Today, Wednesday, October 9, 2019, is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, and the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) wants to alert pet owners of an E X P A N D I N G problem.
Did you know that currently more than half of all domestic dogs and cats are clinically overweight? That amounts to nearly 49 million dogs and more than 50 million cats who are a bit portlier than their peers.
According to Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the APOP, “Obesity is the number one health threat pets face, and the most important pet health decision owners make each day is what and how much they feed.”
When pets are overweight, fat often is deposited around the rib cage restricting the movement of the chest wall during respiration. It’s like wearing a corset 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s hard to take a deep breath, sleep comfortably, or move around. Over time, this decreased ability to breathe leads to low blood-oxygen levels, which puts a strain on the heart and can ultimately lead to heart failure.
How can you tell if your pet is a healthy weight? You should:
- Be able to feel your pet’s ribs easily
- See a waist when viewing your pet from above
- Not see a sagging stomach when you view your pet from the side
The good news is that pet obesity can be easily prevented by taking a few cautionary steps. First, all pet owners should speak to their veterinarian frankly about their pet’s weight. Next, you can signup to be a part of the National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Study! Finally, you can click here to access safe weight loss tools for your pet.
Thanks to making it a national holiday, pet owners are now armed with the tools and information they need to keep their dog or cat healthy. With your help, APOP hopes to significantly reduce the number of obese pets in the near future.