Is Obeseity Abuse?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by sillysally, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds, and 1 horse
    Location:
    A hole in the bottom of the sea.
    Morbidly obese dogs have always been a pet peeve of mine. I'm not talking about the dogs that are fat because of a health issue that they are dealing with, but dogs that have no other cause for their obesity other than their "lifestyle."

    I have heard people say that it is abusive to allow a dog to get this heavy, but do you think that it is actually abuse? Should laws be made against it? If so, how would you define "obese" in a dog--at what *point* is it abuse?
     
  2. Artfish

    Artfish Drivey and Intense

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Abusive/neglectful, yes if it clearly affects the quality of life in a dog. Should it be part of an enforceable law? NO. To me, that would be a slippery slope and I can see AR latching onto that. Better to stop having clearly overweight/chunky dogs in dog shows and on TV, have vets educate owners more on what qualifies a FIT weight, and training classes should emphasize and encourage weight loss/proper weight maintenance.

    There are many things we can do through education- we really need to stop having the government getting involved in our pet ownership rights and responsibilities. Some laws are good and necessary, but I guarantee we do not want much more government involvement.
     
  3. babymomma

    babymomma Remembering Casey ♥

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    2,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1 Dog
    Location:
    NFLD ,Canada
    I do think it is abuse.. Just like he 2-3 year old kids you see on Maury that are 100+ lbs.. it is Neglect plain and simple.

    Does he look happy to you?
    He is DYING.. literally. Dying at 6 years old because of his owners NEGLECT. He doesnt wag his tail, he doesnt get excited, he doesnt bark he doesnt do ANYTHING.. Because he really cant.. He cant walk down over a little hill that seperates his owners house from my aunts house. He slides down on his bum. And to get back, sometimes he CANT. He sits at the bottom of this hill and whines till somebodie bring him home in their vehicle.

    It is abuse.. Just like chaining a dog up to live its days alone. He is alone, he is just.. There...can't run, play have any fun.. He cant even walk witrhout being in pain.. And he doesnt have any health problems to make him this way. He is this way because of his owners neglegence. Just lets him eat whatever, whenever.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,999
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7 (3 rabbits, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a duck!)
    Location:
    kentucky
    i think they should be turned in for neglect. I groom a poodle THAT CAN NOT STAND because of its weight. It breaths very very heavy too. I am scared it will die on the grooming table it is so fat.

    the owner picked up the dog and announced "aww baby girl! lets go! I got some mcdonalds french fries for you in the car!"
    I wanted to get sick I was so mad.
     
  5. Artfish

    Artfish Drivey and Intense

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Babymomma, that lab is fat but sadly I have seen MUCH fatter. Are they certain that this dog has no arthritis/dysplasia? Has he been xrayed for joint and back problems? I would have guessed him to be 12 but 6??? That's crazy..

    In the family there is a beagle that stands about 17-18" at the shoulder but weighs 55-60 lbs!! My 20-22" shep mix weighs 45 lbs and is solid muscle... craziness! The other day, something that made me really happy, I saw a basset hound that actually had a properly toned hourglass shape. This is always a treat to see. :)
     
  6. babymomma

    babymomma Remembering Casey ♥

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    2,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1 Dog
    Location:
    NFLD ,Canada
    He does Have joint problems and back problems.. I should've been clearer..LOL.. He doesnt Have a Condition to make him fat.. But he does have health issues because he is so fat.
     
  7. PoodleMommy

    PoodleMommy Yorkie Love

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hmmm... I dont really know where I stand on this.

    I make an effort to keep my dogs in really good shape and assuming no health issues it really isnt difficult at all to keep them in a very healthy weight. So when I see an overweight dog, I cringe.

    However, growing up we had a dog who I realize now looking back was overweight, not morbidly obese but not a healthy weight at all. However, she was far from neglected... she basically went everywhere with us and was never crated or just sitting home. She was free fed and obviously should not have been. However, she lived a very pampered life. So I cant really say she was abused.

    I think a lot of times overweight dogs are just an indication of inexperienced owners and may live very good lives beyond that... if they are taken away from their owners they may likely end up PTS anyway, so we arent really winning there.
     
  8. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs at home, 2 dogs with the parents 6 peacock
    Location:
    Connecticut
    absolutly...

    i dont think its on the same level as beating, or leaving your dog out in the freezing cold on a chain with no shelter...

    BUT a dog doesnt get say in what they are eating...and some WILL eat to excess...
    (even mine who are free fed will still over eat if theres good treats around)
    its up to the person to control what the dog eats, how much excersize ect...

    if its a medical reason fine...

    i also think those over feeding their pets should be checked for mental issues...
    too many times ive heard "i just keep giving him food because hes always hungry" or "hes always begging for treats" or "he eats so fast he must be hungry so i give him more"
     
  9. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.
    I think it is abuse.

    However, I think it is more important to try and change people's attitudes then to change the law.

    So so so often, I hear people talk about fat dogs like it is something really cute. Or they use the excuse that "I just love him too much I guess!" and turn it into a joke. People just don't take it seriously, and it is both frustrating and sad.

    I think if more things were done to improve people's education on obesity, that may help the problem. Vets should be more insistent and make it clearer to people that being overweight has a very negative impact on an animal and is a big deal. Also, for people in general, DON'T LAUGH. Don't say it's cute, don't give people reasons to think it is ok or acceptable for their dog to be overweight.

    I would love if someone made a short commercial about it or something, I think that would do wonders.

    Anyway, that's my 0.02 cents on the matter.

    Edited to add: If the dog has a medical condition that causes it to be obese, that is a different story. Also, some dogs will lean towards being overweight. Tucker is a perfect example. I have to watch his waistline very carefully because he puts on weight like there is no tomorrow. In my post, I was more talking about morbidly obese dogs.
     
  10. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    64,812
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, I do worry about the dogs , but really worry about humans and their kids more . There's a big difference between a 10# over weight dog ( large breed ) and a 100# overweight human . A dog can't change their food only their caregivers can . Ollie's lost 3# and I'm thrilled to death ! Maybe if vets charged more for over weight breeds it will sink in !
     
  11. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I think it is abusive and often laziness. When people enroll over weight dogs in my classes, I make every effort to provide them with hand outs and information. But it is a fine line, most are not receptive. For agility, I am up front and frank, their dogs will only be able to perform to a certain level and we keep the jumps and A frame low. However, if you are too pushy with them, they quit. So I would rather, have the dog getting some exercise although modified than nothing.
     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    22,034
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    western Wa
    I have mixed feelings about there being a law. On the one hand, I agree with the dangers of having the government in every aspect of our lives. They already are way too intrusive. I wonder if more education would help. That would certainly be the best way to go in theory....if those who do this to their dogs are the type to be receptive to education. On the other hand, there are laws about starving dogs and leaving them chained out in freezing cold weather. Here is the other extreme...not starving, but we all know how dangerous morbid obesity is. I've seen dogs fatter than that Lab pictured too, as if he isn't bad enough. It's just pitiful and breaks my heart. I think it's as bad as starving a dog. Either way, he's miserable. My dogs have occasionally been a wee bit on the chubby side. As soon as I notice that they're getting that way though, I immediately cut them back and/or raise their exercise level.
     
  13. Artfish

    Artfish Drivey and Intense

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Not that I'm a fan, but just think of the good Cesar Millan could do if in every few shows, he went over fit dogs versus overweight dogs and gave some health pointers as well as displaying live examples of too skinny, just right, a little chunky, and "no, that's not Shamu after Rogaine." Victoria Stillwell has had shows that involved assisting owners' dogs with losing weight, always a plus! If the Westminster Kennel Club and AKC Eukanuba folks took some time out to educate on healthy pet weights, that would be another bonus. We need to spoonfeed the John Q Public owners POSITIVE weight loss and maintenance solutions. Admonishing them and beating it into them just doesn't work.

    It also doesn't help that in today's society, there are more people and children overweight than not.... if an adult chooses to be overweight, that's fine and dandy, they are able to make the decisions to gain or lose and deal with the consequences but children and pets cannot. But until the mindsets change and less kids eat at McD's and get their exercise in front of the Wii, I doubt Rover and Fido will stop being rewarded with food at every whine and start getting miles of walks. Pet obesity is not the problem, it's a symptom of a larger issue in society.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, please keep the government out of my life! I'm having it up to here with BSL and mandatory S/N.
     
  14. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    55,144
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    even 1o pounds increases a dog's chance of developing cancer.

    It displaces organs.

    IT robs a dog of mobility.

    IT does cause later joint issues.

    In My Most honest Opinion ever, yes it is abusive.

    THis is if all health reasons have been ruled out and it is purely an over fed, lack of exercise issue.
     
  15. BabyDane

    BabyDane New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5; 4 dogs and 1 kitten
    Location:
    Denver
    I cannot tell you how many dogs that come into work that are overweight, but its probably close to 75% and morbidly obese, maybe 10%. I always stress with their owners about how much and what they are feeding.

    They always insist that their dogs don't eat that much kibble. But then I have to come back and say "What about treats?" That's where they are like "Um...not that many" which to me means more than they should be giving...obviously.

    When I ask what they use to scoop or measure their dogs food, they always say "Just a scoop, not that big..." but in reality its probably a LOT more than they think. I don't know how many 1 cup measuring cups I hand out each day...probably at least 5 LOL.

    Some people get really really angry when I ask how much they feed their dogs or say that their animals should really lose weight. They most always come back at me with "That's the way god made them..." or "He/She is at a really good weight!"

    I try and do my best at getting through to people and some people heed that advice, but most of the time not. I think that the people who overfeed their animals, do it more so for themselves than for the dog. It makes them feel good to give their dog a treat, or special food. I don't know if that is true, but I see the delight on their faces when they give a treat after their appointment.

    I do think that its abuse. I do think its neglect. I don't think that the law should be a part of it. I agree that education should be the main way that people learn what is best. Because if the law were in place that doesn't mean that people will learn what is best, which in the long run is the best thing to do.
     
  16. vanillasugar

    vanillasugar just call me Nilly

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Messages:
    6,829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Yes.

    I have similar experiences to babydane. People come into the shop where I work with their grossly obese dogs and act like there isn't anything wrong when you try to talk to them about it. Or with shifty eyes they say "Oh, she's on a diet". Ya, uh huh, sure there buddy.

    I'm constantly coaching people on how to properly and safely take weight off their dog, but most of the people don't actually listen once they're at home.

    And to think, I freaked out when Sierra got a bit "fluffy" when I fed her kibble for a while. I couldn't wait to get her back on raw and tone her up again.
     
  17. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,953
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    OH
    I have to agree with this. I've seen grossly overweight pets, and it does affect their health, its so sad! Especially with the rescues. Even Tara - she was malnourished, but overweight. Which sounds crazy, but now that she is looking so much better its so obvious, and I don't know how people can do that to animals!!

    I'm with you, though - in my childhood we had a dog who was very overweight, and it effected her health, but I didn't know better until it was too late :( That is something that I regret everyday... but that doesn't change anything now. And when people make comments about current dogs weight and it freaks me out and I have to remind myself to calm down :eek:

    I think education would be MUCH more effective than laws, punishment, etc

    Whats scary, is a while ago I was trying to help a friend with her obese dog. Her vet said that the dog was at a good weight :mad: And I hear from others similar stories all the time :(
     
  18. Artfish

    Artfish Drivey and Intense

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    :rofl1:

    [​IMG]
    God/Nature made what is seen above.

    [​IMG]
    Man can take full 100% credit for that poor creature...........
     
  19. PoodleMommy

    PoodleMommy Yorkie Love

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    oh yeah... the dog I had growing up was at the vet many many times every year and no vet EVER mentioned her weight... thats why I think we didnt think about it at the time... I actually had a vet tell me to start free feeding Chloe so she would put on weight... she is at a very good weight... I think even most vets dont know what a dog should look like :rolleyes:
     
  20. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,953
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    OH
    Same here... until she older (I want to say 10ish?) and the new vet wanted us to stop free feeding and put her on an exercise plan. (she passed away around 11 or 12 I believe). Tested thyriods, etc.

    And the dogs with longer, or thick hair, I hear they're too "fat" all the time. Until you wet them down :p
     

Share This Page