It's no secret that Americans are heavier then they were a decade ago. Unfortunately, so is 40 percent of the United States pet population, said Dr. Stephanie Streitz of Essington Road Animal Hospital in Joliet. That's 17 million of this country's 41 million dogs, according to a March 3 story at Fox News.
Being chubby may look cute on some pets, but it also brings an increased risk for heart disease, breathing disorders and joint problems, especially in the knees and hips. Unlike many humans, pets are powerless to fix the problem and must rely on their owners to do it for them.
"I am treating more diabetes than I did 20 years ago. It's a huge problem," Streitz said. "I immediately intervene when I see an animal going down that road. Some of them are only 2 and 3 years old, which is way too young for these animals to get heavy because they're just babies at this point. But if we don't start now, the weight is a lot harder to take off."
I'm glad that my daily walks keep me pretty trim. Maybe I should cut down on table scraps though, just to be careful.