What Your Customers Need to Know About Pet Obesity
Do some of your customers' pups have a little extra wiggle in their tail wag? Are some of their tabbies looking a little flabby? Just like humans, pets can pack on extra pounds, and it’s becoming a full-blown epidemic.
According to the 2017 State of Pet Health Report from Banfield Pet Hospital, one in three cats and dogs are overweight—and the numbers are on the rise. In the past decade, the number of overweight cats has increased by 169 percent, with dogs just behind at 158 percent.
In observance of National Pet Obesity Awareness Day (October 11), here are four facts that all pet parents should know about their pets weight and health:
1. Obesity can have serious consequences for pets’ overall health.
Not only can extra weight impact pets’ quality of life by making it more difficult to move, jump and play, it’s also a contributing factor for more than 20 ailments.
2. Overweight pets can weigh on owners’ wallets.
Pet parents of extra-plump pups spend 17 percent more in healthcare costs compared to owners of health-weight dogs over the course of four years. They also spend almost 25 percent more in medications.
3. Owners play a key role in pets’ weight maintenance.
While genetics and disease conditions can contribute to weight gain, two of the main causes among pets are overfeeding and a lack of exercise. We often express our love with treats, but this can quickly lead to overindulgence.
With the increasing number of obese pets, many pet parents’ perception of “normal” versus “overweight” is skewed as chubby cats and dogs become the new normal.
4. There are effective ways to combat pet obesity
Try swapping out treat with other, non-food rewards like belly rubs, toys or cuddle time. Parents should also make pet exercise (playing fetch, going for walks, etc.) a part of their daily routine. If your pet is overweight, consult your veterinarian about the best weight loss plan for your dog or cat.