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Animal Life: The Perils Of Pet Obesity

Rachele Totaro
Obesity can cause serious health problems for pets.

Lately, people have noticed that my dog Sparky seems to have gained some weight. Luckily, he’s not sensitive to the comments, but it has made me wonder if I need to add a few more minutes to our daily walk, or put less kibble in his bowl. 

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, about 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats in the United States are overweight or obese. 

Obesity can cause a number of health problems for pets, including osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension and heart disease.

So how do you know if your pet is overweight? 

Start with the rib test. If it’s difficult to feel your pet’s ribs, you know it’s time to lose a few pounds. If you can grab a handful of fat under his stomach, that’s also a clear sign that your pet is overweight. Finally, look at your pet from above. Does she have a broad, flat back with no visible waist? If so, it’s time to exercise!

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