Pets are animals at highest risk for developing obesity. According to one study, up 60% of older indoor cats are obese. Also, up to 20% of cats and 50% of dogs face weight-related diseases and health problems and shorter lives due to obesity. Overfeeding pets and not providing enough opportunity for exercise is cited as the main causes of pet obesity.
Having had an overweight dog myself, I can tell you that it is definitely possible for animals to be obese. As far as I know though, domesticated animals are the only ones that stand to be overweight; I have never heard a case of a wild animal being too heavy.
Absolutely! In fact it’s practically an epidemic. I volunteer at an animal shelter and have seen cats come in at weights of 38 lbs. In our opinion this is a form of animal abuse because they are at risk for many health issues just as obese humans are. Their skeletons are not intended to hold that much weight and they can have severe back problems, heart disease, and are unable to groom themselves properly. Pets should be fed according to proper amounts – for a large cat 1 cup of dry food and 1/2 cup of wet food per day is the maximum. Pets should not be fed “people food” and if a cat is stays indoors it should not be fed as much as one who goes outside and gets real excercise, and dogs should be taken out and excercised regularly. A large active dog should run daily either in an off-leash park or by riding a bike or rollerblading alongside the dog.
I recently read a story about a panda at a zoo in Thailand who was too overweight to mate. The keepers had to put him on a diet to try to get him back in shape.
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