Is you pet overweight?

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Chubby puppies in all their roly-poly ways are undeniably cute, but as dogs age, lean is much healthier for them.

  • The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention shares that 53% of adult dogs and 55% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese.
  • When asked if their pets were overweight, 22% of dog owners and 15% of cat owners said their pet's weight was "normal" when it was overweight or obese.
  • The normalization of obesity by pet owners is referred to as "fat pet gap" and reflects how fat really is the new normal.
  • A cat that is between 10% to 20% over their ideal body weight is considered overweight. If your cat is 20% over ideal weight, the cat will be considered obese.
  • Veterinarians believe that there is a direct correlation between childhood and pet obesity.
  • Dogs and cats aren't the only pets impacted by obesity, it is the number one health problem in pet birds too. Most pet birds have free choice food, so they don't have to work for their supper.
  • You'll be able to help your pet lose weight with guidance from your veterinarian, and there are nutritional diets explicitly made to help reduce weight while maintaining nutrition. Some foods are available by prescription only, and some are available at your favorite pet supply retailer.
  • Overweight and obese pets are at a much higher risk for arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, certain cancers, heart and respiratory disease, and a whole host of other problems.
  • Nestle-Purina has been studying animal nutrition, and the Purina Lifespan Study has discovered that obesity takes almost two years off a dog's life.
  • You'll easily be able to check body condition on your pets at home. If you're easily able to feel your pet's ribs without pressing, your pet is probably in good condition. Most dog breeds should also show a slight tuck up of their belly.
  • Veterinarians look at your pet and will determine if they are overweight or obese by Body Condition Score (BCS). This assessment will tell them if pets are underweight, overweight or just right - it's a little like Goldilocks, isn't it? Ask your DVM to see body condition examples or head over and see them here

1 The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. "Pet Obesity Rates Rise, Cats Heavier Than Ever." Web Accessed March 28, 2015.
2 The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. "Pet Obesity Rates Rise, Cats Heavier Than Ever."
3 Levs, Josh. "Obesity epidemic strikes U.S. pets." CNN, 2012.
4 VCA Animal Hospitals. "Obesity in Cats."
5 The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. "2012 National Pet Obesity Survey Results."
6 Atlanta Humane Society. "Pet Obesity." 2013.
7 VCA Animal Hospitals. "Obesity in Cats."
8 The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. "Obesity Facts & Risks."
9 Nestlé Purina. "Canine Obesity." 2007.

10 Nestlé Purina. "Canine Obesity." 2007.

11 Nestlé Purina. "Canine Obesity." 2007.
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