Tails magazine presents...

Breaking the scale: The problem of pet obesity

In Animal News on May 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm

A recent survey of veterinarians conducted by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention showed that 45 percent of dogs and 57 percent of cats in the United States fall into the category of obese (30 percent or more above the ideal weight).

It’s not surprising that one of the world’s most obese countries (the U.S is currently third) also has a problem with their pets’ weight. And what causes this weighty issue? Just as with us: too much food and not enough exercise.

Too many of us do not pay attention to what we feed our pets. Some of the less expensive pet foods equate to us eating McDonald’s twice a day.

We also tend to overfeed and hand out treats without a second thought. These “calorie bombs” or “kibble crack,” as some veterinarians and trainers call them, greatly contribute to our pets’ obesity.

To help this problem, low-calorie and diet pet foods are now available at pet stores, and pet friendly gyms are beginning to pop up across the country. This summer, Purina will sponsor a reality show called Project Pet Slim Down.

Keeping our pets at an ideal weight will not only cut back on vet bills, but also help them live a more comfortable, longer, and healthier life. —Brendan Quealy

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