Fat dog? Here are some fat dogs to meet: Hattie (beagle), Gizmo (Chihuahua) and Jess (daschund). Victoria Stilwell stars on Animal Planet’s Me or My Dog. But she also does a show, It’s Me or the Fat Dog. In the airing tonight, dog training expert Victoria Stilwell visited three dog owners who had very fat dogs. According to the veterinarian, these dogs were double their normal weight.
Victoria Stilwell explained that despite what the dog owners feel is an act of love, overfeeding a dog is an act of cruelty in its own unique way. If you have a fat dog, its life span is being cut dramatically short. If your dog is fat and you aren’t feeding it much, you can bet that your fat dog is finding food on its own, such as the case with super fat dog Hattie.
But maybe you deliberately feed your fat dog, such as the case with Gizmo. And then Jess’s owner seemed to provide much of the feeding without even realizing it, continually putting handfuls of food to the dog’s mouth while going about her business.
Hattie lives in a house with a woman and two grade school girls. The beagle, which was being fed just once a day in the morning, was caught on videotape raiding food in the kitchen. This dog also has ripped open the girls’ lunch bags that were left on chairs. Solution? Keep food out of the dog’s reach, and feed the dog controlled portions once in the morning and then again in the evening so that the dog doesn’t feel deprived.
To get her point across, Victoria Stilwell put a huge bowl of candy before the girls, then said they couldn’t have any. This dog behavior expert then began eating cake before the girls and offered them some, then pulled it away at the last second, explaining that this temptation is what Hattie goes through every day when food is left within the dog’s reach. The video showed Hattie getting its paws atop a kitchen counter and retrieving leftover food.
In the case of Gizmo the Chihuahua, Victoria Stilwell explained that the chocolate the dog was getting was toxic. Furthermore, this was the only dog of the owners’ six total dogs that never got any exercise. Gizmo was also routinely being fed spicy Indian food.
Victoria Stilwell showed Jess’s owner the equivalent, in human consumption, of what this dog was being fed every week. Laid out on a table were platefuls of food, enough to feed a football team. The owner was shocked.
Victoria Stilwell then began explaining the importance of adding vegetables and fruit to a dog’s diet. Yes, vegetables and fruits, like carrots, apples, oranges, and even rice and oats.
These fat dogs were weighed about five months later. Jess and Hattie still had significant weight problems. Victoria had Jess’s owner walk around wearing an 11-pound sack on her back so that she could feel the strain that her 11-pound-overweight dog felt.
Hattie was sent to a “dog fat farm” for five weeks and came back a little slimmer, proving to her owner that this dog indeed can lose weight. But even after that, Hattie remained fat. Victoria then presented Hattie’s owner with blown-up photos of her two daughters’ faces — as they’d look if the girls were fat. The girls thought it was hilarious, but their mother was moved to tears.
The show concluded with the girls and Victoria on scooters (the kind where you propel with your feet while in a standing position), with a leashed Hattie in tow: Exercising your fat pooch can be a fun activity.
So for anybody who has a fat pooch and thinks nothing can be done about it, tune in to the next episode of It’s Me or the Fat Dog.