Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Rusty, the fat lab

Going back to my earlier post on nutrition and proper diet, I just need to mention the story of Rusty which really saddened me. Poor thing!
Two brothers in Cambridgeshire have become the first people in England to be convicted for having a dog which is too fat. They were found guilty of animal cruelty for allowing Rusty, a 10 year old chocolate Labrador, to balloon to 74kgs, double the weight he should be. He should weigh no more than 35kgs. He was so fat he looked like a seal and he could hardly stand. He could walk no more than six paces without having to sit down. He was obviously suffering a large amount of pain and discomfort due to his weight.
Since the beginning of March, Rusty is being looking after by the RSPCA and he has already lost 20 kilos. He is on a low calorie diet and on painkillers to treat arthritis.
The RSPCA was right to bring this case to court even though it had rung up a £12 000 legal bill.
How can this happen? How can people be so stupid?
I agree Labradors eat whatever they are given and they will gorge themselves on any food they find. I agree also that when dogs get older they put on weight because they take less exercise and they are less active. But to this degree?
Dogs should eat a well balanced diet. A dog should not eat scraps from the kitchen or leftovers from the table. A dog does not need to snack between meals. He does not need a bit of tea in a saucer with milk and sugar and a chocolate digestive biscuit to go with it. He does not need a sip of champagne. One person I helped with training gave her dog leftovers and scraps on a regular basis and these would include fish heads and fish bones. “It is a good source of calcium”, she would argue. The dog was emaciated and obviously undernourished. I am not surprised to read about dogs being malnourished when attitudes such as these are common?


Anonymous said...

I think you being a little harsh - I have already described my diet, but I can also admit to being rather found of tea and biccies!

Jean said...

I keep my dog in shape as much as I can. He's got a lot of exercise, and a well-balanced diet: twice a day gets his dry meal (230 grams as indicated), but I have to admit that when I'm eating, he's hidden under the table with his head on my lap, and waits untill I give him a little left-over (bread crust, cheese, little piece of meat). As soon as I start my dessert, he goes back to his blanket.

Eurodog said...

I have told you many times in our classes that you should not feed your dog at table. Mais je sais aussi à quel point c'est difficile de resister à ces yeux de mendiant qu'adoptent des chiens comme Rex.