Well, the numbers are in for 2016 and the pet obesity epidemic shows no signs of abating. The pet obesity survey, conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention back in October 2016, has concluded that 54% of all dogs and 59% of all cats are overweight or obese. These numbers are at all time highs and translate to approximately 42 million dogs and 51 million cats.

The survey also shed light on the fact that pet owners don’t truly understand the nutritional needs of their cats and dogs. The following questions were posed to both pet owners and veterinarians and there were significant differences between what each group believed was healthy for their furry friends.

Question Pet Owners (Yes) Veterinarians (Yes)
Do you think corn is healthy for dogs? 6% 48%
Do you think low- or no-grain diets are healthier for dogs? 61% 25%
Do you think organic pet foods are healthier? 43% 23%
Do you think raw diets are healthier for pets? 35% 15%
What’s the Problem?
pet obesity

54% of all dogs and 59% of all cats are overweight or obese

So, what’s going on here? Pet humanization is at an all-time high. Recent studies are showing that owners consider their pets to be part of the family. It would be logical to think that if pet owners consider their cats and dogs to be family members, then pet health numbers would indicate less obesity and more healthy pets. Instead, the opposite is true. Pet obesity is the main reason why chronic disease in pets is on the rise. More cats and dogs are experiencing diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, and cancer. Overweight pets are at high risk of contracting these diseases at a young age resulting in years of additional medical expenses including the high cost of medications to treat these conditions.

Pet owners (like everyone else) are typically out of the home most of the day. These people then compensate by overfeeding their pets. Many simply leave an unlimited supply of food for their pets in bowls throughout the home. Others are just not keeping track of the amount of calories that their pets are consuming. Busy lives also leave little time for researching and adhering to proper nutrition (demonstrated in the survey by the results related to owner knowledge on pet nutrition).

Ending the Pet Obesity Cycle

While we’d like to solve the ‘busy life’ problem, we know that pet owners will continue to spend much of the day out of the home. Sites like petobesityprevention.org can help owners gain the knowledge they need to keep their pets healthy, but knowledge alone won’t solve the problem. We’ve got to make it easier for pet owners to provide their pets with proper nutrition and the right amount of calories.

Pet Obesity Prevention

Check out the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention for details on how you can help your pets stay fit and healthy

Upcoming Pet Tech companies like PetTrax have come along to fill this gap. PetTrax is coming out with a connected intelligent pet feeder that will keep your cats and dogs on a proper diet and alert you to health conditions including overfeeding. The feeder will work in both single and multi-pet households and will keep you informed and connected to your pets whether at home or work.

We know that you want the best for your pets so please use resources like the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, PetTrax, and your veterinarian for help. Your pets depend on you to keep them healthy and happy.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Tagged on:                                 

Related Posts

Dog Bloat – know the warning signs Over the weekend I was called in for an emergency surgery to help a dog suffering from Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) or more commonly called dog b...
5 Tips To Keep Your Cats Warm All Winter Long Cat lovers know that our feline friends are always seeking out the heat. All year long you can count on your cats to find warm spots in the home. They...
5 Ways Pets Will Improve Your Mental Health We often hear about the physical health benefits of having a pet but as important is how pets improve mental health. There is a lot of press lately on...
A healthy pet diet is key and be sure to count calories It's common sense that we should be feeding our cats and dogs a healthy pet diet but we're not as conscious about the number of calories our cats and ...
Ashley Goes Pet Myth Busting – Part 1 – What is ... You should check the ingredients in your pet food and only use food companies that meet the strictest guidelines. The Internet is amazing! I certa...
Ricky and Teddy – A ‘Tail’ of Two Cats Pets are like children… no two are alike. That is the story of Ricky and Teddy. It was almost 19 years ago that Ricky and Teddy came into our lives. A...
Cat Arthritis – Ricky’s Treatments Ricky is our loving senior (17+ years young) cat. Ricky's 'cat arthritis' started when he was 15 and has increasingly become worse over the past 2 yea...