This is an extract from an article I wrote for K9 Magazine on a topic that evokes a lot of emotion, namely canine obesity.
Why killing with kindness is STILL killing
In the past few years drugs companies, TV shows and book publishers have all made moves into a rapidly emerging area of the British dog ownership market. All are keen to tap into a growing trend which has been expanding every year for the past decade. And expanding really is the best placed adjective to describe what’s happening. Britain’s dogs are getting fat, they’re dying and the cause is, quite simply, their owners.
Picture in your mind, if you can stomach the thought, an image of an abused dog.
What do you see?
A timid, cowering bundle of bones, wide eyed and frightened of its own shadow?
Understandable. It’s the stereotypical image of an abused pet. We’d probably be able to reach a similar consensus when conjuring up a mental picture of a ‘typical’ animal abuser.
It’s a fair bet that not many people, when asked to imagine an abused dog and the perpetrator behind the cruelty would visualise a fat Labrador and a little old lady, responsible for the dog’s condition.
Tragically though, the obese Labrador is probably going to suffer just as many, if not more health problems than the skinny, under fed dog and it’s just as likely that his misguided owner is sending the poor animal to an early grave.
Let’s be clear. There is no such thing as killing with kindness when it comes to the animals we chose to share our lives with, killing is killing. Abuse is abuse and animal cruelty comes in many forms regardless of its intent.
Something interesting to read: why do dogs bark?