Please don't kill a pet with kindness

Old 03-21-04, 03:25 AM
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Please don't kill a pet with kindness

My wife and I show and breed Cavaliers and have just fallen in love with this breed. In order to give something back, we are also the contact in this area for Cavalier Rescue. Friday evening we took in a cavalier that belonged to an elderly couple; he passed away and she is going into a nursing home and the daughter just couldn't take the dog.

Archie has the typical cavalier temperament: loves everyone, tail wags nonstop, etc. Heres the problem: the maximum weight for a cavalier should be about 19#; at the vet's office yesterday this poor dog weighed 40.1#!! He is so fat, you can barely tell he's a cavalier. It just breaks my heart every time I look at him. He can barely navigate the few steps down to the ground from our deck to potty and poop.

We had 2 or 3 people that expressed interest in a rescue, but now that we've seen Archie, we are going to keep him for a while and try to get at least ten pounds off him before we put him up for adoption. Besides a low calorie diet, we are looking for a swimming pool in this area for exercise. We are concerned about his joints and swimming would be a great low-impact exercise.

I guess the whole point of this post is: PLEASE don't kill your pet with kindness. I'm sure Archie's previous owners loved him, but they obviously showed that love with food. I hate to be so blunt, but a responsible pet owner does not let their pet get so grossly overweight that it affects their health. All of Archies shots were up to date and yet his owners let him get this fat. Just doesn't make sense to me.

I'm starting to ramble, so guess I'll just stop. Off my soapbox now.

Old 03-21-04, 05:20 AM
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It's sad when you see someone let their pet get into any bad condition. My best friends grandmother had a little poodle that looked like a white bowling bag with curly hair on it.
Old 03-21-04, 08:53 AM
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I always think that folks overfeed dogs because dogs eat with such relish that the owners think that the dogs enjoy it. The truth being that dogs eat with relish because the food is there.

For me, showing love for the dog is to spend time with the dog doing those things for which the dog was breed and hence comes natural for it.

For an active breed, running and fetching and hunting and herding as suits are what the dog truly wants to do.

So often, folks get a dog without any knowledge of what makes the dog tick. Unhappiness results and the cute Jack Russell destroys the apartment when it needs a field and some critters to hunt down. They don't understand that a Bull Mastiff is bred to sit at the door.

So someone wants to make a house dog of an Australian Shepherd, and doesn't understand when the dog takes over and pretty much makes everyone miserable.

Fat dogs are not happy, but they are fat. Putting a dog on a diet is a bad experience for both the dog and the owner. It is necessary to get the dog back to a healthy weight. Consider that the Cavalier is 40 pounds when it should be 19 pounds is much the same as an adult male human at 400 pounds when he should be at 200.

Good luck with the diet. Those who rescue dogs have incredible patience.
Old 03-25-04, 01:39 PM
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Other end of the spectrum

It's also possible to go too far to the other extreme. My labrador puppy was 6 months old when I rescued her. Her previous owner was so worried about her getting fat that he didn't feed her enough. My vet described her as emaciated. She is now a healthy weight and doesn't seem to have suffered any ill-effects from being malnourished.

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