Do Your Pets Need to Diet, Too?

fatcatElsidesqFlickrFor better or worse, the animals that share our lives also reflect our habits. For dog and master alike, for instance, a walk can be fun and healthy. If, on the other hand, you reward your pet with food and let them laze around all day, you’re likely to end up with an obese pup or kitty.

LiveScience reported Oct. 9 — National Pet Obesity Awareness Day — that an estimated one in four pets in the U.S. is overweight or obese, and the problem is only getting worse: reports from shelters show that 37 percent more dogs are obese compared to five years ago, while the population of fat cats has jumped (although that might not be the right word) 90 percent.

Unfortunately, most pet owners don’t see animal obesity as a problem. Just like humans, however, overweight pets are more prone to diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other major health issues.

How do you know if your pet is packing on too many pounds? Check their waistline, which should be easily definable. If you can’t tell where it is, or you can’t feel their ribs because they are under a layer of extra fat, it’s time to put your pet on a diet.

(Photo © Elsie esq. via Flickr)