The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention recently released its survey statistics for 2018, which found that 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs in the United States are classified as overweight or obese.
Cats beat out dogs in obesity — 33.8% of all cats falling in the category of obese (for dogs, it’s 18.9%). The numbers are mostly unchanged from 2017, and the survey also found that pet owners want more advice from their veterinarians about pet nutrition.
Only 38% of owners reported that their vet had recommended a routine/maintenance diet to feed their pet.
“Veterinarians need to understand obesity is a disease and offer more treatment options than diet and exercise,” says APOP president, veterinarian Ernie Ward. “Pet owners have an overwhelming number of diet choices and are often confused by the nutritional advice they see online.”
Dr. Ward also notes that pet owners may be embarrassed or feel judged due to “fat shaming” and don’t want to ask their vet about obesity, or vets are afraid they’ll offend pet owners by bringing up the topic.