A recently released study found that weight problems are on their way to becoming a common occurrence and problem for US pets as well. According to research results, one in every three pets already is overweight or obese.
The study was conducted by researchers part of Banfield, a veterinary hospital chain. They analyzed information gathered from some 2.5 million dogs and about half a million cats. These were all patients in their clinics in 2016.
US Pets Obesity Trends Differ From Human Ones
According to reports, the highest number of pets with weight problems was registered in Minnesota. Some 41 percent of the dogs and around 46 percent of the cats in this state were either overweight or obese.
In general, pet obesity trends were noted to differ from the human ones. The Southern US states such as Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi present some of the highest human obesity rates of the nation. In contrast, they have some of the lowest pet obesity rates.
The new report also brings to attention the increasingly more widespread trend of pet obesity. According to the Banfield study, the number of overweight US pets increased by more than 150 percent in just a decade.
This is quite a cause for concern as weight problems can have just as serious consequences in pets as they have in humans. The report also shows that the increase in obesity and overweight percentages came with a rise in the number of arthritis cases, for example.
Banfield also pointed out that the extra pounds also translate into additional food costs for the pet owners. They can also account for further investments in their pets’ healthcare costs.
The study points out that this weight increase in US pets may be caused by the misconception surrounding being overweight in domestic animals. Some owners may be unsure of how much food their pet actually needs.
Nonetheless, Banfield advises owners to try and reduce their furry friends’ chances of obesity or to help them drop the extra pounds. Regular or an increase in exercises and also cutting down on treats should be useful in both cases. Pet owners can also consult a veterinary specialist about nutrition counseling.
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