An estimated 55% of cats and dogs in the United States are considered overweight or obese, according to a 2012 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. 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. \u201cPet obesity is one of the most preventable health problems facing pets,\u201d said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. \u201cControlling 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,\u201d Shaw said. Pet Obesity Awareness Day This year, Oct. 9 was National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, designed to raise awareness about the growing pet obesity problem in the country as well as an opportunity to gather more information during the seventh annual Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey. Along with diet and exercise, BluePearl Veterinary Partners recommends having a pet seen by your family veterinarian at least twice a year because pets age much faster than humans. Learn more about National Pet Obesity Awareness Day and how to prevent a pet from becoming overweight at www.petobesityprevention.com. About BluePearl Veterinary Partners BluePearl Veterinary Partners employs more than 1,350 people, including about 350 veterinarians, at its referral-only vet hospitals. Facilities are located in 12 states from New York to Texas. The company is headquartered in Tampa, Fla.