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Pet Obesity Awareness: Food Isn’t Love

Oct 12, 2016

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Did you know that approximately 54% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight or obese? Just as in humans, excess weight in pets can cause a host of health issues such as osteoarthritis, kidney disease, high blood pressure, cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries, cancer, heart disease and more.

So how can you tell if your pet is overweight? The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) created a Pet-to-Human Weight Equivalent Chart to help pet owners understand how much their pet would weight if he or she was a human. 

For instance, “A 12 pound Yorkie is the same as an average female (approx. 5’ 4”) weighing 218 pounds and a 14 pound cat is equivalent to a 5’ 10” man weighing 237 pounds?”

There are separate weight chart for cats and dogs. Find your pet’s Pet-to-Human Weight Equivalent Chart here

Another way to tell if your pet is at a health weight is to use a body chart. These types of charts show you how a pet at a health weight looks from the side and above. From the side, the abdomen should not be sagging and from above, your pet’s waist should dip in. Ribs should be easily felt. Use the chart below to observe your pet’s body shape. 

(Click to enlarge)

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A healthy weight is a result of a balanced diet and regular exercise. We sometimes hear pet owner ask about why their pet is gaining weight when he or she is on a strict diet. In many cases, it’s due to a lack of exercise. And more often than not, we see pet owners give too many treats to their pets. Remember, food does not equal love. 

The APOP offers resources on how to help your dog or cat lose weight. Check out their Weight Loss Tools for more information.

If you feel your dog is overweight or you need extra assistance in maintaining a healthy weight, contact your primary care veterinarian. They can design weight loss plan and provide tips on proper nutrition to help your pet achieve a healthy weight. 

2016 National Pet Obesity Awareness Day is October 12, 2016

The APOP designated a Wednesday in October to be Pet Obesity Awareness Day. On this day, the APOP invites veterinary clinics and pet owners to take their Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey. The goal of the survey is to accurately calculate the number of overweight or obese pets in the United States. This year marks the 10th annual survey. Survey responses are collected until the end of October. 

For every completed survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of “Chow Hounds,” written by Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the APOP. The book covers pet obesity, nutrition, and home-prepared meals.

Join the 2016 Pet Obesity Awareness study. Complete the short questionnaire today!



Category: Pet Health Tips