Out with your dog: Dog weight, it’s an issue
Free Press Pet Columnist
Editor’s note: “Out with your dog” is a monthly pet-friendly column in which Free Press writer Caitlin Row discusses the many facets of loving and caring for family pets. Have a topic you’d like discussed? Want to weigh in? Email email@example.com, or like her at Facebook.com/CaitlinRowGJFP.
There’s an epidemic of weight issues with dogs in Mesa County.
According to Mesa County Animal Services Director Penny McCarty, her staff is seeing an increase in dogs with extreme weight issues, both malnourishment and obesity, throughout the region.
“We’re seeing more of the extremes than we’ve seen in the past,” she said, noting the importance of putting “your hands on your dog often,” especially if it’s a long-haired dog, to make sure the canine is eating enough and bones aren’t protruding. “There are a lot of dogs who are thinner than they should be because dominant dogs are eating the other dogs’ food. People should separate dogs when they eat.”
On the other side of the spectrum, Animal Services recently picked up two dogs — Missy and Willie — so fat their stomachs dragged on the floor. They both weighed three times what should have been their normal body weight.
Missy, seen in the before and after photos, is a medium-sized breed who weighed a very unhealthy 125 pounds when Animal Services picked her up.
“(Missy) has lost more than 30 pounds now,” McCarty said, and Willie has lost about 15 pounds. “We’re trying to get them healthy enough to transfer them. They’re so much healthier and happy. They were in major distress.”
Since they arrived in June, McCarty said their sores (from tummies dragging in their urine) have healed and they’re breathing better.
Obese dogs suffer from the same types of diseases overweight people deal with — “osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, kidney disease, and many forms of cancer,” a Mesa County Animal Services newsletter said.
If you see a dog that looks neglected — either malnourished or extremely obese — please contact Mesa County Animal Services at 970-242-4646.
‘STRUTT YOUR MUTT’
I’m sending a huge thank you to Erika Hall of Strutt Your Mutt. I recently hired her to watch my dog, Juliette, and she truly went the extra mile. Erika, who specializes in training, helped Juli learn to be a better dog on leash. And my best beasty was so worn out when I picked her up, she slept the day away. Thanks again, Erika!
Want to hire a dog trainer? Email Erika at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NO DOGS AT TURKEY TROT
Moving the Turkey Trot 5K walk/run event to downtown Grand Junction means there will be one big change at this year’s Thursday, Nov. 28 event. No dogs allowed.
A City of Grand Junction ordinance, which passed in 2011, banned people bringing their leashed pets to downtown events. “Complaints and concerns” regarding safety and nuisance issues were the main reason the city decided to change the rules a few years back.
The ordinance does not include animals who are involved in “exhibition, performance or education…,” a city official explained. “It also does not include times when there are no events taking place.”
To register or for more information, visit http://www.gjturkeytrot.org.
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