Most American Pets are Too Fat

Fifty-four percent of dogs and cats are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. That’s 93 million dogs and cats, if their estimate is accurate. Excess weight can shorten a pet’s life by 2.5 years said a veterinarian who works in North Carolina. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis and some cancers are related to excessive weight in dogs and cats.

One of the reasons dogs become overweight is that people feed them table scraps and junk food. Also dog treats are given too often. “No one would sit down and drink six sodas at one time, yet thatís exactly what weíre doing when we give our pets these snacks. Even a single, small dog bone treat given to a 10-pound dog is no different than a person eating two chocolate doughnuts. The truth is, we rarely stop at one dog treat. Give a few each day and youíve fed the equivalent of a dozen doughnuts, ” said pet health researcher Dr. Ernie Ward. (Source: Pet Obesity Prevention) He also said the number one threat to pet health is excess weight.

Is it a mystery why so many American pets are overweight? Not really – the pets aren’t feeding themselves. Clearly people are overfeeding their own pets. But why? Is it the general culture of overeating and overconsumption influencing people to overfeed their animals? Or is more that sedentary people who also overeat don’t exercise their pets enough, and overfeed them?

“Pet obesity begins with excessive kindness. Food is the primary way some pet owners demonstrate love to their pet. When dog treats and table scraps become signs of affection or behavioral tools, it becomes difficult to effectively regulate a pet’s diet,” sad a vet who works in the pet health insurance industry. (Source

About two-thirds of adult Americans are obese or overweight, so the percentage of people who are overweight is actually greater than the number of pets, but there is a parallel.

Image Credit: Ellen Levy Finch (Elf) / Wiki Commons

Related Links
Dangers of Pet Obesity
Fat Letters Sent Home with Kids

Obesity Increased in 28 States


Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Lynn D.
Lynn D4 years ago

thanks................sad to see fat pets walking around with their too fat people!

Fiona T.
Past Member 4 years ago

If the owners really care, they should think about their pet's health

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby4 years ago


Emily Drew
Emily Drew5 years ago

I don't understand how someone could let their pet become very overweight or obese. If someone is starving their child it is considered cruelty and neglect yet if someone over feeds their pet and does not exercise with them it is not considered cruelty and neglect!? Either way you are killing your pet!

Mara Comitas
Past Member 5 years ago

I give my dogs treats but read labels carefully. Their chicken treats are just plain old dried chicken. Some of the more popular brands add glycerin to soften the texture. It is a form of sugar and adds extra calories and ca increase tooth decay. The same with their other treats - freeze dried salmon, freeze dried liver and baked duck feet. Not only are hey a perfect weight, but they have amazing teeth.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.5 years ago

thanks for sharing

Shane Carr
Shane C5 years ago

I Have Just Adopted 2, Of The Fattest Cats Ever. I'm Not Sure, What They Were Eating Before , But I'm Going To Make Healthy Changes.
Your Friend Shane

Debbie Crowe
Debbie C5 years ago

We have 1 overweight cat out of 5. She is the oldest at 15 years, so she has slowed down considerably. But now, after reading this, I need a way to get her moving. She has no interest in playing. She will watch the other cats chase the lazer beam, or play with the wands or chase balls, but she will not take part. She goes out of the room if I try to play with her or goes over and goes to sleep.
We just changed cat food to a brand that has meat as the first ingredient and they all seem to love it. I am hoping that it will help her feel healty enough to play again.