Do you remember the first time you encountered a really obese dog? Most people don’t forget it, because a fat dog is pretty much in total opposition to how we normally picture dogs. We see dogs as agile, fast, fierce creatures. But as soon as you see a fat dog for the first time, that image is forever tainted. Instead of imagining some muscled beast dashing through the woods, you see something like this. And even though people have taken to thinking obese animals are cute (they do kind of look like cartoons, after all), putting something at the risk for stroke, exhaustion, and death, is not cute or funny. In many ways, it is cruel.
Once an animal gains enough weight that movement becomes a chore, that animal will try to limit its movement. In other words, once the dog starts to get fat, unless you step in and do something about it, the dog will continue to get fatter and fatter. Believe it or not, if the dog gets fat enough, it will actually become depressed and lethargic, losing the urge to go out and run and interact with other dogs. In other words, just like humans, a dog will eventually get really depressed if it gets unhealthy enough. Would you sit idle by and let a friend get depressed and morbidly obese? So why do some people do it with their dogs? Truth is, they may not know the alternatives and ways to avoid that, which is why we are here.
The reality is, there are few things more depressing than a fat, lazy, dog. No one gets a dog with the intention of turning into a big ball of furry fat that sits in the corner of the room and sleeps for 23 hours a day. In many ways, getting a dog and allowing it to get sick and fat and depressed, is like having a prisoner. You are just keeping something, against its will, until it loses all hope and gives up, sleeping away its life. Yes, we know that thought is depressing, that is exactly the point we are trying to make.
The joy a dog gives its owners is often immeasurable and priceless. So why do some people seem to put a price tag on that happiness of that dog, which in turn, brings you and your family decades of happiness? You wouldn’t have a child, and just put it in a room and give it heaping helpings of food and little else every day, would you? That would be neglect, and would affect the growth and maturity of said child. See, when we put it in those terms, it is far more easy to understand. Now apply that logic to owning a dog.
A healthy dog is a happy dog, and taking simple, inexpensive steps to ensure that happiness seems like it would a priceless investment. And we know many, many dog lovers (and dogs) who would agree. A lifetime of love is pretty much worth any price tag attached.