Pet obesity rates are on the rise, according to a recent survey of veterinarians conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). 52.5% of U.S. dogs and 58.3% of U.S. cats (a new high for cats) are considered overweight or obese by their veterinarians. That’s over 80 million dogs and cats nationwide!
Excess weight contributes to a number of preventable pet health problems, including arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart, respiratory and kidney disease, cancer and decreased life expectancy. Is your pet putting on a few extra pounds? Here are some ideas to get your pet on the right track:
*Learn about the caloric content of pet foods and treats (high calorie treats are a major risk factor for pet obesity).
*Consult weight charts to determine the best weight for your breed of pet.
*Walking your dog and playing with your cat are great ways to add exercise into their daily routine.
*Keep a food and activity log for your pet and be sure to show your veterinarian.
Check out the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s website for the full survey results and lots of great pet weight loss tools and advice: www.petobesityprevention.org