Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obesity Epidemic

I took my dog, Scout, our beloved half German German Shepherd, half Rotweiler, half Who Knows mutt, to the veterinarian today. During the night, while his family was dreaming, he managed to chew his tail into a red, bloody stump. And, it was really, really stinky. So, I forfeited a run with the girls to rush my little buddy to the vet, whose doors should be covered in dollar signs, for emergency intervention. One of the truest things I know is that you cannot leave the vet's office without forking over at least a hundred bucks.

The corpulent doggie nurse checked us in, checked him for fleas, weighed him and generally talked my ears off. Both of them. There was not a pause in her speech, no space for me to respond or even nod. Standing there mute, I began counting the minutes until the real vet joined us for the examination. I struggled to find my voice as she started asking questions, expecting a response.

Doggie Nurse: "So, what are you feeding him?"

Me: "Dog food. From Costco."

Doggie Nurse : "He's getting too chubby. You need to put him on a diet. Few people are aware of the obesity epidemic in dogs."

Me: " Really? This dog runs 20-25 miles a week with my husband and I. Are you sure?"

Doggie Nurse: "Oh, I'm sure. Look at how he waddles. He needs to loose at least 6 pounds."

She launched into a fifteen minute educational lecture on reading every ingredient in the dog food I purchase. This time I started to lose my hearing. I think the sudden deafness was a primal defense mechanism that my subconscious produced to protect me.

The vet finally came in, prescribed a whole slew of medicines to restore the tail to it's former glory, and I left after parting sorely with my $184.00.

As I drove home, I thought, "I have a fat dog."

It dawned on me that only in America are dogs obese. The crumbs from our table are enough to fatten up even the animals in our midst. I couldn't help remembering the children of Cato Manor township in South Africa that eat less than my dog every day.

It's been a rough day of trying to process what I can do to immediately change that.



  1. just to let you know ... vets like dogs VERY lean.

    one time my vet told me cooper was a bit overweight.

    i just looked at her and said, "aren't we all?"

    hang in there. if you think he's fine, i'm sure he's fine.

    but i'm cringing when i say ... brace for it ... i agree with her on the costco dog food.

    but then again, the food i buy for cooper is really expensive.

    I just think, 'what would i feed myself.'

    but then again, i think of cooper as my son, so that's sick too!

    love you xoxoxoxo

    p.s. don't take my advice ... i need dog-counseling :)

  2. I know isn't it sad? (On pretty much all points made in your post)

    But the thing is they put all the same fillers in dog food that they put in our food. So all the refined, cheap corn and processed crap that makes us fat, is also what they put in most dog foods and it makes them fat as well...

    We learned well with our last dog, he had a sensitive digestive system and we had so many problems with him later in life, that we've decided to put Molly on good food from the start.

    But you go into a pet store these days and there are so many things you can buy for your dog. It's extravagant and totally unnecessary. *sigh* The joys of living in pet PC Seattle... ;)

    Hang in there Jodie!

  3. If you are using the lamb and rice dog food from Costco that is actually rated very good. I Feed my dogs EVO lite since they both have allergies to grains (wheat) which can also give them itchy skin. I buy it at Deyoungs.

    It sounds like he's getting a good amount of exercise, so I wouldn't change things drastically and mainly cut out table scraps.

    If you want to email me I can let you know how much I feed our dogs.

  4. Ok - seriously, you need to go to our vet! They are amazing...and actually thought THEY owed US!! Now that's a nice little change!

    We did the Costco stuff for the longest time...until we realized that was the cause of her HORRIBLE - room clearing, nose burning, gas (the kind that wakes you from a dead sleep). We switched to a *uber* expensive kind (which worked, wierd) and have been making our way down the price brackets to see how cheap we can go until the gas returns. We shall see, we're still on the hunt.

  5. Eve, we are using the lamb and rice because the shelter we adopted him from recommended it and it's so cheap!

    So, his weight gain must be from the little treats the kids give him under the table when they think I'm not looking. Or the peanut butter I stuff into his Kong...


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