Pets come in all shapes and sizes, but sometimes sizes get a little out of hand. That’s why on October 14 we recognize National Pet Obesity Day to remind people to keep their pets healthy. When your pooch starts getting a little plump, you know it’s time for a few things . More walks, less table scraps, and perhaps even an additional visit to the vet to make sure they’re still healthy. While a rotund Rover can be a cute or funny sight, that extra layer for lovin’ can have some serious consequences. Thanks to National Pet Obesity Day, we can now all learn more about this problem among our beloved pets.
History of National Pet Obesity Day
While humans have domesticated animals for hundreds of years, only most recently have we seen such an exponential increase of plus-sized pets. While it’s hard to say no to those precious faces when it comes to food, it’s important to practice discipline for the safety and well-being of our beloved companions. It starts with recognizing there is a problem. Pet owners think their obese dog or cat is a normal weight, making confronting obesity difficult. No one wants to think their pet is overweight, and overcoming denial is our first battle. Currently more than half of all domestic dogs and cats are clinically overweight, which is to say their body condition score is above a four. That amounts to nearly 49 million dogs and more than 50 million cats who are a bit portlier than their peers. This can lead to serious health issues for these animals including diabetes, arthritis, decreased life expectancy, high blood pressure and cancer. Not only will it be hard for your pet, but it will be hard for you to watch, not to mention these conditions can quickly become very costly. The good news is that pet obesity can be easily prevented by taking a few cautionary steps, thanks to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP).