Pet Obesity a Growing Problem in U.S.


Those eyes. That sweet face. One of the hardest things to resist is a pet who is always begging for treats or food at the dinner table. Unfortunately, one too many treats can lead to pets being overweight, and even to pet obesity–something that affects 17 million pets in the United States.    

While fat dogs may seem cute and cuddly, overweight and obese pets are at high risk for a number of health problems–diabetes, arthritis and heart disease–that often lead to a shorter lifespan. In addition to too much food, lack of exercise for indoor animals is another cause of pudgy pets.

Veterinarians can recommend diet and exercise plans for overweight animals.When it comes to doggie snacking, some tips for “cutting the calories” include feeding them snacks such as ice chips and carrots.Regular walks–not just walks outside for bathroom purposes–are also recommended to help boost activity levels. 

K9 Commentary: I LOVE how happy my dogs get when they know they’re about to get a treat. But, of course, once they gobble down that first treat, they’re immediately looking for the second…and the third.

However, that satisfaction quickly turns to guilt for any pet owner who’s been given a lecture by their vet for their dog being overweight–and no, saying “he’s not fat, he’s just big-boned” doesn’t worked–tried it.

I’ve found my dogs appreciate a good belly rub or game of tug o’ war with a chew toy just as much as any treat I give them. I’d rather have Pom and Casper around for 20 years then give them two seconds of satisfaction with a treat. 

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