I'm just sayin'

A Tale About a Little Chubby Dog

on June 18, 2012


Reba Faye at the Veterinarian’s office today.

Last week several people and you know who you are, commented on how chubby my little, red-hair dog, Reba Faye, had gotten. She should weigh about 10 or 11 pounds; a bantam-weight. This time she weighed in at 15 pounds; heavy-weight. Mohammad Ali weight. Well, I knew she was a little chunky but I just figured she was a big-boned-gal. Alright, I knew she was husky, I wasn’t in complete denial. I knew I had to do something differently, so I stopped free-feeding about a month ago; ie putting recommended daily amount in a bowl and letting her feed herself throughout the day whenever she was inclined to. Well, there are actually two dogs in the household and it was a little difficult to monitor who was eating what. So last month the dogs joined the ranks of many dogs that get some food in the morning and some food at night. They adjusted to that routine just fine. Actually, they started letting me know when it was time to eat. However, Reba Faye didn’t seem to reap the rewards of that routine, at least not in the waistline department. After a month of new said routine and no improvements, my intuition told me something was not right. So I took her to the vet.

I told the veterinarian my concerns, for starters, weight gain without extra food. She asked me the brand of food and how much food she was getting. When I told the doctor I was giving her the recommended amount listed on the bag, one cup a day. I swear the doctor’s eyes twirled in her head, her mouth dropped open and she stared at me for a few seconds. When she could speak without stammering, she said Reba should only be getting ¼ cup a day. One fourth of what she was consuming. I told the doc I was following the guidelines on the back of the bag.

“Of course you do. The dog food companies want to sell dog food. They don’t care if your dog is fat,” she said.  What the heck is up with that? I was killing my dog. I should say my two dogs. The other dog, Phoebe Rae is more active and didn’t get as chubby, but she could lose two-pounds. She’s a little taller and should weigh about 12-pounds and she is up to 14 pounds. Poor little girls. Glad nobody reported me to the  CPS. (Canine Protection Services)

I feel as though I should go on a campaign to stop canine obesity. If you look around the dog parks you will see some overindulged canines. I know there are people who stuff their pets with treats and should be blamed for overfeeding their pet. But I am sure there are more dog-parents out there who are like me, trying to do the right thing. I want a healthy pet and one who lives out their life in a comfortable manner. Not carrying a weight load that will have them in a Hoveround before me.

In regards to Reba’s other issues I was concerned about, she pants a lot, even when it isn’t hot. The doctor noted her coat seemed dry. Put that all together and it spells blood work. The bittersweet news – I wasn’t totally to blame for her plus-size, it turns out she has hypothyroidism. I am glad to have made this doctor visit, the test and medication, which she’ll be on forever, was not an expensive visit. Reba is the third dog I have known whose owners thought the same as me, “How can they be gaining weight when they don’t get that much food?” In all three cases it was a medical condition. And in Reba’s case it was a double whammy; thyroid issues and overfeeding-by-instruction. She will survive. You’ll see, she’ll be the come-back dog. She got her name because she’s a red-head like country singer Reba McIntire. But I thought for a while there I should have named her Kirsti Alley.

If you have a pet and you have concerns about their weight-gain and think you are doing everything right. Have them checked out by your vet and check out the website  below for more information. And by all means, reconsider the recommended amount of food listed for your pet by the food manufacturer.


5 responses to “A Tale About a Little Chubby Dog

  1. Smitty says:

    Must be genetic. Cuzn Nelson has the same thing.

  2. Noele Parente says:

    She is freakin adorable! Now I need to go get Zoey checked. She is a little porker…

  3. VirgoVoice says:

    I’m hoping for some results with new diet and meds. Reba’s self-esteem was suffering. It was a bad day taking her bathing suit shopping… next year an all-new-girl !

  4. Pamela Van Gelder says:

    I had just the opposite happen to our cat JigSaw he was getting thinner and thinner even though I was feeding him enough, so off to the vets we went and he had hyperthyroidism. And a pill a day until he passed away at the old age of 17 years. He started the medication when he was 12 years old. But he lived a long and healthy life after he was put on his medication and some lbs.

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