Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Tuesday Talk: Dog Obesity in America
This "Tuesday Talk" thing is new, but I am going to try to bark with you every Tuesday about interesting and intriguing topics among the dog community. I wanted to start with an important topic today: EXERCISE. As the United States is growing more and more overweight, so are American dogs. This topic first popped out at me when I visited the veterinary clinic last month. I saw an article published in Bark magazine about dogs becoming more and more obese. Due to the growing number of dogs that are becoming obese, the average life expectancy for a dog is decreasing.
It is always sad when our humans deal with weight issues. Sometimes it's by choice and,sometimes obesity occurs due to factors that our humans cannot control. It is VERY SAD when our humans make a choice for US (the dogs) to become obese. My mom had a friend once who had to have a dog. My mom explained to her that there are a lot of responsibilities that go along with owning a fuzzy friend, but my mom's friend insisted that she knew all of the responsibilities because she had grown up with two dogs. Mom was so happy for her when she brought home her new puppy. Mom was happy for a whole TWO DAYS. I watched in dog-horror as the puppy was let to run free about the house to chew live electrical cords and carve holes into the walls. My mommy never would have done that to me! But being the nice person my mom was, she thought her friend was letting the puppy run about in IGNORANCE. So mom bought sour apple spray to spray on all of the electrical cords so that puppy didn't get a shock big enough to send him to the moon. Mom soon realized, though, that her friend wasn't letting the puppy run around in ignorance, but rather in laziness.
That dog grew up to be a spooky mess. He is scared of children, cars, even going to the bathroom in the dark at night. He has never been exposed to anything, but his own house. He is two years old and still soils the house. He is overweight, yet low on nutrients because his food supply for a month is the cheapest it can get. His mom never takes him ANYWHERE.
Mom is still sad about her friend. She finds it so unbelievable that a person would get a dog to neglect it. Dog obesity can be a form of neglect. In order for a dog to not gain weight, it needs thirty minutes of stimulating exercise per day. This means thirty minutes of sprints! If you want your puparoo to get exercise without sprinting, then you need to take them on an hour long walk. Simply putting your puppy into the yard isn't necessarily exercise. Most dogs become very relaxed in their own space. Most dogs just lay down and SUN BATHE in their yard. Hey...I would too!
Being an active and responsible owner is so important. I know all of my blog furiends are always going above and beyond for their dogs. I mean...hello...they have dog blogs. But, in all seriousness, the neglect of exercising your dog is worse than humans neglecting themselves. Why?! Dogs don't have a choice about being active or not. They follow their leaders. I know my mom doesn't always feel like going on an hour walk, but she does it because she knows that she has a responsibility to take care of me, and that means taking care of my health. Blogger furiends...help me spread the word about keeping healthy pets and dog obesity in America! Make sure and leave me some "Tuesday Talk" bark-outs about your thoughts on this post!
Hike with ya soon,