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Pet Obesity: The ultimate version of “cute overkill”


Article submitted to Puppies Are Prozac by Dr. Patty Khuly

You may think fat pets are cute––and on the surface, Iʼd have to agree with you––but as a veterinarian, nothing says premature illness, pain and disability like a fat cat, dog, horse…or even an overweight iguana. Thatʼs when pudgy isnʼt so cute anymore.


In the US today, pets are fatter than ever before. The preponderance of obese pets is starting to mirror the human population. Puppies are fatter. Older cats are fatter. Even show dogs are fatter.

In fact, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 50% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight; and an estimated 14% of these overweight animals are obese.


Those are some scary stats! And if thatʼs not enough, hereʼs a quick list of the common health risks overweight pets face:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart Disease
  • Many Forms of Cancer


Sure, you can love on those irresistible love handles, but nothing says real love like a pet owner whoʼs committed to slimming down their pet through diet and exercise.


This article’s author, Dr. Patty Khuly, is a veterinarian who practices in Miami, Florida and writes a daily veterinary blog at www.dolittler.com.

photo credits: Obese cat by Yukari* / English Bulldog by ~Asturnut~ / Heeler by image415 / Pug by jmatthew3 / Walking English Bulldog by i eated a cookie

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