In a recent article in the New York Times, pet writer Anahad O’Connor discusses the pet obesity problem in America. According to a study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, about half of all dogs and cats are overweight. Those numbers are up from 2010 which indicates that the problem is only getting worse.
“Just as diabetes and heart disease are more common in people who are obese, these diseases also are more common in overweight animals,” the article says. Obesity also puts extra stress on joints, leading to an increased risk of joint injuries and difficulty with mobility. Caring for a dog with diabetes can cost around $100 per month and surgery for a ruptured cruciate ligament can cost $2,500 and up.
Those with overweight pets should first consult their veterinarian before making any drastic changes to their pet’s diet and exercise regime because “putting a cat on a strict diet without medical supervision is risky, because cats’ metabolism cannot handle calorie restriction.”