While many owners believe they are being kind to their animals by feeding them what they want, in fact they are predisposing them to such things as osteoarthritis, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) and certain types of cancers.
The statistics, courtesy of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (see Read More URL below for more) are sobering:
*An Estimated 48% of All Pets in the United States are Overweight or Obese
*An Estimated 15% of All US Pets are Obese
*An Estimated 78 million US Dogs and Cats are Overweight or Obese
*An Estimated 25 million US Pets are Obese
*An Estimated 43% of US Dogs are Overweight or Obese
*An Estimated 10% of US Dogs are Obese
*Over 32 million US Dogs are Overweight or Obese
*Almost 8 million US Dogs are Obese
*An Estimated 53% of US Cats are Overweight or Obese
*An Estimated 19% of US Cats are Obese
*Over 46 million US Cats are Overweight or Obese
*Almost 17 million US Cats are Obese
So what do researchers believe are the primary causes of obesity in people and pets? A sedentary lifestyle and increased caloric intake.
The good news is that decreasing caloric input and increasing exercise will help pets lose weight. The even better news is that it is quite possible that if people started giving their pets what they need to slim down, those changes in habit may very well lead to both pets and owners becoming healthier and living longer, higher quality lives.
However, occasionally, as in humans, there is a need to supplement exercise and diet with drugs. For those more difficult weight-loss cases, there is an FDA-approved canine weight loss drug called Slentrol made by Pfizer.