Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Unfortunately, pet obesity is a quickly growing epidemic. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that over 54% of cats and dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.
According to a large study conducted in 2011 by Banfield Pet Hospital, the rates of obesity have increased over the last five years, 37% in dogs and 90% in cats. These are staggering figures! Yet a whopping 76% of dog owners and 69% of cat owners believe that their pet is at an ideal weight!
Carrying extra weight increases the risk for a whole host of health problems. In 2009, VPI Pet Insurance policyholders filed more than $17 million in claims for conditions and diseases that can be caused by excess weight.
You should be able to feel your pet’s ribs without exerting much pressure. You should see a noticeable “waist” on your pet, between the back of the ribs and the hips, when viewing your pet from above.
If your pet is overweight making an effort to increase their daily exercise while reducing their volume of food will help them to shed some pounds. Maintaining an ideal weight will go a long way to keeping your pet healthy.
Author - Jennifer Lee
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