on May 8, 2014

Pet obesity: A continuing trend

Pet obesity is still on the rise, providing the petfood industry with an opportunity to be the first line of defense in keeping pets healthy.

Pet obesity has been on the petfood industry’s radar for some time, but the latest numbers show that it’s a trend with (unfortunately for pets everywhere) serious staying power. On the upside it provides an opportunity for petfood manufacturers to become the first line of defense in helping consumers help their pets lose weight and stay healthy.

The Association for Pet  Obesity Prevention’s “2013 National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey” presents some somber numbers: An estimated 52.6% of US dogs are overweight or obese, with 16.7% obese; and an estimated 57.6% of US cats are overweight or obese, with 27.4% obese. That’s 43.8 million dogs and 55 million cats coming in at overweight or obese, according to the survey.

But it’s not just US pets in need of some portion control. The UK pet industry is calling for a clampdown on overfeeding after research by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association PFMA) revealed a disconnect between veterinarians and pet owners. While vets feel up to 45% of all pets they see are overweight (45% of dogs, 40% of cats, 28% of small animals and 15% of caged birds), two in three (63%) pet owners believe their pet is the correct weight. Further to this, only 37% of pet owners know how to determine whether their pet is overweight, and 68% of pet owners don’t follow professional guidelines when deciding portion size, according to the research.

“Overweight pets, like humans, can suffer from a myriad of health issues such as osteoarthritis…

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