Monday, June 28, 2010

News Reel - Killing Our Pets with Kindness

Finally the papers are publishing articles about pet health that's more than just an advertisement from the highest bidder! In the article, Killing our pets with kindness, published in the Toronto Star on Friday, columnist Barbara Turnbull investigates the problem with obesity in our pets. It's true, we are killing them with kindness - and food!

Current estimates suggest that 40-50% of canines in North America are overweight! Obesity is a common problem. Many people relate food to love without even realizing it. Many things will spurn the average pet owner to add a few more calories to their dog's daily ration - guilt, remorse, pity, desire, lonliness, boredom and unfilled needs in the human are many common causes.

Apparently there is a "Woof Watchers" program being run out of Toronto’s Canine Wellness Centre. I looked around the web page and one thing kept popping out in my mind ... money. In order to participate in this "Woof Watchers", you must pay a $45 consult fee, then commit to two swim sessions per week minimum (to the tune of $30). There are other things that they would like you to do, but that's the minimum. Not to mention all the money you're forking out for extra food since you're overfeeding. Then there's the added cost of treats and toys (which they give you "points" towards your purchase for participating in Woof Watchers)!

Good grief. Some people ask me how can I afford four dogs? "They are so expensive." You know, I turn around and look at their overweight dogs and think about the extra food they feed and the cookies they feed. I explaing this to them: I don't use cookies to train (this saves about $100 per month) and I don't over-feed (not sure exactly how much this saves but assume it is 1/4 of my food prices - a savings of at least $25 per month). The dogs don't wear collars daily (only when we go out) so I don't have to replace them. I probably spend the same amount on mine that you do on your one. Usually it sinks in when they start looking at all the costs.

Take a few minutes to check out the article, though. It talks about the health concerns that accompany canine obesity, etc.


GoLightly said...

Yes, these are often the self same people that get all bent out of shape by animals being euthed in shelters, because of ringworm.
Sorry, just had to slide that in there.
And yes, of course, DDF, it is about the horse.
I need LUCK.
Sorry, HORSE really needs some luck.
It seems to be entirely legal in this province to allow a horse to be slowly neglected to it's ultimate state of uselessness, or kinder death.

My old red dog almost died thanks to well-meaning fools who slipped her treats without my knowledge, early in our time together. She was about a 30 pound dog. I finally "caught" one guy, who had been giving her a GIANT I mean HUGE dog Cookie, every single day. I could not figure out why she was getting so big.
That was the one drawback to taking her to work, as my receptionist loved taking her for coffee runs, and wasn't warned by me to not let people feed her.
My mistake, for sure. But jeeeesh. Food does not equal love.
Although old red dog had the pitiful brown eyes down pat.

Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

Indeed. My first Paint horse, Cy, went to visit a friend's farm for December in South Dakota. He pulled out an entire bale of hay and would not share. He came back so frickin fat I felt like I was doing splits riding him. He went on a diet but wasn't losing weight. THEN we found out he, too, used his big brown eyes to get one of the barn managers to give him the extra hay from the aisles he scooped up every night. Ach! He was a great and clever horse who BELIEVED in energy conservation - his.

Dog Mama said...

Dog obesity is truly becoming an epidemic. Not enough exercise and too much food demands its toll.

We have two dogs, we don't over-feed them but they are on a special diet which is costly.

The biggest difference between one or more dogs are vet bills, particularly if they get sick.

OldMorgans said...

I've been behind on all my computer stuff so just seeing this now.
And we have all seen the many pet food and pet treat commercials which equate feeding your pet to letting them know "how much you care".
I barf a little bit every time I see one of those.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

GoLightly ... how is the horse situation going? Did someone from OSPCA at least go over and check on him?

I usually tell people my dogs have allergies so they can't eat things but there have been times when food slides through. My one dog who actually does have allergies LOVES Timbits!

Roberta @ Silverwalk ... Funny how people think they are being helpful when really, they aren't, eh?

Dog Mama ... epidemic is right. Good word for it. I wonder if the obese dogs has anything to do with the current increase of obese kids we have out there?

OldMorgans ... No kidding! That one with the westie comes to mind ...