The Overweight Pet Revolution

More on PawNation: Cats, Dogs, Nutrition, Pet Obesity

In recent decades, pets have been packing on the pounds as the humans who love them shower them with morsels of affection. But there's a new revolution underway, a pet shape-up campaign, and you'd be surprised at just what's at stake.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) reports that more than half of all dogs and cats are overweight and many people don't even realize it. And those pets are destined to live shorter lives, as much as 20 percent shorter than their slimmer counterparts. Illness will creep in, affecting quality of life through osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems and kidney disease.

RELATED: Is Georgia's Anti-Childhood Obesity Campaign Edgy Or Fat-Shaming?

APOP's founder Dr. Ernie Ward encourages pet lovers to increase exercise and lay off the treats. "Treats are the silent saboteur of slimming down. Those tiny treats are often hiding a significant amount of calories."

Ward suggests offering single-ingredient rewards or fresh vegetables such as baby carrots, string beans, broccoli or other crunchy vegetables.

RELATED: Do Anti-Obesity Campaigns Hurt Overweight Women?

"Pet obesity is plainly a people problem, not a pet problem," Ward continues. "The most important decision pet owners make each day regarding their pet's health is what they choose to feed it."

The Pet365 infographic below takes pet lovers through all the ins and outs of pet weight problems. Could today be the day your household starts a revolution to create healthier, happier pets?

Pet Obesity
Pet obesity graphic produced by Matt Beswick for Pet365. View the full post.

RELATED: OB-GYNs in South Florida Reject Overweight and Obese Patients

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