The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has revealed that pet obesity rates has held steady in the past year, with 58 percent of cats and 54 percent of dogs recorded as overweight or obese, despite efforts by the Association to spread awareness of the dangers of pet obesity. Pet obesity, like obesity in humans, can lead to osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint injury, cancer and decreased life expectancy.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention also found most owners of overweight pets do not realize their pet is considered overweight. Ninety-five percent of dog owners and 90 percent of cat owners believed their overweight pets were in the normal weight range.
"There's an entire nation of pet owners who are loving their pets to death with too many calories and not enough exercise," said Joe Bartges, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist and internist. "They are in the dark that their pets are overweight and that a host of diseases can arise as a result."