A couple week ago someone told me that all of my dogs were grossly obese and she was pretty disgusted that I was building a name for myself as an authority in the raw feeding community while raising fat dogs. This isn't the first person to throw shade at me or my colleagues; people forget that we're not perfect. We make mistakes too. This is why we're so active in the community; we want to share what we're learning.
So let's get real. The dog that the woman was critiquing isn't obese. He's a Border Collie / Great Pyrenees mix and his fluffy, wavy hair makes it impossible for someone to determine if he's at his healthy weight. You'll have to trust me and my friends who know him.
Sydney and Zoey, on the other hand, are overweight and I haven't been silent or dishonest about my failure with my girls and I've been actively addressing their weight.
October is Pet Obesity Awareness Month
Or, at least I think it is. There might just be a day in the month, October 12.
And due to the amount of fat-shaming going on in my Facebook group recently, I thought it would be a perfect time to write a series sharing my experience with my dogs.
For the remainder of the month, I will be covering…
- my dogs' breed
- my dogs' health history
- my dogs' weight (we had a weigh in today)
- my dogs' diet: what they eat and how much they eat
- my dogs' exercise regimen
- and more
My goal is to help my girls gradually lose weight, meeting their goal weight this winter. And my goal for this series is to share what I'm learning about raising raw fed dogs that are at a healthy weight.
But Raw Fed Dogs Shouldn't Be Fat!
Yes! This is true. One of the many benefits of feeding a raw diet is the improved metabolism and healthier weight. However, raw fed dogs can still be subjected to overfeeding or health issues that contribute to increased weight. It's important that we keep on top of how much we're feeding our dogs.
How I Feel About Having Two Fat Dogs
One thing I often see on Facebook is the statement that people shouldn't be offended when someone points out that their dog is fat – and I agree. For me, it's not that someone is telling me that my dog is fat. It's how they tell me.
1 – Don't assume that I'm a moron. I know that Sydney and Zoey are overweight; I don't need strangers to point this out to me. I work with two holistic veterinarians who have told me that my dogs need to lose weight and have guided me on diet and exercise.
2 – Don't assume that I want your help. From personal experience, I have learned not to give unsolicited advice. It's not that I'm unwilling to hearing from others; I simply want to choose the advice I take. I'd rather hear from someone who professionally works with raw fed dogs; not a random stranger on social media.
3 – Don't assume that I'm not working to help my dogs lose weight. Often, people who give unsolicited advice insinuate that someone is hurting their dogs, that the dogs are in pain, or that we are being irresponsible. Rarely do people ask me why Sydney is overweight – instead, they just lecture me on allowing her to gain the weight.
I'm not embarrassed or ashamed.
Sydney has health issues, to be covered in a future post, that contributed to her weight gain. And I made the mistake of not adjusting Sydney and Zoey's meals to account for their size and activity level. I would only be ashamed if I refused to heed the advice of my veterinarians and my dogs got sick. Mistakes happen; it's how you move forward that matters.
If you are raising a chunky monkey and are frustrated because they have plateaued and need some tips to help jump-start your dog's weight loss and fitness regimen, please stick around this month.