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Pet Obesity Statistics & Fact Sheet 2021 (Dogs, Cats, & Other Animals)
Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Pet obesity is a growing problem in America and the rest of the world. It can lead to several health risks and can shorten the lifespan of our pet. However, it may not always be easy to tell if your pet is overweight or what you can do to fix it before it gets out of control. We’ve searched the internet to find s many statistics as we could find to help you understand how serious this problem is, and we’ll also provide you with tips for determining your pet’s ideal weight and some steps you can take to correct it.
12 Pet Obesity Statistics
Biggest Causes of Animal Obesity
Some animals have obesity in their genes and are predisposed to becoming overweight. Dog breeds prone to becoming overweight include the Bassett Hound, Pug, Bulldog, Beagle, Golden Retriever, and Dachshund. Several cat breeds are also prone to obesity, including the Sphynx, Birman, American Shorthair, Manx, and Persian.
Overeating is the main cause of obesity in pets. Humans tend to feed larger portions than are suggested. We also over-treat and give in too easily when our pets bug us for food.
A lowered metabolism is the result of a malfunctioning thyroid gland. This disease can cause your pet to gain weight and may also cause a decrease in activity, causing your pet to take more frequent naps. Other symptoms might include aggressiveness, dandruff, constipation, and more.
Trauma, both physical and mental, can cause stress to your pet, and much like humans, your pet might try to cope by overeating. If you tend to leave food in the bowl for your pet, you might find it is empty more often. Other symptoms might include withdrawal and aggression. You may also notice your pet shaking or excessively vocalizing. In extreme cases, your pet might break housetraining.
Another common cause of obesity is a sedentary lifestyle. Breeders created many dog breeds to herd sheep or chase prey so hunters can shoot them ab d they can run and jump for several hours every day. Even owners that take their dog out for a daily walk are unlikely to reach the activity level required to keep the dog healthy.
Dogs that spend their day in the home or lounging in the backyard can gain weight quickly. The same is true for cats. While keeping them in the house is safer for them and the local wildlife, your indoor cat, cannot get the same level of exercise an outdoor cat gets. Most indoor cats lounge by the window, sleeping or watching birds, and see very little activity.
Another cause of obesity is low-quality food. Many brands cut costs by adding fillers like corn, soy, and wheat. These fillers add little nutritional value but digest easily, creating a sugar boost just like in humans. This sugar high wears off, causing your pet to lay down and take a nap, and quite often, they will wake up hungry again, begging you for more food.
Major Health Risks of Animal Obesity
The list of health risks associated with obesity is nearly endless, no matter what type of pet you have. However some illnesses are more common than others, including arthritis, bladder disease, liver disease, diabetes, heart failure, asthma, and many more. Many of these illnesses are life-threatening or will or will lead to other conditions that are.
5 Most Common Illnesses Caused By Obesity in Dogs
5 Most Common Diseases Caused By Obesity in Cats
How to Tell if Your Animal is Overweight
You can usually tell if your dog or cat is overweight by looking at it from above. If you can see well-defined hips, your pet is in good shape. You shouldn’t see the ribs but should feel them easily when you pet them. If the body is oval, like a football, and you cannot clearly see the hips, your pet is likely overweight.
You shouldn’t see the ribs of your pet, but you should be able to feel them easily by pressing on them or petting your cat or dog. You should also be able to feel the hips, and they should have padding bit not be soft or fatty.
You can often see pat pads on cats and dogs by looking at their legs. The fat will usually swing between their legs as they walk.
Overweight pets tend to be consumed with eating. It will often push other pets out of the way to get to the food and continuously beg for a treat or snack. When they are not eating, overweight pets tend to sleep or lounge around, often avoiding any activity that will quickly tire them out.
Overweight animals tend to have difficulty breathing. You will often notice increased snoring and heavy breathing, sometimes when your pet is sitting still. A difficulty breathing can make it difficult for your pet to get any exercise to combat the problem.
Find a Chart
There are many different breeds of dogs and cats, and there are also many other animals people keep as pets. A great way to tell what your pet should weigh is to find a chart of your species. These charts will often give you a weight range as well as several physical attributes to look at.
How To Develop a Weight Loss/Management Plan For Your Pet
The two areas you want to focus on when developing a weight loss plan are calories and activity.
Obesity is a serious problem in America and abroad. It’s one of the leading causes of death of almost any kind of pet, and it’s also the most preventable. It’s much easier to prevent your pet from becoming obese than it is to help them lose weight. Animals don’t understand and will be relentless in searching for food and can even become violent with other family pets if you cut their portions. Pay careful attention to the quality of the food and portion size and set up a regular exercise routine that you and your pet can stick to consistently if you want to keep your pet at the ideal weight.
We hope you enjoyed our look into pet obesity and learned a few facts you didn’t already know. If we have convinced you to get serious about maintaining your pet’s weight, please share these obesity statistics on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image: Ihtar, Pixabay
Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.
- 12 Pet Obesity Statistics
- Biggest Causes of Animal Obesity
- Major Health Risks of Animal Obesity
- 5 Most Common Illnesses Caused By Obesity in Dogs
- 5 Most Common Diseases Caused By Obesity in Cats
- How to Tell if Your Animal is Overweight
- How To Develop a Weight Loss/Management Plan For Your Pet