Wednesday, April 18, 2018

No "thicc" beagles! 5 reasons obese dogs are not cute

When did thick lose it's "K" and become "thicc?"

Social media dog communities like Dogspotting seemed to have gained their own language when it comes to pups. Some of it is fun (I LIKE saying doggo!), and some of it is worrisome.

Because when I see someone posting about an adorbs "thicc" pup, especially a beagle, it's meant as a term of endearment. There are whole Facebook groups where people post pics of "Thicc" pups.

I'm here to tell you that, for the most part, a "thicc" beagle is not a cute beagle. It's a beagle with a serious health problem, and we should treat it as such.

Thicc beagles are not cute. They need help.

What the heck is "thicc" anyway?

So generally, according to the Urban Dictionary, "thicc" means a person, generally a woman, who is chubby in all the right places (as opposed to someone like me, who is chubby in ALL places).

Dogs, especially beagles, don't really have "right places" to be chubby. A few pounds to a 25-30 pound beagle can make a big difference.

It's why you see so many stories online about big beagles at shelters, like the stories of Kale Chips , who is doing much better after losing all that weight.

Here's another headline: "Snuffy the porky beagle gives up deli meat to lose 25 lbs."

And it's often considered funny, like this video from South Korea:

I found this video on a Facebook group called "Thicc Woofers." "Thicc dogs also find love in other dog groups, including the popular Dogspotting groups.

No, it's not cute or funny.

1. It's a serious health crisis.

But beagle obesity, and in general dog obesity, is a serious health problem, verging on public health crisis in the United States, where more than half the nation's dogs are at least overweight.

According to, "American cocker spaniels, basset hounds, beagles, Cairn terriers, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, dachshunds, Labrador retrievers, Norwegian elkhounds, rough collies, and Shetland sheepdogs" are more likely to gain weight.

2. It's dangerous.

Think of all the diseases a fat human can get (I do regularly, speaking as a fat human) -- heart disease, respiratory issues, more problems with muscles and joints and tendons because of the extra weight put on them, arthritis, liver issues and the list goes on.

Dogs can get the same problems. The difference is, even pet insurance doesn't make these conditions easier to manage financially. Lulu tore her CCL and it cost me $1,700 for the surgery. Then add in the cost of hydrotherapy to help her leg heal. Some of these conditions are far more expensive.

3. Beagles can't stop eating.

The National Beagle Club says what pretty much every beagle owner will tell you -- beagles have no mechanism to tell them they are full. A beagle will eat and eat and eat and never be sated.

So when your beagle flashes you those sweet sad eyes and guilts you into another half cup of food or another treat or maybe some scraps from the table, they will take it happily.

4. Sometimes there's a sad story behind it.

When an owner with dementia can't remember if they fed their beagle, another dog might stop eating. A beagle will happily take another bowl of food -- or a few extra treats. And they all add up.

And then something happens and these dogs end up in shelters because their owner can't take care of them.

5. Or there's a medical condition.

Some medical conditions can cause a dog to gain weight -- including Cushing's Disease and Hypothyroidism.

The last two are understandable problems, and not the owner's fault. But that doesn't give you a pass to put them on display.

This is not about fat shaming!

I know what you're thinking right now: why are you fat shaming dogs and their owners?

Does a dog look in the mirror and say "gee, I need to lose a few pounds?" Not to my knowledge. It's not the dog that's responsible for its weight problems. It's the pet parent who needs to be firm about this.

I don't think it's abuse or neglect, I think many owners just don't know better about how to properly feed and exercise a dog. But that means it's more important to help people keep their dogs healthy, not parade them around for their heftiness.

How can you tell a dog is overweight?

There is a chart that will tell you if a dog is overweight, and it's really easy.

For lack of a better term, your dog should have a bit of a waist. You should also be able to feel the ribs... though not profoundly.

This chart shows you what a pet should look like at an ideal weight.
Graphic by
Talk to your vet for help in maintaining your dog's weight. In the coming days, we'll have more information to help you as well.


  1. Yes! Thank you for this great post. Obesity is not a joke. It can diminish quality of life and shorten the life span.

  2. When I adopted my Puggle mix, he was obese. He is shorter than most beagles and weighed a whopping 38 pounds. My vet recommended that we help him lose weight and he's been around 26 pounds for the last 4 years. Last year he hurt his back, and I was really glad that he was his ideal weight. I think you are right, people aren't trying to hurt their dogs, but just don't know the health risks they are creating.

  3. Overweight dogs, especially Beagles, is right at the top of my list of pet peeves - probably tied with so-called Pocket Beagles, also a health issue and harmful. I did not realize "thicc" was meant to be a term of endearment. I cannot believe there are Beagle owners who actually woulc rather a chubby Beagle and not care if their Beagle gets to normal weight. I actually read your post a few days ago and was going to comment when my computer cut out on me. Then earlier this evening I was reading a post on FB - she loved having her chubby Beagle and wanted people to share pics of their chubby Beagles - it was not in Dogspotting but rather a Beagle group. I had to really restrain myself from replying how unhealthy it was but then I saw all of the comments with pics of other chubby Beagles (at least chubby was the word used and not thicc but either way - all those Beagles were overweight, some more than others) Anyway, seeing that post on FB reminded me of your blog post. This all reminded me of an old It's Me Or The Dog episode with Victoria Stilwell - she and the vet worked hard to educate an owner with a way overweight Beagle, this poor Beagle was obviously showing signs of discomfort when it walked but I remember what the owner said - "This is my dog and no one is going to tell me what to do for her". I don't know if there has ever been a time when I so wanted to reach thru my tv screen and strangle someone - then rescue that poor Beagle.

    My 1st Beagle was a challenge to keep at a healthy weight - 16" tall, muscular and large boned. He even got up to 42 pounds, didn't look to bad but I could tell he was a bit over so we worked on it and I got him down to around 37 -
    maybe still not optimal but he didn't have any health problems and the vet didn't say anything more. With the 2 I currently have - my 19 month old is very active and loves to run so keeping weight off is not much of a problem. Plus adding her to the family has helped my senior become a little more active.

    I just don't understand a dog owner or a Beagle owner being content having a dog that is overweight. When I see an overweight dog I see a dog who is not healthy and will likely have a shortened life span.
    Mom Kim


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