According to the National Pet Obesity Day Study, conducted in October 2008, older animals have a higher incidence of being overweight or obese. Slightly more than 52 percent of dogs and 55 percent of cats over the age of seven were found to be overweight or obese. Extra pounds in older pets amplify any pre-existing conditions and complicate treatments, says lead researcher Dr. Ernest Ward. As a direct result, teams are seeing more and more diabetes, respiratory, and arthritic conditions.
To help elderly patients shed some pounds or prevent younger pets from developing these chronic, incurable, and generally preventable disease, talk to owners about weight management and the importance of nutrition. A great opening line: A few extra pounds on a dog or cat is similar to a person being 30 to 50 lbs overweight.
On average, the study found 44 percent of dogs and 57 percent of cats to be above their ideal weights.
For additional information on the study, please visit petobesityprevention.com.