Published: Fri, June 30, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

1 in 3 pets in U.S. are overweight or obese

1 in 3 pets in U.S. are overweight or obese

Pet owners across the country seem uncertain about what "overweight" means for pets, the study suggests, noting that chubby pets might be becoming the "new normal". There's been a 196% increase in overweight dogs and a 158% increase in overweight cats over the past decade, People reports, citing data from Banfield Pet Hospital.

'While some may say, "My pet looks cute being pudgy or plump", ultimately carrying those extra pounds contributes to exasperating these diseases, ' he told USA Today.

Owners of overweight dogs spend 17 percent more on their pets' health care than owners of healthy-weight dogs. For a typical cat or dog, you should be able to see their waist and feel their ribs.

If you're stuck inside during one of our Florida rain storms, try to play fetch with your dog, or use a laser pointer to get your cat active.

Thirty-three percent of cats were overweight or obese in 2016, while 30 percent of pooches were rated a 4 or 5, according to Banfield's findings.

It is well-known that Americans struggle with obesity, as reports show that more than a third of the population being overweight.

Southern US states, for example, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, have some of the highest obesity statistics in people.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 60.2 million US households own a dog and 47.1 million households own a cat, accounting for 89.7 million dogs and 94.2 million cats as pets across the country. Dr. Kirk Breuninger, the lead researcher on the study, said 38% of dogs in MI were overweight, compared to 30% nationally.

It's not only Americans who are suffering from obesity problems; apparently, so are the nation's pets. The prevalence of overweight cats has shot up 169 percent. Even something as simple as walking a few extra blocks or cutting back on extra treats can help increase your pet's health. One such factor could be the misconception about what could be considered an "overweight" pet. Dr. Breuninger said owners should consult with veterinarians to come up with plans unique to their animals' needs, and a focus on nutrition and exercise is key.

"The truth is that very small changes in activity levels for cats can lead to long-term changes in their health and weight", said Breuninger, according to The Washington Post.

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