Ask The Hairy Dogfathers: Opinions Breed Ignorance
Dear Hairy Dogfathers,
Six months ago I adopted Mars from the pound. They estimate him to be about 16 months old, and he is such an awesome dog!
Mars has a lot of energy. I take him to the dog park before work, play fetch when I get home, and we jog together every evening after dinner. Mars enjoys all this as much as I do! The shelter said he was part boxer, and that he would be high energy. We meet each other’s needs and make each other so happy.
But there is just one thing that I wish I could change. I am simply sick and tired of people commenting on my dog’s weight! Due to our active lifestyle, Mars has a lean, athletic build. It seems that no matter where I go, friends, family, and even complete strangers feel they can make comments about my dog’s weight. Some are innocent, some are accusatory. Mars has seen the vet, and I was told that he is a happy, healthy, athletic dog. How do I stop these comments… other than bringing a signed note from my vet everywhere we go?
I’ve had it up to here!
You and Mars sound like quite the team, it’s great to hear how you work together to meet each other’s needs. The reality is that many dogs have trouble keeping weight on, especially when they are young and active. If your vet says that Mars is healthy, then you have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately there is no hiding Mars athletic build with a boxer-like coat and you can’t change the perception of others. What you can change is how you interpret the comments you hear, and I’m guessing that many of those comments are coming from owners of overweight dogs. Be proud that you are able to meet your dog’s needs and that you and Mars are happy and healthy.
Keep up the great teamwork!
I am so happy to hear that your dog isn’t overweight and at risk of developing further health problems. Obesity, in pets and humans, is at an all-time high, as evidenced that people can’t appreciate a lean, healthy dog when they see one. These nosey-nellies are popping up everywhere! You can’t stop them from saying dumb things, but you can give them something to talk about! When it’s a stranger, tell them he’s training for the Olympics, smile, and then just walk away.
For your family, be firm and stand your ground. Start a conversation about pet obesity, and the dangers that pet parents are putting their dogs and cats in by over-feeding and under-exercising. Be that guy! Be that guy who talks about the risks of overweight pets – make education your best defence. Soon enough they’ll understand what you are talking about and stop telling you to feed your dog more!
Good luck and keep up the good work!
And if all else fails, remember that if the negative-nellies start to bring you down … you can easily outrun them!
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