A Major Health Epidemic – Obesity in Dogs and Cats

Obesity in dogs and cats

Obesity is certainly a major problem for humans.  But it is also a problem for our dogs and cats. 

I read a recent article that discusses an annual health report for the pets brought into its veterinary hospital.  The report emphasizes the increase in obesity found in the dogs and cats they treat.  I’m sure that their findings are similar throughout the United States.

The statistics are alarming.  It does not just blame the amount of food we feed our pets.  It also blames the kind and number of treats we feed them.

Whether it is human food or commercial treats, many people are probably feeding too much of it.

You probably get tired of me telling this.  I emphasize nutrition, exercise, and training for my dog.  As a result, he is extremely healthy for a 9 year old.

Obesity in Dogs

Romeo and Scott

I feed him what I consider to be the best quality dog food.  I read the suggested feeding amount on the dog food label.  I started feeding that amount but later reduced it.  It helped to keep him at a consistent weight.

We give him 2 functional, healthy dog treats each day – one for dental health and one antioxidant.  He loves both of them and would be happy to eat several of them at a time.  But we give him no more than one dental treat in the morning at least 1 hour after eating.  He gets no more than 1 antioxidant treat in the evening at least 1 our after eating.

By exercising every day and getting ideal nutrition, he stays at a consistent weight and is very healthy.

The article I read was on the TruthAboutPetFood.com.  It is entitled, “Ninety Percent Increase in Just Five Years” by Susan Thixton.

Here is a quote from the article:

Banfield Animal Hospital recently published a State of Pet Health report.  The most significant fact stated in this report is regarding pet obesity.  Banfield reports a 90% increase in overweight cats and a 37% increase in overweight dogs just in the last five years.

From information collected at Banfield pet hospitals all across the U.S., the veterinary chain utilizes their own medical database.  From this database, Banfield publishes their State of Pet Health report.  This years provides some startling information.

“The prevalence of excess body weight has increased by 37 percent in dogs and 90 percent in cats since 2007.”

One of the reasons for the huge increase in pet obesity seems to be treats – both commercial and human food as treats – according to the Banfield report.  “In order to keep pets at a healthy weight, the treats they receive each day should be limited to less than 10 percent of their daily caloric requirements and, when treats are given, the amount of food fed each day should be reduced by 10 percent.”  “While both dogs and cats often receive human food as treats, pet owners do not realize that even in small quantities, human food can represent a large percent of a pet’s daily caloric requirement.”

The entire article can be found here.

Have you noticed the obesity in dogs and cats?  It’s pretty sad, isn’t it?  Have you found a good way to keep your pets trim?  Thanks for your comments

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