2012 National Pet Obesity Survey Results: 55% of U.S. Dogs and Cats Overweight in Latest Veterinary Survey

According to the sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), U.S. pet obesity rates continued to increase in 2012 with the number of overweight cats reaching an all-time high.

The survey also found 52.5% of dogs and 58.3% of cats to be overweight or obese by their veterinarian. That equals approximately 80 million U.S. dogs and cats at increased risk for weight-related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and many cancers.

“Pet obesity remains the leading health threat to our nation’s pets.” states APOP’s founder and lead veterinarian for the survey Dr. Ernie Ward. “We continue to see an escalation in the number of overweight cats and an explosion in the number of type 2 diabetes cases.”

New York-based veterinary endocrinologist and APOP board member Dr. Mark Peterson agrees. “The soaring rate of feline and canine obesity is taking a terrible toll on our animals’ health. There is a vast population of overweight cats and dogs facing an epidemic of diabetes. The best preventive measure a pet owner can make is to keep their dog or cat at a healthy weight. Diabetes is far easier to prevent than treat, especially when twice daily insulin injections are needed.”

Dr. Meg Connelly of the Willard Veterinary Clinic joined thousands of other veterinarians across the country on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 to compile pet obesity data during the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s sixth annual Pet Obesity Awareness Day.

Dr. Connelly urges pet owners to take their pets’ weight seriously. “When people bring their pets into our Quincy pet veterinary care center for a checkup, we always assess their weight situation. The trend seems to be getting worse – more and more of my patients are at risk for suffering diabetes, hypertension, sprains and strains, etc. because they are overweight. When they reach and maintain a healthy weight, their disease risks and current conditions improve enormously. As a pet veterinarian, helping pets lose weight is one of the most important preventative care services we can provide today.”

Veterinarian Dr. Connelly recommends that pet owners schedule an appointment to have their pets’ weight assessed. “You can add years to your pet’s life – healthy, quality years – just by keeping them at a healthy weight.”

You can see the results of the survey here.

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