Obesity Among Children And Pets
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An overwhelmingly large number of inhabitants of this country are obese. Obesity can be observed in everyone from the newspaper boy or girl to the poodle next door. However, small children and animals have no ability to control their weight. They depend completely on their parents or caregivers to supply them with food. Why then, would any person, thin or fat, want to make their child or pet overweight? Perhaps the best way to find this answer is to look at the way two certain types of people view their pets and show their love.
For many people pets are athletes that require special care, even if the pet isnt a show animal. People in this category view animals as beings that need healthy diets and active lifestyles. Therefore, it is necessary that the animals, whether cat, dog, horse, or bird, receive high quality food that is intended for their type of species. They are never fed table scraps, and when they do get the “rare treat,” it is one that is made for pets and is low fat. The high quality diet enables the animal to maintain a correct weight level. With the correct weight they are able to take part in many physical activities, which their owners usually help them do daily.
A good example of a person who cares for their animals in this manner would be someone who shows dogs, such as Karyn Kopecko, cousin of the author. Her Golden Retrievers receive the care of an Olympic athlete. For at least one hour a day, the dogs walk, sit, heel, and jump obstacles not only to prepare for the next show, but also to keep their muscle tone and reflexes tuned. Their diet plan is also as intricate as an Olympians. They eat only high quality dog chows, but the nutritional content of these foods differs from meal to meal. At one meal, the dogs might receive a chow that is high in protein. At another, the chow could contain a large amount of iron. The type of chow fed depends on the level of exercise done that day, as well as the date of the next show.
Ms. Kopecko shows her dogs that she loves them by grooming them, talking to them, and letting them be with her whenever possible. The dogs make it obvious that they feel her love. They follow her around the house, get worried when she is sad, and get very protective when a stranger is in her presence. When she is away for even a short period of time, they spend most of their time agonizing about her and waiting for her to return. Upon her return, they smother her in kisses and search for the feel of her hands on their fur.
The complete opposite of Ms. Kopecko and others of her type is the person who views their animal as only a creature that needs lots of love, but this love is shown through food. Every time the pet approaches this type of owner, the owner feels compelled to give the pet food or a treat. Often, the treat or even the meal consists of table scraps since animals, especially dogs, love the food that their owners eat. Human food is not made for animal consumption, so it does not contain the correct nutritional values that animals need and is usually very high in fat content.
After eating “people food” for even a short time, such as one month, weight gain is usually very obvious in the animal. The animal is then unable to do much physical activity at all, and therefore ends up being an animal “couch potato.” Humans that see their animals in this way usually do not believe that their pet needs daily exercise anyway because too much exercise is strenuous. Animals also have a hard time seeing this type of love. When the owner is gone for periods of time, the pet only searches for treats and not their caregiver. They seem to feel that those who give them treats love them, since the only way that their owners show them love is through food.