared to commercial brands containing 250-350 kilocalories per cup. Call the pet food company to check the kilocalories per cup (make sure it’s a standard 8-ounce measuring cup); anything else written on the bag is marketing, including the feeding guideline chart.
Veterinary Advice: Maddie’s daily caloric intake for weight loss should be 350 kilocalories (approximate and individual given activity levels, ideal weight estimate, Breed, etc)
Fact: 910-350 leaves 560 extra calories every day!
Conclusion: Even in a strict family, with no dog treats or people food, Maddie was eating triple her daily caloric needs. Less food, or a brand or variety with less kilocalories per cup will help her loose weight, even if you change nothing else!
VirtuaVet’s Dog Weight Loss Series:
Top Ten Excuses for a Fat Dog, (Fat Boston Terrier), including tricks pet food companies use to make you think foods are for dieting, when they may not be.
Obese English Bulldog, including how to tell if your dog is fat, and side effects of obesity
Obese Dachshund, including why calorie control adds 2-4 years to your dog’s lifespan and how pet food marketing twists the research to give you the wrong impression
Fat Back Chihuahua, with pictures comparing fat and normal to shock you into enlightenment!