One of my pet peeves is seeing overweight dogs and cats. To me, pet obesity borders on abuse. When pet parents equate food with love, they are literally killing their dogs and cats with what only appears to be kindness. My dogs, Sanchez and Gina, are Labs. They’d eat non-stop all day if I let them. It is our responsibility as loving pet owners to keep our pets healthy and fit.
How do you know if your dog is overweight?
Even though over half of the dogs and cats in the U.S. are considered obese or overweight, this is not often an easy discussion for veterinarians to have with clients. Loving dog owners often take it personally and are offended when told their dog or cat is overweight. Iím not a veterinarian, but my personal suggestion: If you canít see a waistline on your pet, theyíre overweight. And if you canít feel ribs (as suggested by Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM), you probably canít see a waistline.
Pet obesity mirrors human obesity, according to Dr. Kirsten Pieper of the Animal Emergency Clinic of McLean County in Indiana. “We sit on the couch, watching the Kardashians and eating chips and our pets are sitting there too, eating treats,Ē she said in a recent interview for Pantagraph.com.
In the infograph below, you’ll find some surprising statistics about the pet obesity epidemic in the United States.
Next: What you can do to help Fido get fit