Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. The movement was created in 2005 to help educate pet owners on their pet’s weight and why a healthy diet is so important.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) Was created by veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward who says, “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.”
Through the organization several campaigns have been launched to not only fight pet obesity but recognize it as a disease. The APOP has also developed and promoted parallel weight loss programs designed to help pet owners safely and effectively lose weight alongside their pets. They are working on research and so much more to help pets live a healthier life.
According to their 2017 pet survey 56% of dogs in the U.S. Are overweight and over 60% of cats are overweight.
If you’re wondering now if your pet is overweight or obese here are some things the APOP says you should consider:
First, you should be able to easily feel – and count – your dog’s ribs when you lightly run your fingers across the side.
Next, when you look down on your pet from above, you should see an hourglass figure or an indentation near the midsection. If your pet looks like a blimp from above, it’s packing on extra pounds.
Finally, when you observe your pet from the side as it stands, you should see a slight tuck or upward slope of the tummy. If the abdomen hangs low and drags near the ground this indicates the most dangerous and biologically active form of fat, abdominal fat, is present.
Dr. Ward includes five questions you should ask your veterinarian following the steps above.
1) Is my pet overweight?
2) How many calories should i feed my pet each day?
3) How much weight should my pet lose in a month?
4) What kinds of exercise should my pet do?
5) Is my pet at risk for a medical problem due to excess weight?
For more information click here.