Is Pet Obesity Underestimated?
About one-third of adults in the U.S. obese and, according to information from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) (compiled by Newsweek), 21 percent of pets are too. As the figures indicate, people tend to underestimate whether or nor a pet is obese: A web survey found that only 8 percent of dog owners say their pets are obese.
Owners of cats similarly underestimate their pet’s obesity, with implications for their health. Pets who are obese can have health problems including osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, pulmonary and heart diseases, injuries, kidney disease and cancer, as well as shortened lifespans.
To put this information into perspective, the APOP offers these comparisons.
Did you realize a 12 pound Yorkie is the same as an average female weighing 218 pounds and a 14 pound cat is equivalent to a 237 pound man? Did you consider that a 90 pound female Labrador retriever is equal to a 186 pound 5’ 4” female or 217 pound 5’ 9” male or a fluffy feline that weighs 15 pounds (DSH) is equal to a 218 pound 5’ 4” female or 254 pound 5’ 9” male?
As the author LifeLines, a comparative physiologist and self-described owner of a “Garfield-like cat,” comments, “they are easier to take care of when they are what I like to call ‘cuddly.’ After he lost weight, [his cat] had so much more energy to get into mischief in the middle of the night!”
The APOP’s site also has a number of Pet-to-Human Weight Equivalent Charts for different species of dogs.
A recent New York Times article about gourmet to-go food for pets is perhaps a symptom of the problem of pet obesity. A 40-pound dog eating a pig’s ear is the equivalent of a person “drinking a whole six-pack of Coke” (regular) and a 20-pound dog eating a biscuit is the same as one of us humans “eating two Keebler E.L. Fudge Double-Stuffed cookies” — reason indeed to be careful about one too many treats, and to make sure everyone gets in their daily walks and exercise.
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Photo by Elsie esq.