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  • Writer's pictureAdonis Maglis

Grooming obese dogs...

Updated: May 10, 2023

As dog groomers we often see overweight dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds come for grooming. We hear many stories of why a pet is obese. We see first-hand dogs too uncomfortable to lift a leg or stand up!

The thing is, dogs are not born overweight! We are solely responsible for the diet of our dog. Many people either do not have the knowledge or haven't taken the time to learn about basic nutritional needs. Most, are victims of commercial propaganda and/or looking for the easiest way out, i.e. kibble or wet food. Humanising the dog and trying to compensate for guilty feelings, being absent or negligent and using food as a compensation can also lead to obesity. There are not many underlying conditions or illnesses responsible for their weight gain. It is mostly human error.

As owners we control our pet’s food intake, the type and quality, as well as their lifestyle, environment and exercise levels.

Some clients tell me...“I have a lazy dog!” But dogs naturally love to walk, run, jump, play…. Maybe it's not that your dog is lazy…perhaps they are in pain or unable to do what they're meant to...We are actually shortening their life span with our choices in regards to feeding.

Dogs don’t need to lick our plates clean. They don’t need treats just because they're cute! They don’t need us to cook them hamburgers, rice, pasta etc. I know we all love our dogs! We live in an era of over saturation of crappy food products. At the same time we have access to all the information available with one click! If you’re not sure about something GOOGLE it! Whether cooked or raw diet, we can buy or make balanced, healthy meals and add nutritious additions.

A fat dog doesn’t need human food. (Not to mention the common food products we consume are usually bad for us too!)

But seriously, as groomers, it is heartbreaking to see pets unable to hop or stand on the grooming table…hardly able to remain standing during a bath…having difficulty breathing and just doing what’s natural for a dog of their age. It’s deeply concerning and truly sad to see pets having heart disease, kidney issues, arthritis, teeth decay or loss etc. and/or die at the age of 9 or even younger…

We often humanise our dogs and consciously or unconsciously justify our actions. Yes, dogs may cry, or look sad, or beg us for a piece of fried chicken. Yes, they may be a rescue that has come off the streets and we want them to have the best, but feeding them that piece of fried chicken may not the best we can do for them. When we humanize our dogs’ emotions we do a huge disservice to them.

If you love your dog (and I know most of us do more than anything), then feed them the right stuff, the correct amount, exercise them, brush them, cut their nails, bath them, socialise them, check their health with vet visits, book regular grooming appointments etc.

As a professional, it is sad to see animals suffering unnecessary due to our inability to do the basics! These pets rely on us for everything. We need to have discipline and put in the hard work when we own a dog! Pawrenting is not easy but it is very rewarding! 🐕💕

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