Dear Porky and Buddy,
I just got back from the vet’s office where I took my dog Betsy and my cat Boomer for their annual check up and boy am I mad!
She got all grouchy with me and told me they are FAT. Well she used the word obese, like that would be more polite somehow.
They are both big-boned. Betsy is a lab mix and Boomer is just tall and hefty, but I don’t over feed them.
I just go by the recommendation on their dog and cat food packages and they only get a few treats per day.
She wants me to cut that down by a quarter and cut out all treats.
They’ll starve. What do you think?
We think that honesty in a vet is terribly under appreciated, especially by you. It is estimated that 40 to 50% of dogs and cats in the United States are obese. Why do you suppose that is?
Because you animal lovers are all nuts, that’s why.
If you are not buying your pets fancy “clothes” and “furniture” and “toys,” you are buying them gourmet treats that they don’t need and that continue to pack on the pounds.
Then you try to justify it by calling your pets “big-boned” or by relying on the dubious information on the back of a pet food package when you can can see your pets morphing into blobs before your very eyes.
OK, this issue makes us a little grouchy, too.
We think we know why you do it.
Many people barely have enough time for themselves, let alone their pets. With little time to show your pets how much you love them, you try to make up for it by spoiling them with treats.
For others, it may not be a matter of time but of love. For many pet owners, their pets are their “kids.” They want to pamper their pets with special treats – tons of them – literally.
This is not an aesthetic issue, it’s about their health. Excess weight can lead to an increased risk for diseases like diabetes; it can complicate problems like arthritis; and it is linked to certain types of cancer.
No wonder your vet is grouchy.
If you really want to spoil Betsy and Boomer, there are things you can do that are way better than too much rich food and a whole lot more fun.
First and foremost, just get moving with them. Increasing play time with both Betsy and Boomer can greatly increase calories burned in a day.
What they really want is your attention anyway. So go for lots of walks, throw little fake mice all over the house, get down on the floor and roll around with them. You will all feel better.
Switch to healthier treats. Fresh baby carrots, zucchini slices, fresh beans are all low-calorie alternatives to high calorie biscuits.
By using them, if your vet approves, you can continue the frequent treat-giving that Betsy and Boomer have probably become accustomed to.
Make Betsy and Boomer work for the reward of treats.
They won’t think of it as work!
There are lots of interactive toys that keep pets busy while rewarding them with small treats.
You can use pieces of their regular food with the toys and not go over their daily allotment.
You know you like to buy them toys anyway, so you may as well go buy some of those.
Speaking of having fun, join us at the Faux Fur Ball on January 31 at the American Foundry.
Great food, music by the Billionaires, dancing, raffles, a silent auction, all for the real fur balls of the Humane Society.
Invitations will be out soon or you can buy tickets online at www.oswegohumane.org
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office has relocated to 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!