Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Have A Fat Toad in My Living Room

I never meant to have a toad. Truly. I have nothing against them, I think they are wonderful creatures and are encouraged to spend time in the garden eating bugs. I just don't want one in the house, and certainly not following me every time I make a foray into the kitchen.

Why on earth, would a toad follow me every time I go near the fridge, you wonder? Because this toad is actually a dog. My dog. He didn't used to be a toad. One might believe that a spell was cast upon him by an evil sorcerer. The truth of the matter is that while we were out of town several times over the last six months or so, my Father-in-Law fed him huge bowls of dry food, all the treats he could eat, plenty of dog cookies, and leftovers. He also was allowed to sneak into my In-Laws room and devour whatever food their dogs didn't finish. It isn't a problem with our other dog, he actually has some self-control when it comes to food and will eat a reasonable amount of food and then stop. My toad on the other hand, has no self-control.

He is a yellow lab, and Labrador Retrievers are well known to eat and eat like the piggies they are until they become big, fat toads. For years, we were able to keep our dog at a nice, healthy weight. We fed him a controlled amount of food every day, and if he had leftovers we adjusted his crunchies to compensate. When he would start to lose his waistline a bit, we would cut back a tad on the dry food. If he started to look a little too lean, we would add some dry food back in. It wasn't rocket science, and it kept him at a healthy weight of 85lbs or so for the last 8-9 years. He had nice proportions, and his head looked like it belonged on his body.

He now looks like a tick. Tiny head with a grossly fat body. I mean, his fat rolls have fat rolls. I am so disgusted with his status and health. He now snores, and grunts, and wheezes. His heavy breathing as he follows me around hoping for some food to fall has me not only revolted, but seriously tempted to buy a soft muzzle to keep him from eating anything I don't want him to. Greg has stopped me because he feels it would offend his folks too much. Truth be told, it probably would. I don't know what else to do though. I feed him a minimal amount of food, and try to make sure he doesn't sneak extra "snacks". When asked if he can have some dog cookies, I usually say no.

The weight remains with him despite my best efforts. Greg happened on a likely, and disgusting theory as to why. The food the dogs eat is a pretty good quality one, called Taste of The Wild. I would prefer to feed them a raw diet, but it isn't feasible right now, so the dry food is what they get. We were able to convince the in-laws to switch as well, on the theory that they would be feeding the dogs less on a higher quality diet. While that worked in our own home, it has not worked with my Father-in-Law. He still feeds his dogs heaping huge bowls of the stuff, so his dogs get obese as well. We think that there is so much protein still readily available in the excrement of the other dogs, that our fat toad goes out and eats it, and manages to keep gaining weight. Yes, we have seen him eat shite. As horrible as it sounds, it makes a certain amount of sense.

At this point all I can do is try to limit his diet, keep him from stealing food, and not let him outside for a long period of time. And I can hope that our living situation gets resolved soon so I can get my poor fat toad back down to a healthier weight before he dies of a heart attack trying to get his bulky ass off the floor.


  1. I have shih tzu's so I can relate to the shit eating. I often laugh that they didn't get that name for nothing. But seriously, the habit is so disgusting. Especially when they jump up for a pat and burp a nice poop burp in your face. My vet said some dogs do, some dogs don't, and in a dog world, eating poop isn't abnormal.

    I tried all the remedies: tomato paste, powdered stuff called "de-ter", garlic, you name it, I tried it. The only thing that works is picking up the poop right away and getting rid of it. I don't do this though, because we have a dog run that we let them go potty in, and keeping after 4 little dogs is just impossible.

    One other thing, if I may, is ask your vet to test him for Cushings disease. It is a pituitary disease that makes them ravenous and very thirsty and the first sign is the big puffiness that you describe. rule out anything medical ok?

    Also, do you walk him? Maybe if he went for a walk at his normal poop time you could pick it up and it won't be around for him to eat?

  2. We actually don't walk him much right now, but we used to daily. Since we are moving and staying with the in-laws often, we get stuck with having to deal with their 4 extra dogs poop as well (which isn't picked up, as they have a large area to go in). I will definitely look into having him tested, though. That isn't something I had ever heard of. Thanks for the information!

  3. I totally understand the poop thing with the other dogs. Having multiple dogs hinders dog walking for me, it's hard who to leave behind and who to take and then the stayers cry cry cry.

    I just wanted to throw that out there about cushings, as we went through it with one of our tzus. The quantity of food she ate was totally out of proportion for her size/weight and she blew up so big she was just waddling around. When I took her to the vet, she suggesting cushings just looking at her, then we did the blood work and found out she did have it and then boy did i feel guilty for feeling so resentful of her being such a food and water hog. cushings dogs pant a lot too, seek out cool places to lay down (like tile floors).


Thank you for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts.