Startling New Statistics About Pet Obesity



The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention released startling statistics on pet obesity in the United States. More than 100 million cats and dogs can be considered obese, representing a dramatic increase from five years ago, when there were 80 million obese pets. The Association estimates that 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs are overweight.


Pet retailers should be aware of these staggering numbers and be prepared to advise their customers on ways to keep their pets trim and healthy. While some pet owners may think that their furry friend’s chubbiness is cute, retailers can offer reasons why this is not the case.


Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems that include arthritis, diabetes, heart failure and even cancer. It can be a reason for expensive veterinary care and shorten a beloved pet’s lifespan. Certain animals are at greater risk for obesity, such as those who have been spayed and neutered. Animals that have been fixed have lower energy levels and are thus prone to weight gain.


Retailers can ensure their customers know the consequences of pet obesity and provide viable options for combating it. They can rearrange their stores to include a weight management section that includes healthy food options. Veterinarians are divided over whether dry or wet food is healthier, so retailers can provide options in both categories, as well as diet treats. Retailers can also include pet toys that encourage exercise such as cat dancers and fetching toys. Our July issue included selection of active accessories for canines that include dog gyms and aquatic toys.


By making these weight management products easy to find, retailers can encourage sales and demonstrate their investment in animal health. They can also do their part to help lower pet obesity.


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