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Pets Are Getting Heavier with Each Year- And It’s Damaging Their Health

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Chubby pooches and chunky kitties- you might find them cute, but their excess weight is proving to be a severe problem. Obesity in pets is a growing problem that costs pawrents thousands of dollars in vet bills, and seriously endangers the wellbeing of their precious companion in the process. Unfortunately, it seems that this trend is only growing, despite the concern and warnings from veterinarians. Now, new reports highlight the data on pet obesity and its effect on chronic illness.

Every year, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention tracks the weight trends of cats and dogs in order to see if the obesity trend is on the rise- and the data published this year is not encouraging. According to the Association, 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs classified as overweight or obese in the United States. That’s more than half of all US pets, which translates to tens of millions of dogs and cats. What’s more, it’s not just that pets are overweight- it’s that both the owners and veterinarians are unsure how to help cats and dogs maintain a healthy weight. This is a result of all that contradicting information about proper nutrition circling around.

Naturally, obesity is a trigger for many health issues that are becoming worryingly common among pets, such as diabetes or heart disease. But, according to Banfield Pet Hospital, there’s another, less known obesity-related problem to look out for: osteoarthritis. Their report which looked at data ranging 10 years back, reveals a staggering consequence of the rising pet obesity trend: osteoarthritis has seen a 66% increase in dogs and a 150% increase in cats. Osteoarthritis results in joint pain and prevents pets from being active, which can lead to weight gain, and the excess weight puts more stress on joint, exacerbating the osteoarthritis symptoms. A vicious circle!

While there’s no denying that pet obesity is becoming an epidemic, there’s still hope we can turn it around. Don’t overfeed your dog or cat, or indulge them with too many treats, and make sure that they get enough exercise. Prevention is better than cure, and being mindful of your pet’s weight on time can save you a lot of money and nerves in the long run. Not to mention keep your pet in good health for years to come!


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