The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention recently presented their latest survey with sobering numbers. 54 percent of US pets are overweight. 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats have been classified as overweight or obese, and that equals 88.4 million pets.
To make the news even more disturbing, 15 percent of cat owners and 22 percent of dog owners think their overweight pets are within normal range.
The additional weight comes from a lack of exercise, and overfeeding. It is easy to forget how small a pet is compared to a human. A typical dog biscuit fed to a 20 lbs dog is the equivalent of a person eating two double-stuffed fudge cookies. Giving a pig ear to a 40 lbs dog is the same as a person drinking six cans of soda.
Excess weight in pets often shorten the life span. It can lead to joint disease, diabetes, heart conditions, and skin disease.
Good ideas to keep the pet’s weight under control include:
* Use a smaller food bowl – it’s easier to overfeed a pet when the bowl looks empty
* Use a measuring cup
* Follow feeding instructions, and check every time you change foods, because the calorie contents might be different
* Limit the treats