Fat Cats and Pudgy Pooches
The Pet Obesity Epidemic
Pet obesity has reached critical proportions in the U.S. How critical? A 2015 study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that 58% of U.S. cats and 53% of dogs were overweight or obese. This was the 9th annual study by the organization, which was founded in 2005 by veterinary healthcare professionals to raise awareness of the obesity epidemic and its threat to the health of pets.
Of primary concern are health risks that can affect overweight pets, which include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament (Knee) Injury
- Kidney Disease
- Some Forms of Cancer
- Decreased Life Expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
The survey also found that the owners of overweight pets often believe incorrectly that their pets’ weight is “normal.” In what the APOP calls a “fat pet gap,” 90% of cat owners and 95% of dog owners did not identify their overweight pets as obese.
The health risks of those extra pounds are real—but we can help! Ask us if your dog or cat is at a healthy weight on your next visit, or make an appointment for a general health check if you suspect your pet is carrying some extra pounds. Our veterinarians can recommend a diet and exercise program to help them maintain a more appropriate weight and better overall health.
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