Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) will conduct its sixth annual Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey, and they are asking veterinarians and pet owners to help by recording simple information about their pets.
According to the APOP, an estimated 54 percent of cats and dogs in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese.
In February 2012, the APOP released the results of the fifth annual survey. The survey found 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats to be classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarian. That equals 88.4 million pets that are considered too heavy by veterinarians.
“The most distressing finding was the fact that more pet owners are unaware their pet is overweight.” said APOP founder Dr. Ernie Ward. “22 percent of dog owners and 15 percent of cat owners characterized their pet as normal weight when it was actually overweight or obese. This is what I refer to as the ‘fat pet gap’ or the normalization of obesity by pet parents. In simplest terms, we’ve made fat pets the new normal.”
In addition to a decreased life-expectancy, animals that are overweight are at risk for cranial cruciate ligament injury, heart and respiratory disease, insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, as well as osteoarthritis.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) has launched campaigns to fight pet obesity within the veterinary medical community, veterinary schools, and state and local veterinary organizations, and it has reached out to various media outlets. It is made up of dedicated veterinarians and veterinary healthcare personnel who are committed to making the lives of dogs, cats and all other animals healthier and more vital.
Individuals interested in participating in the 2012 survey can contact the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention by visiting www.petobesityprevention.com/npoad/.