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Thread: Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

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    Default Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

    The 2013 “fat pet” study results are in, and the news isn’t good. Over half of dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Cats account for 57 percent of fat pets, with dogs coming in second at 53 percent.


    As in past years, the 2013 study conducted by the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity (APOP) suggests a stunning disconnect in owners of overweight and obese dogs and cats. A reported 93 percent of dog owners and 88 percent of cat owners felt their pet was a normal weight. This “fat gap” is considered by experts to be a key factor in the epidemic of pet obesity.


    Excess weight puts pets at risk for the same diseases seen in overweight humans, including arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, and shortened life span. Obesity is also linked to cancer in pets.


    If your pet is a healthy weight, you should be able to feel (but not see) his ribs, see a waistline when you look at him from above, and notice a tuck in his abdomen when you look at him from the side.
    If your pet is overweight or obese, it’s important to begin a program today to get her safely down to a normal weight by feeding a balanced, species-appropriate diet, practicing portion control, and insuring your dog or cat gets adequate exercise.




    Today, October 8th, is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. And there's good reason to have a day dedicated to bringing attention to the epidemic of overweight and obese pets. The results are in for 2013, and an estimated 54 percent of dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese.


    Specifically:


    30 percent of cats are overweight, and another 27 percent are obese, which means nearly 60 percent of U.S. cats are too heavy. That's 55 million overweight and 26 million obese cats out of a total of about 96 million pet cats.
    An estimated 36 percent of dogs are overweight, and another 17 percent are obese, for a total of 53 percent of the dog population. In round numbers, that's about 44 million overweight and 14 million obese dogs out of 83 million pet dogs.
    Sadly, these trends reflect the problem of obesity in the human population. According to 2010 CDC numbers, approximately 68 percent of American adults – 148 million -- are overweight or obese.


    If there's any good news, it's that 2013 numbers are essentially flat to 2012 numbers, so at least the number of overweight and obese pets didn't increase.


    Majority of Owners of Fat Pets Remain Clueless


    Veterinarians who assessed pets for the 2013 Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity (APOP) study classified about half as overweight or obese. However, the owners of these pets seemed to have no clue, since 93 percent of dog owners and 88 percent of cat owners thought their pet was a normal weight.


    APOP calls this phenomenon the "fat gap," and feels it is a primary factor in the epidemic of pet obesity. Part of the owners' knowledge gap is in understanding how much food to feed their pets each day. According to APOP board member Dr. Joe Bartges, a veterinary nutritionist and internist who heads the Small Animal Clinical Sciences department at University of Tennessee Knoxville's College of Veterinary Medicine:


    "There's an entire nation of pet owners who are loving their pets to death with too many calories and not enough exercise. They are in the dark that their pets are overweight and that a host of diseases can arise as a result."


    Excess weight puts pets at risk for a variety of diseases, including:


    Osteoarthritis Respiratory disease
    Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, Cranial cruciate ligament injury
    High blood pressure, Kidney disease
    Heart disease, Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
    Obesity → Cancer Link in Pets


    In addition to the serious diseases listed above, obesity is also linked to many forms of cancer in pets. And in fact, caloric restriction has been shown to prevent and delay the progression of tumor development across species.


    There is a connection between too much glucose, increased insulin sensitivity, inflammation and oxidative stress – all factors in obesity – and cancer. Certainly, the increase in cancer rates among dogs and cats is in part attributable to the obesity epidemic.


    Overfeeding your pet is not a loving thing to do. Food is no substitute for quality time spent with your dog or cat. And keep in mind that fat doesn't just sit on your pet's body harmlessly. It produces inflammation that can promote tumor development.


    So… Is Your Pet Overweight or Obese?


    If you're not sure if your pet is too heavy, you can find weight guidelines at Pet Obesity Prevention.


    The body condition of dogs and cats is assessed on a scale of 1 to 9, where 1 is emaciated and 9 is obese. A pet at a healthy size will fall in the middle of the range at 4 to 5. If your pet is a normal weight and in good physical shape, you'll be able to feel his ribs, but not see them. You should be able to see your pet's waistline when you look down at him, and notice a tuck in the abdomen when you look at him from the side.


    If your dog or cat is too heavy, begin a program to get her safely down to a healthy weight. No single thing you can do for your four-legged family member is more important than what and how much you feed her.


    These three common sense guidelines are all you really need:


    Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet to your pet. Regardless of her weight, your dog or cat still needs the right nutrition for her species, which means food that is high in animal protein and moisture, with low or no grain content.


    Practice portion control -- usually a morning and evening meal, carefully measured. A moisture-rich, high-protein, low-carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog or cat. And don't forget to factor in any calories from treats.


    Regularly exercise your pet. An overweight body gets back in shape by taking in fewer calories and expending more energy. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

    Great post. Jewel is in this boat of being overweight. She is 60 lbs and we need to get her down to 50-55 lbs. Only thing right now...Jewel is on injured reserve until her knee mends....yep she had the cranial cuciate ligament tear repaired by TPLO. Now almost 9 weeks post surgical, we are going for walks and increasing the distance as we go. We have also been giving her less food and limiting treats. Bentley aka "The Wild Man" can stand to gain but is just right by the vet at 45 lbs.

    P.S. The walks are good for Jewel and Bentley's daddy becasue since he left the military....Daddy developed "furniture disease." This is where his chest has just fallen into his drawers.

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    Default Re: Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

    Aww I hope Jewel mends well and has a quick recovery. It will be better for her knees and other joints in the long run, if she could lose the extra pounds. My guys go between 45 and 50 lbs. They are usually 45 lbs, then over the winter, when they aren't out as much and not as active in the parks, they will gain the extra 4 to 5 lbs. my vet has said she would like to see them more around 40 lbs, but at 45 they look fine, she just said its better for their joints as they get older to be on the lighter side. You can give Jewel a little less food, and then top up her kibble with green beans or other veggies to fill her up, without the extra calories, that way she won't feel hungry.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Vikinggirl View Post
    Aww I hope Jewel mends well and has a quick recovery. It will be better for her knees and other joints in the long run, if she could lose the extra pounds. My guys go between 45 and 50 lbs. They are usually 45 lbs, then over the winter, when they aren't out as much and not as active in the parks, they will gain the extra 4 to 5 lbs. my vet has said she would like to see them more around 40 lbs, but at 45 they look fine, she just said its better for their joints as they get older to be on the lighter side. You can give Jewel a little less food, and then top up her kibble with green beans or other veggies to fill her up, without the extra calories, that way she won't feel hungry.
    Thanks. Recovery has been stressful and nerve racking.

    Jewel really does not care for veggies except for Hill's veggie or fruit wafers.

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    Default Re: Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

    Quote Originally Posted by rjisaterp View Post
    Thanks. Recovery has been stressful and nerve racking.

    Jewel really does not care for veggies except for Hill's veggie or fruit wafers.
    even frozen green beans she woun't take if mixed in her kibble?
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    Default Re: Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BullyMama View Post
    even frozen green beans she woun't take if mixed in her kibble?
    yep! Jewel is finicky.

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    Default Re: Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

    Quote Originally Posted by rjisaterp View Post
    Thanks. Recovery has been stressful and nerve racking.

    Jewel really does not care for veggies except for Hill's veggie or fruit wafers.
    Roger, I've been stocking up on (no salt) canned green beans. I will give Tate 1/2 cup of kibble (instead of 1 cup), and supplement the rest with a generous portion of the green beans. Or if i'm giving them home cooked food, it's the same idea; about 2 tablespoons of rice, some meat, and a big scoop of the green beans. I haven't weighed Tate yet but i think his waistline looks slimmer. He's 70 lbs and the vet and I want him down to the mid 60's.




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    Default Re: Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

    Quote Originally Posted by cali baker View Post
    Roger, I've been stocking up on (no salt) canned green beans. I will give Tate 1/2 cup of kibble (instead of 1 cup), and supplement the rest with a generous portion of the green beans. Or if i'm giving them home cooked food, it's the same idea; about 2 tablespoons of rice, some meat, and a big scoop of the green beans. I haven't weighed Tate yet but i think his waistline looks slimmer. He's 70 lbs and the vet and I want him down to the mid 60's.
    Thanks for the tip.

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