Please don't feed the dogs!
photo of an overweight dog courtesy of ESPCA
Our vet informed us that our dogs are both 5 lbs. overweight. They get plenty of exercise, they eat the recommended portion of their low fat dog food and we give only low fat treats sparingly. So what gives? Why are our fur babies so chubby?
We did a little investigating and here's what we found.
Case 1 - the floor guys : we recently had hardwood floors installed in our home. We found out that the floor guys bought 2 boxes of treats (low quality, high fat) and fed them the dogs in one or two days. It would take us a month to get through two boxes that size. We also remember seeing the pool guy, the heating guy...you get the idea. Every worker that comes here seems to have a stash of doggie treats with them.
Case 2 - UPS & FED EX delivery guys: not only do the delivery guys feed the dogs treats when they deliver packages to us (almost daily) but they also stop by even when they don't have deliveries. We've seen it. I was shocked to see that they fed our dogs 5-6 large biscuits each which would be the equivalent of half their daily food allowance.
Case 3 - The Postal Carrier: feeds dogs treats daily (except on Sunday!) She throws them from her vehicle out on to our lawn as she passes by just to be nice.
Case 4 - The Neighbors : we've seen our neighbors treating the dogs to a snack every now and again on their daily walk.
Case 5 - The Stranger : recently someone asked permission to buy treats for our dogs so that they could visit with the dogs on their lunch break from work. The answer was no, but at least the person asked.
This is only what we have been able to find out with a little investigating. I can only imagine what goes on that we don't know about. Keep in mind that the dogs are contained in our yard. They are not roaming the streets looking for people with food. Are they hypnotists? Are they magical? How do they get people to give up all this food for them?
Overweight dogs run the risk of many different health issues including diabetes, respiratory problems, heart trouble, hip dysplasia and more. We are going out of our way to make sure they don't over eat to keep them healthy but I'm not sure it's working. We're going to have to come up with a plan to gingerly tell people that they cannot feed the dogs.
What's your policy on treating a dog without permission from the owner? Do you want someone giving your dog treats without your knowledge? Does your dog have a food allergy or are they overweight? Let us know your thoughts.
I'm sure that the people who are treating our dogs do so because they love animals and they are trying to be kind. I personally have a new outlook on treating other people's pets. I won't do it without permission. I hadn't considered the unintended consequences and the potential of literally killing a dog with kindness.