Media Is Setting an Unhealthy Beauty Standard for Dogs


“Why don’t I look like that,” the dog asks, putting his paw to the television. On the screen, four chubby golden retriever puppies bound down the stairs to an overflowing bowl of dog food. A single dog tear rolls from the dog’s dog eye as he watches the puppies, their bodies displaying a chunky perfection that he will never be able to achieve.

Sound familiar? It should. Everyday across the world, dogs are held to unrealistic beauty standards projected by the media and now there’s a study to prove it.

The New York Times reports:

One in four dogs that placed in the top five in their class in Britain’s Crufts national dog show, which calls itself the world’s largest, is overweight, a new study in the journal Veterinary Record reports. That’s better than the overall percentage of overweight dogs in the country – about half of the pet dogs in Britain are too heavy. But it surprised the study’s authors, since show dogs are supposed to represent the ideal specimens of their breed.

Our dogs are killing themselves to make themselves fatter. But why?

Images of show dogs are widely disseminated on the Internet and through other media, and may influence pet owners’ perceptions of a dog’s optimal weight, the authors of the new study said.

First, they came for the babies and I said nothing, but now it’s time to speak up. All dog bodies are good bodies—especially the ones deemed physically healthy by your pet’s veterinarian.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via Getty.

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