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By Dr. Lauren Smith
Published: December 31, 1969

Most people have heard the statistics that over two thirds of the American population is over-weight or obese. Far fewer of us are aware that according to recent research by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) an estimated 53% of dogs and 57% of cats are over-weight or obese. What is more startling, is how few of us realize when our pets are not at a healthy weight. As part of the study, owners were asked what they thought of their pet’s weight. 93% of dog owners and 88% of cat owners whose pets were classified as obese by their veterinarian, originally thought their pet was in the normal weight range.
Obesity is as serious a health issue in our pets as it is in our two-legged family members. Excess weight can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, arthritis, high blood pressure and even many types of cancer. In addition, it can reduce your pet’s quality of life by making it harder for them to run, play and jump.
Since identifying a healthy weight in dogs and cats is difficult for most people, it is important that your pet have a regular physical exam that can help us determine, among other things, if your pet needs to lose weight. If your pet is overweight or obese, our technicians here at Commack Animal Hospital are trained to take your pet’s measurements, at no cost to you or your pet, and calculate their ideal weight. This information can then be used to determine their nutritional needs and come up with a weight-loss plan that incorporates regular physical activity and a specialized weight-loss diet that will help keep our furry friends happy and healthy.