For one day only, on National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, veterinary practices are asked to record the basic body conditioning scores of all canine and feline patients. The information will be returned to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) in Calabash, N.C.
"Our historical research shows a clear epidemic of pet obesity in our country,” said Ernie Ward, DVM, the organization’s founder and president. "The annual veterinarian-conducted study is vital to measuring the longitudinal trend so our industry is informed.
"Armed with this knowledge, APOP, the veterinary community and entire pet industry can set forth common strategies to fight and prevent overweight pets, because we all want to give them longer, healthier and happier lives,” Dr. Ward added.
Participants may register for the study before Oct. 1 at www.petobesityprevention.com/npoad. Completed data forms may be faxed, scanned or emailed to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
The study, now in its seventh year, found a record number of overweight cats in 2012. In addition, 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats checked were determined to be overweight or obese.
Nearly half of the owners thought their pets’ weight was normal. Ward referred to the disparity as the "fat pet gap.”
"A host of preventable diseases are directly linked to obesity in pets,” he said. "APOP calls upon our fellow veterinarians to become an active voice in quantifying and fighting pet obesity in our country.”
Overweight pets are at increased risk of diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and many cancers, the organization reported.
9/25/2013 1:13 PM