DOES YOUR PET NEED A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION?
ABOVE VIDEO:With 35 percent of adults considered obese, the assessment and management of the impact of the “obesity epidemic” on the overall health and wellbeing of America is a primary focus of the media, politicians and policy makers, and all sectors of the healthcare industry. (CNN video)
With 35 percent of adults considered obese, the assessment and management of the impact of the “obesity epidemic” on the overall health and wellbeing of America is a primary focus of the media, politicians and policy makers, and all sectors of the healthcare industry.
Unfortunately, the tendency to pack on the pounds to the detriment of good health is carrying over in a big way into our pet population.
80 Million U.S Dogs and Cats At Risk From Obesity
According to the sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats are overweight or obese as determined by their veterinarians.
The 2012 survey, conducted in October and December 2012, analyzed data from 121 veterinary clinics in 36 states, and included the assessment of 1,485 dogs and 450 cats.
Pet obesity numbers are on the rise, with last year’s survey number of overweight cats reaching an all-time high of 43.2 million, and 36.7 million canines tipping the scales at a level that increases their risk for obesity-related health conditions similar to those seen in humans, such as high blood pressure, joint problems, certain cancers and especially diabetes.
Obesity #1 Health Threat To American Pets
APOP’s founder and lead veterinarian for the survey, Dr. Ernie Ward, considers obesity to be the leading health threat to American pets, and said, “We continue to see an escalation in the number of overweight cats and an explosion in the number of type 2 diabetes cases.”
APOP board member and New York-based veterinary endocrinologist Dr. Mark Peterson concurs with Dr. Ward.
“There is a vast population of overweight cats and dogs facing an epidemic of diabetes.
The best preventive measure a pet owner can make is to keep their dog or cat at a healthy weight. Diabetes is far easier to prevent than treat, especially when twice daily insulin injections are needed.”
Pets’ ‘Fat Gap’ Often Overlooked By Owners
It can sometime be tricky recognizing the physical signs of obesity, and pet owners may not realize that their dog or cat is fat. “The fat gap,” as Dr. Ward calls it, is the phenomenon of incorrectly evaluating an overweight pet as normal.
In fact, the survey showed approximately 45 percent of cat and dog owners assessed their pet as having a normal body weight when the veterinarian assessed the pet to be overweight.
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