In the latest Petside.com newsletter there is a great article covering pet obesity. Much like their human counterparts, pet obesity is on the rise. According to the latest released survey from the American Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 53% of cats and 55% of dogs in the United States are currently struggling with being overweight or outright obese.
The veterinarians consulted in the article speculate that the reason is simply lack of education on the owner's part. That due to the economy many middle class pet owners are not going to the vet as often and therefore their vets are not getting the opportunity to educate them on the dangers of obesity, proper diet, or advise on weight loss.
I personally believe that another contributing factor is people giving too many treats and not understanding to balance that with food. I see this all the time in training sessions. Owners have the best intentions, they just don't understand that if you are feeding a lot of treats, that should be considered when determining their food allowance for the day. Another contributing factor is table scraps. I am not opposed to feeding dogs "human" food, but if you give your dog chicken, for instance, as a treat, it should be prepared in a way that is healthy for them. Remember, dogs can't have certain things that we can.
I think these are very sad statistics, I wish people understood just how dangerous and unhealthy it is for your pet to be overweight. It is not just their heart and other organs you have to worry about, their joints and hips especially become a big concern.
I encourage you all to read this article yourself, just bark on the link: Bark!