U.S. pets are more obese than ever – new research shows that ‘fat cats’ are becoming more common, and dogs are piling on the pounds.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention recently released data that said a record number of U.S. pets are now classified as overweight or obese. The breakdown for the overweight animals was fairly equal, with 54% of dogs and 59% of cats being labeled as overweight/obese, meaning approximately 41.9 million dogs and 50.5 million cats weigh in at unhealthy levels.
The study, which began in October of 2016, tracked 1,224 dogs and 682 cats, within 187 veterinary clinics across the country. APOP founder and veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward says that pet obesity is still the greatest health threat to dogs and cats, and is worse now than it has ever been. Obesity kills millions of pets prematurely, and costs pet owners tens of millions of dollars that to treat avoidable obesity complications.
Pet obesity not only has an adverse effect on the quality of life pets live, but increases the risk of disease like arthritis, diabetes, liver disease, and even cancer.
Lori Ennis is a wife, mama and friend to all animals. A self-confessed “Hot Mess,” she lives wherever the Marine Corps takes her husband. Currently, that’s Maryland with her very spoiled Labrador Retriever-mix rescue pups and a ton of saltwater fish just tanking around. Lori’s family has fostered dogs for years, mostly Golden Retrievers, and knows no home is complete without an animal buddy (or seven)!