American pets are getting fatter — and it’s a real problem

More than half of the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight.

This crisis was highlighted during National Pet Obesity Awareness Day on Oct. 8, with veterinary doctors encouraging pet owners to pay attention to the problem.

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day is a day to raise awareness about the growing pet obesity problem in the country as well as an opportunity to gather more information during the eighth annual Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey.

According to last year’s survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 58% of cats and 53% of dogs in the United States are considered overweight or obese.

At risk for many problems

In addition to a decreased life-expectancy, animals that are overweight are at risk for cranial cruciate ligament injury, heart and respiratory disease, insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes and osteoarthritis, according to doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners.

“Pet obesity is one of the most preventable health problems facing America’s pets,” said Dr. Jennifer Welser, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. “Controlling the amount of food your pet receives, ensuring your pet gets plenty of exercise and eliminating table scraps are the best ways to ensure a pet stays in shape.”

Along with diet and exercise, BluePearl Veterinary Partners recommends having a pet seen by a veterinarian at least twice a year because pets age much faster than humans.

For more information about National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, go to

BluePearl locations in 14 states

BluePearl Veterinary Partners’ hospitals offer specialty and emergency veterinary medicine. BluePearl is owned by employee veterinarians and other veterinary professionals.

It operates locations in 14 states in the Northeast, South, Midwest and Pacific Northwest.