Like some people, there are dogs that will struggle with weight issues. It can be very easy and tempting to immediately judge and shame overweight dogs’ owners. We may jump to conclusions and assume we know the reasons why the dog is overweight, and of course those reasons are awful. We then fat-shame the dog and their owner. We shouldn’t.
The main reason we shouldn’t fat shame someone’s dog is that we may not know the whole story.
It is easy to judge someone without knowing the facts. For all we know, the dog gets plenty of exercise and eats a proper amount of food. It could be that the dog is a breed that is more likely to gain weight (labs, basset hounds, beagles, pugs, etc.).
Maybe the dog was a fresh rescue from a home where it wasn’t exercised and was overfed and is now in a home where they are attempting to remedy the situation.
The dog’s owner may also just not know any better. Instead of shaming them, find out, give them some healthy tips. Don’t shame them. Shame doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t help the dog. If anything, fat shaming may lead to worsening conditions.
If a dog owner is too fearful of a judging public the walks may end all together.
The basic fact is that fat shaming helps no one. Don’t do it.
I think the point is “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”. I have a Lab who is more overweight than I thought. Our living situation changed a couple of years ago so I hired a dog walker to be sure he was getting exercise in addition to our walks but have had so much guilt and worry about it. We’ve been out in public more recently and I’ve received more than a bit of unfiltered scolding – enough to cause me to cry. After having a non judgemental talk with my friend’s husband (an ex cop) I realized that I had been so so focused on exercise that I wasn’t thinking about food calories. He recommended a certain brand/mix and we started yesterday. That’s all it took. The rest wasnt necessary.