Over 50 Percent Of American Pets Are Overweight - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Over 50 Percent Of American Pets Are Overweight

HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - Over half of U.S. dogs and cats are now overweight or obese, reports a recent study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. One-fifth of dogs and cats are obese -- weighing 30% over a healthy weight. America's obesity epidemic is apparently not just affecting humans.

Overweight pets suffer from a multitude of health issues including diabetes, kidney failure, and cancer. Last year, pets owners with one insurance company paid vets $25 million to treat obesity-related conditions such as asthma.

So who's to blame? According to The Wall Street Journal, pet owners and food manufacturers may be partially responsible. Although pet owners might have good intentions (or perhaps think their pet looks a little cuter when he waddles), overweight animals come most often from owners who overfeed their pets or don't exercise them frequently.

A number of pet owners have been accused of animal cruelty for starving a pet, such as the recent arrest of a woman from Queens whose pit bull weighed just 18 pounds. But it's only recently that overfeeding a pet has been considered perhaps animal cruelty as well. In what was deemed one of the first cases of it's kind, David and Derek Benton were convicted in 2007 for animal cruelty after they allowed their dog Rusty to become grossly overweight. The Labrador was twice the normal weight for a dog of his breed, suffered from painful joints and breathing problems, and struggled to stand up.

As for pet food manufacturers, they aren't required to list calories on their food labels unless the product advertises a low calorie content -- there is now a proposal to change this. Also, feeding directions are listed for the pet's "most demanding" life stage, meaning the directions may lead to overfeeding by 25%.

The good news is that many vets consider animal obesity to be the most preventable pet health crisis facing the U.S. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention recommends calculating calories for your pet. The website petobesityprevention.com lists the calories for many food brands. Aim for small high-protein, low carbohydrate meals. Also, make sure that your pet gets enough exercise every day. For dogs, this means 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking, and for cats, 5 to 15 minutes of short periods of an activity like chasing a toy.

What do you think? Should a pet owner be held responsible for his pet's weight?

>>>Join in on the LIVE Facebook chat by clicking here

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Health advisory issued for Fernan Lake

    Health advisory issued for Fernan Lake

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 7:25 PM EDT2018-07-18 23:25:34 GMT
    Panhandle Health DistrictPanhandle Health District

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - Panhandle Health District (PHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have issued a health advisory for Fernan Lake. PHD is urging the public to use caution when recreating in or near the water. Water quality monitoring confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. Blue-green algal blooms have the potential to produce dangerous toxins in areas of the lake. 

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - Panhandle Health District (PHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have issued a health advisory for Fernan Lake. PHD is urging the public to use caution when recreating in or near the water. Water quality monitoring confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. Blue-green algal blooms have the potential to produce dangerous toxins in areas of the lake. 

    >>
  • Cooling hot spots and strengthening containment lines top priority on Upriver/Beacon fire today

    Cooling hot spots and strengthening containment lines top priority on Upriver/Beacon fire today

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:23 PM EDT2018-07-19 17:23:40 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Firefighters on the front lines of the Upriver Beacon fire are making progress on the 115-acre fire that started Tuesday evening.  Megan Hill, Public Information Officer for the fire, tells KHQ the fire is 20 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Firefighters on the front lines of the Upriver Beacon fire are making progress on the 115-acre fire that started Tuesday evening.  Megan Hill, Public Information Officer for the fire, tells KHQ the fire is 20 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

    >>
  • Illinois man stabs himself after jury's guilty verdict

    Illinois man stabs himself after jury's guilty verdict

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:21 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:21:16 GMT

    BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Authorities say a central Illinois man stabbed himself in a courtroom shortly after a jury found him guilty in a sexual assault case. The Pantagraph reports 78-year-old Johnny Icard was sitting alone Wednesday at a defense table in Bloomington where he had represented himself at trial. When the judge said he was revoking Icard's bond, the Bloomington man said he had family affairs to attend to and wasn't expecting the verdict.   

    >>

    BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Authorities say a central Illinois man stabbed himself in a courtroom shortly after a jury found him guilty in a sexual assault case. The Pantagraph reports 78-year-old Johnny Icard was sitting alone Wednesday at a defense table in Bloomington where he had represented himself at trial. When the judge said he was revoking Icard's bond, the Bloomington man said he had family affairs to attend to and wasn't expecting the verdict.   

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/