November 26, 2012 05:00 ET
MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Nov 26, 2012) - (Family Features) Obesity and being overweight are human health problems that get a lot of attention from doctors and the media. What hasn't gotten as much attention is the fact that many pets are suffering from the very same problems. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 88.4 million U.S. dogs and cats -- 54 percent -- are overweight or obese. And that can lead to health problems such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers.
Many pet owners aren't aware that their pets are overweight. A study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine found that 22 percent of dog owners and 15 percent of cat owners described their pets as being normal weight, when they were actually overweight or obese.
What's a little extra weight for your pet? A lot more than it is for you:
Signs Your Cat is Overweight:
Does your cat:
Signs Your Dog is Overweight:
Does your dog:
What You Can Do
Adjust some of your feeding habits to help your dog or cat lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
You also need to make sure your pet is getting adequate exercise.
Talk to Your Vet
It's important that you discuss your pet's weight and nutrition with your vet. Ask questions such as:
For more tips and tools to help keep your pets at a healthy weight, visit www.petfit.com.
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