Even Our Pets Are Too Fat: Weight Loss for Pets

October 6, 2012
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That’s a fat cat.

In a month that celebrates Adopt-a-Dog Month and National Cat Day, it is only appropriate that we have this.

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts has opened the nation’s first weight-loss center catering exclusively animals.

According to The Week, pets are even fatter than we are. Studies show that up to 60 percent of the dogs and cats in the U.S. qualify as obese, while only 35 percent of their human counterparts do.

Obesity can lead to potentially deadly health problems in animals as surely as it can in humans. Dogs and cats aren’t prone to coronary artery disease, which is a leading obesity side effect in humans, but extra pounds increase pets’ risks of breathing problems, diabetes, and joint problems, reducing the animals’ quality of life and life expectancy.


The vets at Tufts say it can be hard for doting pet owners to say no when their animals beg for food. The clinic aims to treat 600 patients annually by 2015, researching new methods to prevent and treat pet obesity, and teaching owners how to make sure their dogs and cats get proper nutrition, while helping them figure out how to find time in their busy schedules to exercise their pets. 
 
Good news for you. A 2006 study at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Wellness Institute found that overweight pets can encourage their overweight owners to go outside and exercise with them.
 
Source: The Week