A new survey finds 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats are classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarian.
The fifth annual Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) veterinary survey found 88.4 million pets are too heavy.
"The most distressing finding in this year's study was the fact that more pet owners are unaware their pet is overweight," said APOP founder Dr. Ernie Ward. "Twenty-two percent of dog owners and 15 percent of cat owners characterized their pet as normal weight when it was actually overweight or obese. This is what I refer to as the 'fat pet gap' or the normalization of obesity by pet parents. In simplest terms, we've made fat pets the new normal."
Some of the common weight-related conditions in dogs and cats include osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney disease, and shortened life expectancy, according to a news release put out by APOP.
Treats were found to be a major factor in weight gain in pets.
An online poll conducted in October 2011 by APOP of 210 pet owners found 93 percent of all dog and cat owners gave treats.
First Coast News