As Americans get bigger, so do our pets! 34.2% of Americans over age 20 were overweight as of 2008, and another 33.8% were obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, a 200 survey of veterinarians across the country by the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity found that 45% of dogs and 58% of cats were overweight or obese. Those numbers revealed a 2% increase in dog weight problems from the year before, and a 5% increase for cats.
The reasons? The same as in humans: unbalanced diets, too many snacks and not enough exercise. And while you can’t get Fido a fitness club membership, there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent pudgy pets.
According to Stephanie Pappas, senior writer for LiveScience, some basic human dieting tips are a good place to start: counting calories via weight-tracking and meal planning, smarter choices of pet food and exercise being foremost among them. Check out her full article for even more tips, tricks and techniques for helping your furry friend get fit.