A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
Move over, fat people. Fat dogs are the new fatties everyone’s talking about.
You thought your Big Mac and Doritos habits only affected you, or perhaps your innocent children, but you were wrong. Turns out that as our country’s population becomes increasingly obese, so have our pups. (Cats, as I understand it, have always been prone to fatness.)
To combat this growing problem (pun: intended!), academics, canine professionals and fitness experts have gone with the classic approach: insane, expensive, over-complication of the issue.
And so, it seems we are now to welcome an age where phrases like “pet obesity clinic,” “puppy Pilates,” and “dog yoga” are part of the accepted zeitgeist. And don’t forget “dog pedometer,” which will soon go hand-in-hand with a doggie Weight Watchers program, I’d imagine.
Also, doggie treadmill sales are up. Way up! Call your broker.
For some, like the elderly or those for whom walking is a physical difficulty, I can see this making sense. Just based on observations in my neighborhood, the relationship between a dog’s weight and his owner’s age are directly proportional.
But for most, the idea of driving your pet to an exercise class so he or she can do some bizarre version of yoga (and no, I will not stoop to making a downward dog joke here), which I’d imagine isn’t necessarily cheap, is just downright shameful. Yeah, that’s right, you lazy people. You ought to be ashamed. How would you like it if someone forced you to take a Pilates class when all you wanted was to romp around in a field with your bestest best buddy in the world (that’s you)? You wouldn’t like it one bit. You’d be all, “don’t make me goooo I hate the gyyyyyyyyym, why can’t we just take a nice walk or toss a ball around?” Don’t even try to deny it. I know it’s true, because anyone who loves to gym wouldn’t go to great lengths to avoid walking his or her dog.
I just love the image of a suburban community filled with dogs barking about their problems in a weight loss support group in little head- and wristbands and legwarmers, or speed-walking with ankle weights and taking back-to-back step and spin classes at the local gym. Then they all gather at the health food restaurant next door and gorge on carob chip cookies and vegan mock chicken club sandwiches and diet sodas and wonder why they still aren’t losing weight. They’re book club even read The 17 Biscuit Diet, Dog: On A Diet, How to Have Your Poop and Eat it Too, and they’re halfway through Skinny Bitch. One of these days, something will work.
Read more from Nina In New York: