Pet owners and veterinarians continue to disagree on the degree of pet obesity found in dogs and cats in the United States. In the 2021 Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) survey, 39% of dog owners and 45% of cat owners responded that they consider their pet overweight or obese. However, APOP researchers believe that figure lies closer to 50% for both dogs and cats.
Nevertheless, the majority of pet owners (72%) do consider pet obesity to be a disease, compared to 87% of veterinarians. While veterinarians and pet owners are aware of the problem, only 46% of pet owners reported that their veterinarians discussed their pet’s ideal or healthy weight every year, while 22% of pet owners said veterinarians addressed their pets’ weight only if asked specifically about it. Another 12% reported not discussing pets’ weights with veterinarians.
Veterinarians reportedly offered recommendations for weight maintenance diets to 34% of pet owners without asking every year, although 43% did not. Another 23% of veterinarians gave recommendations when asked.
Veterinary clinics remained the most frequent choice for pet dietary recommendations among pet owners at 41.4%. Dog and cat owners second most frequent choice for the best source of pet food advice was the internet at 36.5%. Only 7.6% reported pet stores as the best place for pet food recommendations.
The online survey was completed by 865 pet parents and veterinary professionals from October 12 to December 31, 2021. Participants lived in 47 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Generational representation included 25% Baby Boomers (57-75 years of age), 32% Millennials (25-44), 21% Generation X (41-56), 18% Generation Z (<25), and 3% Silent Generation (>75).
Tim Wall covers the dog, cat and other pet food industries as senior reporter for WATT Global Media. His work has appeared in Live Science, Discovery News, Scientific American, Honduras Weekly, Global Journalist and other outlets. He holds a journalism master's degree from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a bachelor's degree in biology.
Wall served in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 2005 to 2007, where he coordinated with the town government of Moroceli to organize a municipal trash collection system, taught environmental science, translated for medical brigades and facilitated sustainable agriculture, along with other projects.
Contact Wall via https://www.wattglobalmedia.com/contact-us/
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