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To wonder why petlovers overfeed?

(88 Posts)
Ummmmgogo Sun 12-Mar-17 11:29:34

Aibu to wonder why it is considered funny to shorten your pets life by overfeeding it? Why is making an animal fat funny but starving it is abuse? This is not a taat but is a bit inspired by other threads on here, and a bit inspired by the endless pictures of fat miserable pets I see uploaded to the internet. Surely responsible pet ownership is about giving your pet a long healthy and happy life? Can anyone help me to understand why people who would be up in arms at the idea of a dog being rehomed are cool with the idea of it being unable to have a happy and fulfilling life and dying early? I'm not a pet lover just something I was wondering on a boring Sunday.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 12-Mar-17 11:35:45

I agree with you. Some people equate it with love. Also, if you read the labels, sugar is one of the top ingredients in pet snacks, even the meat flavoured ones. If you lick them they taste sweet, not meaty. It can be easier to overfeed than many realize, especially as a lot of people dont seem to exercise their pets very much.

Medeci Sun 12-Mar-17 11:39:49

I think people overfeed their pets for the the same reasons they everfeed their children.

HermioneJeanGranger Sun 12-Mar-17 11:49:50

Because apparently, fat animals (cats especially, for some reason) are "funny".

FairfaxAikman Sun 12-Mar-17 11:50:21

I think part of the problem is that the worst quality foods are the ones with the biggest marketing strategies (Bakers, Pedigree etc). Therefore people think they are giving their pet a healthy "complete" diet when in reality it's sugary processed crap.
I've also noticed the feeding amount guidelines seem to be much higher on poor foods.

livelyredjellybean Sun 12-Mar-17 12:00:20

I think a lot of people are also unaware of what a healthy weight should be for their pets. It boils down to education; people are so used to seeing overweight pets it is 'normal'. Also it is extremely difficult to get unbiased information about pet nutrition as most research is sponsored by pet food companies.

MardAsSnails Sun 12-Mar-17 12:01:34

I have a fat lab. He was horrendously underweight when we took him in, so we were on bigger portions (vet instructed) to get him up to his healthy weight. The vet reckons 34kg for his size, build and age.

He was being weighed twice a week at the vets for a few months. He seemed to skip healthy and went from 24kg, going up in 0.2 or 0.3kg each time until he was 32.6 and started reducing his food quantity. 5 days later he was 38kg. So now we have a stereotypical fat lab. No amount of reduction in his food will make him any less than 36.5kg but usually hovers around 37kg. We've tried. He's old with knackered hips so can't run for too long or do long walks to lose the weight.

So whilst I understand the sentiment on the post, its not always clear cut. I don't have a fat lab because I'm abusing him. I have a fat lab because he's a bit lardy and can't shift it.

ShatnersBassoon Sun 12-Mar-17 12:01:44

My MIL is like this. Her dog is so fat it can't sit, it has to either stand or lie. She overfed her children too, and unfortunately SIL is still overweight (DH, to MIL's dismay, struggles to gain weight so never became the chubby boy she longed for). She thinks feeding is the way to everything's heart sad.

Also, I think there's an element of not wanting to look poor, with skinny underfed children and pets. The in-laws had a period of being very poorly off when the children were young, and I think that's stuck with her. She likes to give the appearance of never having struggled (by making everyone fat confused).

OddBoots Sun 12-Mar-17 12:08:40

I only have a hamster but family have a lab and the dog is always sniffing about for food, even though I know the dog is getting the right amount of food and isn't hungry it tugs on my heart every time I am there. I think I would be a bad dog owner as I would not be able to resist over-feeding.

insan1tyscartching Sun 12-Mar-17 12:09:28

I think as well people's perception of what is a normal weight for a dog has altered. Our dog is at times a little lean down to him not eating much but loving to exercise. He is never underweight as such probably only half a kilo under his recommended weight but I have been told he needs fattening up especially if he has been clipped short even when the vet has said he is in good condition.

Thefitfatty Sun 12-Mar-17 12:14:01

I just got a bollocking at the vets about one of our cats. To be fair, she is massively fat, but the rest of our cats aren't (all perfect weight to slightly underweight). Kitty in question is blind and was quite sick and undernourished when I found her. She eats less than our other cats and so far as I see she never scrounges, she's just lazy and fat....I asked the vet what we could do but she didn't suggest anything we weren't already doing.

FairfaxAikman Sun 12-Mar-17 12:17:25

My lab is currently a little overweight - not by much, a kilo maybe - but I actually have people tell me she's too thin as they are used to fat dogs.

I also have owners of collies (I know a lot as I do flyball) tell me she's more than a kilo overweight as although you can feel her ribs, they are not as prominent as a collies - basically a lot of people who don't own labs don't realise they are supposed to have a subcutaneous layer of fat due to them being bred to be in the ocean off Canada all day every day.

It seems that if you own a lab at least you can't win.

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Mar-17 12:19:06

I agree with you.

Pet obesity seems to be as much a problem in homes, as adult and child obesity.

Owllady Sun 12-Mar-17 12:24:44

I'm overweight and I've never had overweight children or dogs.
I don't judge though as I think if you live in a busy household your dog will be getting fed more than you realise (especially by your teenagers) I watched this program once where the dog was v overweight and the owner had no idea why as she had put the dog on a diet. They set up secret cameras, well they were secret to the dog but how would the dog know anyway?grin and they found that the owners mum who had dementia had been feeding the dog off her plate etc.

Tippytappytoes Sun 12-Mar-17 12:25:52

Mard I had (and still have) one of those! Ex stray, will eat anything vaguely food like. What worked for him was I put him on the raw food diet. Fed fruit and veg as snacks and I'd cook porridge (with water) as a treat (also good to keep on top of rotten bottom). He also goes swimming once a week in addition to all his walks. But I am always going to have to watch him like a hawk - his ideal weight is 40kg which we mostly keep to but he will source his own food if left to his own devices.

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Mar-17 12:26:48

Yes! I saw that too Owllady grin

DJBaggySmalls Sun 12-Mar-17 12:26:57

Standards of pet animal care are going down because people treat animals as a consumer commodity, and dont realise whats involved in looking after them well. They project their feelings on to the animal.
But when people suggest animal management could be taught as a subject in schools, there seems to be a hard core who are absolutely against it. But its no different from teaching child development and care.
People think a racing greyhound is thin and underfed, I've even seen claims they chase the fake rabbit because they are hungry!

SerialReJoiner Sun 12-Mar-17 12:27:13

Our cats are such scroungers. They are constantly after food - we try to feed them a bit less than what the tin recommends, and leave the food.out until they finish it off. Some days we don't feed them at all, to mimic their eating patterns in the wild. They don't like it, but they are a healthy weight with glossy fur and are very active. I don't think it's harming them at all. The vet warned us that once they were spayed they could put on weight easily, and I don't want to let that happen. They rarely have treats but we do leave a small bowl of dry food out for them to nibble on.

Frankly, I wish it was as easy to regulate my children's intake as it is the cats'. School, friends, family members etc, all seem determined to shovel crap down their throats at every opportunity.

Owllady Sun 12-Mar-17 12:30:54

Oh yes, cats must be even worse! We used to have a visiting cat at my old house (we never fed him) but I can see they go from house to house being spoilt by various owners.

It made me laugh worra smile

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Mar-17 12:32:29

There's a poster on the wall at my vet's, which really opened my eyes (I've had a look online but can't find it).

It lists the dog 'treat' on one side and lists the human calorific equivalent on the other, in doughnuts.

So a small cookie = 2 and a half doughnuts etc.

A real eye opener.

Owllady Sun 12-Mar-17 12:33:10

Actually my last post is quite telling using the word 'spoilt' blush it's in our nature to nurture isn't it and I suppose spoiling is part of that too. It's not a very good thing though, is it? But I can understand it to a degree

DixieNormas Sun 12-Mar-17 12:33:11

I don't think people think its funny do they? I've never heard anyone with a fat pet laugh about it, they tend to either not seem to notice or do something about it.

My cat and dog are both totally normal weights. Although I trimmed the dog this week and thought he looked a bit thin, probably because there are so many chunky dogs about

Animals can be greedy little fuckers. I think some people just don't know how to say no to them. Mine never follow me around wanting food but they do do because they know he's more of a soft touch!

Owllady Sun 12-Mar-17 12:35:39

They have the dogs ribs poster at my vets! You can feel its ribs to see if yours is the right weight (not sure it covers all breeds mind you) it's quite useful as my collie turns into a neurotic furball and thinks the scales are her enemy

MissDallas Sun 12-Mar-17 12:40:56

One of my dogs is very fat and I don't know why. We have 2 dogs, both rescues, one skinny, one fat. They both eat the same. We give them Royal Canin and stick to what it says on the packet, so I don't really know what to do.

Poor dog, she tries to jump up when we get home from work and can't do it anymore.

DixieNormas Sun 12-Mar-17 12:43:34

Mines a 14 month old shih Tzu and weighed 13lb last time he was at the vets a couple of months ago

He looks like a big fat thing when his fur is long though, its always a surprise to see him after a bath or trim

Actually that's reminded me, we've had him a year today!

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