Is Your Pet Obese?

Pet owners are feeding their pets more and exercising them less. As a result, dogs and cats are becoming obese.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Overweight Dog© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Following in the footsteps of their owners, dogs and cats are becoming obese at an alarming rate. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention states that, “one-fifth of dogs and cats are obese — weighing 30% over a healthy weight.” The cause of this weight gain? Humans.

To put it simply, we are feeding our pets too much and exercising them too little. Though they may look cute and cuddly with extra fat, excessive weight can have negative impacts on your pet, including diabetes, kidney failure, asthma, and even cancer.

Many owners are unaware of what is considered clinically obese for pets. The Wall Street Journal says the easiest way to tell if your pet is overweight is if you can’t feel your pet’s ribs. “If you have to dig around, your animal is likely too heavy.”

If you want to put your pet on a weight loss regimen, follow the same guidelines that you would if you wanted to lose weight. Pay attention to calories, use portion control, and exercise.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Plus: Should You Be Making Your Pet’s Food?

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