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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vets say more than half of dogs, cats are overweight

Fat pets
The portly pooch in this Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial has plenty of company. More than half of all U.S. cats and dogs are overweight, according to the Assn. for Pet Obesity Prevention. (Volkswagen)




America’s obesity crisis is spreading – to our pets.

About 53% of the nation’s cats and 55% of dogs are overweight. And more than one in five of those fat animals is clinically obese, meaning at least 30% above normal weight.

That’s the, um, skinny from a study released this week by the Assn. for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). 
While you’re getting your head around the fact that this country boasts an organization dedicated to chunky pets, consider this:  All that flab on Fluffy and Fido can cost you plenty.

That’s because fat cats and dogs are much more likely to end up with expensive health problems, according to Dr. Ernie Ward, a North Carolina veterinarian and founder of APOP.

"The number of obese pets is growing,” Ward said. “This is troubling because it means more pets will be affected by weight-related diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease, costing pet owners millions in avoidable medical costs.”

The trouble, Ward and other vets say, is us. Our pets aren’t skipping the gym and raiding the fridge. We owners are overfeeding them. And we aren’t getting off our duffs to give our pals enough walks and play time.

Then there’s denial.  About two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That has distorted our perception of what’s a normal weight, even for our pets.
To help owners grasp the situation, Ward’s organization has created a "pet weight translator" that puts the weight of cats and dogs into human terms.

Think love handles on your Pomeranian are cute? Every excess pound on a dog that small would equate to a 5-foot, 4-inch woman gaining 21 pounds, or a 5-foot-9 man putting 25 pounds of extra junk in his trunk, according to APOP.

The answer is not to buy a bigger doghouse or Sansabelt collar, vets say. Instead, feed your furry friends less and exercise them more.

Bottom line: Your pets will be healthier and probably live longer. That’s priceless.

From the Los Angeles Times (click here).

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah my dog is overweight and the vet has told us to try to limit how much he eats, its sad really. In general its crazy how not only humans are over weight, how are humans allowed to have pets then if we can't take care of our own health. To be honest I love my doggy all fat but at the same time I would like to have him for a longer time obviously.

Stephanie Cardiel Comm101 4044

Anonymous said...

While I agree that our pets are getting fatter, mine are / have, I do wish they would report on the Quality of food that is fed to the pets and whether that is contributing.

For humans so called "fast food" didn't help because of it's quality, and the quality that is fed to our pets is the same and potentially even worse than that of "fast food". Back in 2007 was one of the worst problems ever with pet food that killed numerous pets ( millions of bags and cans of pet food were contaminated with melamine ) . The FDA recognizes that its a problem, and that the 2007 incident was real, yet I don't think too many people are aware, or knew what was happening to their pets.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm266207.htm

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/20/national/main2587087.shtml

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23505218/ns/health-pet_health/t/year-after-pet-food-recall-still-buyer-beware/#.TzVERVwS0oF

Ryan Clift
Com 101 - 4049

Art Lynch said...

Good topics here for speeches...Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

My Min Pin is a little porky. I put him on RD (prescription reduction diet) once a year for a month and he gets super skinny. It's the only thing i've found that works for him.
John Williams

COM 101 Sec 4049

Bridget West COM 101-4080 said...

I have an overweight dog too. We adopted her from the shelter and she was already a little bit overweight when we did. However, she has gained a lot in the years that we've had her. I'm always worried about what health problems this may cause for her. So far, nothing has presented itself yet, but I'm always urging my family to feed my dogs less and take them out for runs.

I wish this article gave some tips on what kind of dog food and exercises are best for dogs. I agree with what Ryan said - I'm not sure if it's just the lack of exercise, but maybe also the food that they're feed.

Anonymous said...

I'm guilty of being a over feeder. My uncle has two dogs a really fit russle terrior (2) and a extremely chubby beagle mix (7). I understand that his health is at risk but he's soo old now and he loooooves food like no other dog, so I figure it doesnt hurt if I give him what he wants.. but maybe I should cut back a little on the food and add in more walks.

G.Silva
Com 101- 4049

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with this anymore. People are so lazy that they don't take there fat dogs for walks. Then they wonder why they have problems. I have a healthy dog who eats good. I take him for walks when I can but he usually likes running on the treadmill.

Andrew Govea Com 101-4049