A few days ago we became proud pet owners of some fish. Boy things have changed since I won my first goldfish at the church carnival and brought it home in a baggy! We went to Petco and I was pretty shocked to see so much stuff geared towards weight loss. So I got curious…how many pets in the US are obese? According to a study done in 2011 by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) (you can read it here):
How many dogs are overweight?
If you guessed 53% you would be right. Of that group 21.4% qualified as obese, as defined as being 30% or more over normal weight.
How many cats are overweight?
If you guessed 55% you would be right. Of that group 24.9% qualified as obese. Talk about fat cats!
Apparently veterinarians are labeling the growing pet waistline an epidemic. Did you know there is even a National Pet Obesity Awareness Day? (October 10.)
The main culprits of this problem? You guessed it: (poor) diet and (no) exercise.
The good news is that this condition is completely curable! If you are a pet owner and your pet falls into the overweight category, commit to making a healthy start.
Your vet could make some great recommendations. There are entire sections in the pet store dedicated to nutritious foods for your furry friends. Remind your cat how much fun it is to chase things. Make time to take longer walks with your dog – you get benefits from the exercise too! Your pets will thank you.
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