We know that the waistlines of Americans have continued to expand for years, but now it seems our beloved pets are following suit.
Banfield Pet Hospital's 2017 Pet Health report found that one in three pets who visited the Banfield pet facilities in 2016 was overweight or obese. This annual report details the health habits of 2.5 million dogs and 500,000 cats who were brought into the facility in 2016.
Dr. Kirk Breuninger, a veterinary research associate at the hospital stated that they noticed pets were gaining on their waistlines over 5 years ago.
"More than 20 disease conditions have been linked with pets being overweight," Breuninger said. "While some may say, 'My pet looks cute being pudgy or plump,' ultimately carrying those extra pounds contributes to exasperating these diseases."
Like humans, keeping your pet at a healthy weight could prolong the life of your pet and delay chronic diseases such as arthritis and tracheal collapse in dogs.
"We know a few things that are really linked with pets becoming overweight, one of which is pets not getting enough exercise, pets eating too much food, and pet owners who really consider pets a part of the family use treats as a form of communication with pets," he said.