I'm going to say this here because it's about the only forum where I can publicly say it: I've come to the conclusion that many owners just want fat dogs.
What is wrong with society? We know that obesity shortens a dog's life and limits dog's quality of life. We know that dogs can only eat the food to which they have access. We also know that there are a variety of options to either keep dogs from becoming obese or rescuing them from and treating their obesity. It is unfathomable to me when, after starting a patient on a diet/exercise plan or on the Slentrol plan and seeing real, measurable success, to then see the owner drop it altogether. These owners are witnessing improvement in their dog's lives, and they're dropping the plan that has facilitated the improvement. Why?
At the end of the day, I'm convinced this is a distinctly American psychological issue. I'm not a psychologist, and I only took Psychology 101 because I had to, and I don't remember a darn thing from it. But there is clearly something about many dog owners that wants to feel validation, to feel a connection to something. I guess it's a sad commentary on our interpersonal relationships these days, that a person would long to connect to something so much that he/she'd feed a dog anything and everything all day long to achieve a "knowledge" that a living thing not only needs them but wants them.
And it seems to be only a pet dog thing. Working dogs aren't obese. Neither are wild dogs. No, it's just the dogs that live in homes with constant access to food, and very little impetus to exercise.
Perhaps it's a self-control issue on the part of owners. We see it on the human side of medicine and nutrition, as well. Perhaps it is multifactorial in nature.
Whatever it is, these owners try to tell me in my examination rooms that they love their dogs, but their actions speak otherwise. The only evidence I need is to look at the patients. The human-animal bond is a neat, unique, and very strange thing. That it can become twisted in such a way that an owner can feel so connected to their dog that they would facilitate and speed its demise is truly sad.
I'm not sure that I'm looking for explanations or reasons for all of this, though I welcome your thoughts on the subject. It's just amazing to me that many in our nation speak through their actions and say, "I want my dog to be fat."