Pet Obesity, How They Get That Way & Who Dunnit

I

believe an 87-year-old woman in Water Mill is guilty of a crime. So is a man from Amagansett. Celebrities are not innocent. In fact, thousands of people living in the East End are accessories to the same crime. Well, if it isn’t a crime it should be! I am talking about those who foster PET OBESITY.

Pet obesity is a crime against animals. Many people don’t want to talk about any kind of obesity because it is too personal. I know because I am 15 pounds overweight myself. Actually, I am 25 pounds overweight but denial is a common trait among the obese.

But my concern is not for Homo sapiens. They are able to make decisions for themselves. Rather, it is the unsuspecting pets of the Hamptons for whom I am concerned. Obese pets have no control over the situation. It’s not like they can go shopping for a healthy food alternative or open the front door and head down to the local gym. I looked online and could not find a single Pet Weight Loss Clinic on the East End.

It doesn’t matter if you live in the Hamptons or are visiting from somewhere else. This crosses all socio economic groups. Pet MD states, “50% of America’s Pet population is overweight or obese.” Maybe that’s where the phrases “Fat Cat” and “Big Dog” come from? Obesity in pets can lead to a myriad of health issues and even premature death.

If Bloomberg were in command of the Hamptons, he might outlaw overfeeding pets just like he is trying to do with the size of beverages in New York City. Most everyone seems to look the other way when they see an animal that is grossly overweight.

If our kid shows up at school with unexplained bruises on him or her, the authorities may be called. But if our pet shows up with their belly dragging the ground because they are being overfed and under excercised, there is no action at all. Mr. Sneiv proposes that if someone takes their pet to the veterinarian and it is determined that it is morbidly obese and there is no medical reason for being overweight, like Hypothyroidism or some metabolic disorder, then the vet should be required to report it. In cases where it is appropriate, the Pet Police should place the animal in Pet Protective Custody.

How come there are no television shows that profile extreme pet weight loss? It could be called “The Biggest Loser: Pet Edition.” For the most part pet owners are not very well educated regarding the health of their pets. For instance, Mr. Sneiv took a few minutes and conducted an informal survey outside of Petco last week. All of those surveyed answered yes to the question of whether neutering or spaying adds to pet weight gain. This is absolutely false. When asked what was the primary ingredient in pet food, many answered, “stuff.”

Sometimes the problem is that in multi-person households, the pet may be getting fed treats by numerous persons without each other’s knowledge. I suspect that one of the biggest problems of pet obesity in the Hamptons is a direct result of the gourmet food being fed to the dog or cat. After an elaborate dinner party, it is probably a common occurrence for an owner to slip a little caviar on a cracker to their beloved pet. Maybe a little filet mignon with a heavy sauce?

Beggars may have figured out how to work the system for more treats. Some owners just can’t say no. Some reward their pets with treats for every little thing they do. Food should not be a substitute for praise.

Pet MD also reminds us that there are some veterinarians that believe “Reduced Calorie,” “Lite Diets” or “Senior Diets” are not always beneficial for dogs. These diets have very restricted fat levels to reduce the calories, but by necessity have increased the carbohydrate percentages. This increased carbohydrate stimulates additional insulin secretion, which tells the body to store unused calories as fat. As such, there are some dogs that have actually gained weight on “reduced calorie” weight loss diets.

But don’t worry. Like usual, Mr. Sneiv has this PET OBESITY issue under control. Whoever wins the Presidential Election is going to be getting a personal letter from me demanding they establish a new cabinet post of Pet Obesity Czar. That way the government can step in and we can start addressing this issue is an appreciable way. Billboards all over the East End with pictures of cute overweight pets begging to be exercised and placed on a diet. Fines and jail time for pet owners who continue the abuse. We will be watching you.

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