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Waistlines are getting bigger in the United States, but it's not just humans who are packing on the pounds. Our pets are getting bigger too. According to a 2011 survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, a staggering 55% of cats in our country are overweight.

National Pet Obesity Awareness DayA roly poly kitty might be cute, but those extra pounds can present a number of challenges for everyday living, as well as increased risk of health problems such as osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney disease, and shortened life expectancy.

In honor of National Pet Obesity Awareness Day— October 10, 2012—here are a few tips to help keep your animal companions trim and healthy.

  • Exercise is key. Take your dog for a long walk around your neighborhood or to the off-leash dog park for some play time. Cats can also be leash-trained so that they may enjoy the outdoors on supervised walks.
  • Encourage playtime. Throwing the Frisbee for your dog, or encouraging your cat to pounce, leap, and run laps around the house, will keep your pet entertained and healthy.
  • Toys for treats. Work-to-eat toys give cats and dogs puzzles to solve in order to earn a reward, keeping their brains and their bodies exercised.
  • Offer alternatives. Instead of offering high-calorie treats, try other options like baby carrots, pieces of rice cakes, or breaking up treats into smaller pieces.
  • No table scraps. Human food is just that—for humans, not animals. Not only can they be high in calories, but they can cause indigestion or other health issues for your pet.

Keep your pet happy and healthy with tips from PAWS



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A friend and I were just talking about this earlier today. we were checking out the eating habits of the dogs in our neighborhood and how that has affected many of them. I have a background in veterinary medicine. Most of these dogs are healthy, but there are a few that are obviously allowed to overeat as well as a few that are not eating meals that are low in animal fat in the first place.

Obese pets cannot run or jump the way they want to. The onus is on their people to watch what they consume, since a greedy pet will probably consume whatever is put in front of them.

Thank you for the comment, Kalice!

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