What goes in… must grow out

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2007

You wait in the office for Dr. Smith, with your beloved Chad by your side.

Chad is 6 years old and weighs 145 pounds.

He is severely obese. You have been warned of the fact that he is overweight, time and time again.

Now it’s time to do something about it.

A meager diet and a strict regimen of exercise loom in Chad’s future.

Yet it could have all been prevented by laying off the doggy treats.

That’s right, Chad is a dog.

He’s a Labrador Retriever, to be exact.

At their optimum weight, male labs are supposed to weigh 65-80 pounds.

Chad is not alone in his fatness.

With him in the waiting room sit a 25-pound cat, a 30-pound toy poodle and a 50-pound beagle (all extremely large for their breeds).

Apparently, veterinarians across the United States have recently recognized that there is an obesity epidemic among pets.

Household animals are overweight at just a slightly less rate than their owners.

About 65 percent of American people are too big, while about 60 percent of pets are.

Time to start opening Curves for Cats stores and inventing a Bowflex for Furry Friends.

Time to shed those pounds, boys and girls!

(Oops, excuse me – cats and dogs.)

Can’t you just picture millions of precious pooches running on treadmills, trying to burn off the extra pounds?

The pet food aisles are already loaded with diet dog and cat food.

Wonder what they did in the good ol’ days when dogs ran wild and had to catch and kill their own food?

I guess upon a particularly plump catch, the dogs said, &uot;Oh sorry, Mr. Rabbit, you have too much fat on your bones, I can’t eat you today.&uot;

Or perhaps the exercise they got in those days made running to catch the rabbit kept the extra weight off.

These days, we keep our pets indoors or chained to a leash, and feed them little fat-filled pebbles meant to taste like the real thing.

And we wonder why they’re fat?

Gee… maybe because dog treats are the equivalent of McDonald’s for people.

No, I’m not saying don’t give your pets treats – I’m the first to toss my mom’s dog a few scraps – but really, why are people so shocked and offended when vets tell them their pets are overweight?

What goes in… makes them grow out.