Pet Obesity

As the number of Americans who are overweight has grown, studies show that the same statistics apply to our companion animals. About half of all dogs and cats in American homes are overweight or obese, up slightly from 2010, according to a recent study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

And although owners may think their pudgy dog or cat is cute, all that extra weight spells trouble the some 85 million U.S. pets who are considered overweight.

And many pet owners are finding that the extra pounds on a pudgy cat or dog can lead to severe secondary health problems. Just as diabetes, joint problems, and heart disease are more common in people who are obese, these diseases also are more common in overweight animals. The average cost of veterinary care for a diabetic dog or cat in 2011 was more than $900, according one pet insurance company. Treatment for arthritis and cruciate ligament tears in dogs, which can be caused by the strain of an overweight frame that weakens joints, cost pet owners an average of $2,000.

Last week, an interesting article the cost of pet obesity was published in the Wellness section of the New York Times. To read the complete article, entitled “Paying the Price of a Fat Pet,” click this link.


From Dr. Mark Peterson’s Animal Endocrine Clinic Blog

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