Obesity in pets can cause all sorts of health problems. Many of them are similar to the ones that human suffer. There is added danger with Dachshunds because the breed is prone to back issues. Excess weight around the middle pulls on their backs and can case disk disease or make an existing problem worse.
I plan to talk more openly about pet obesity on our blog. I think that too many people tiptoe around the issue trying not to “hurt anyone’s feelings”. Unfortunately, I think this “whisper in the corners” approach does not raise general awareness around the issue and allows people with overweight pets to live in denial. I am a pretty straightforward person and, while I don’t plan to be “shocking”, aggressive or insulting in my approach, I DO plan to tell it like it is.
I know that my approach may be misunderstood by some and attacked by others. I want to clear the air right now.
1) I don’t think there is any use in living in the past. My goal is to bring awareness and offer helpful information to move forward from this point. I will not criticize, insult or otherwise berate any dog owner for letting their dog become obese. My focus will be on encouraging owners to take control of their pet’s health through a positive and supportive environment.
2) I recognize that reducing pet obesity is not always as simple as feed less and exercise more. There can be many factors that lead to a pet becoming obese. While I believe that things like “Grandma won’t stop feeding Frank pizza” or “I just can’t say no to those sad eyes” are preventable, I recognize there are ailments such as Cushings Disease that can cause obesity and is largely out of the owners control. While I WILL make general statements about such things, it in NO WAY should be interpreted to mean that I am judging any particular person or situation. I strongly believe that only the owner can know their own unique circumstances and has the freedom to make their own choices about the issue.
3) I have followed a lot of conversations around obese pets. There are always a few people who are so moved by these situations that they feel it necessary to exclaim “that owner should be shot”, “that owner should be arrested for animal abuse” or “those owners are stupid and shouldn’t own animals”. I kid you not, these are real comments I have read. I appreciate that people are passionate about pet obesity. I am too. Although I will respect a wide range of views on this issue, any comment deemed by me to be insulting, attacking, abusive or “hurting more than helping” will be removed. If the comments persist from the same person, they will likely find themselves blocked.
I am sure there are other things that will come to light along the way that I will need to address. I will always be open and transparent around these issues. I wrote this post because I think it will cover most of the situations though and I can frequently point to it instead of explaining myself over and over again.
Do you think I am being reasonable and fair?
This post is part of the Fit Dog Friday hop. I encourage you to visit that hop to see inspirational stories and join a community of proactive pet owners and healthy pets.