It would be logical to assume that the states with the highest levels of human obesity would also have the highest rates of pet obesity. Banfield, a large national chain of veterinary hospitals, produced a report based on the animals they saw in their clinics in 2016 and determined that there was no such correlation between states with high amounts of human obesity and states with high levels of pet obesity. In fact, there was a little bit of a negative correlation – Colorado is the fittest state in the country for humans, but for pets, it’s in the top 20 fattest states.
Overall, 1 in every 3 pets seen at a Banfield clinic in 2016 was obese. In most breeds, you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs and spine. If you can’t feel his ribs, he’s overweight, and if you can actually see his ribs, he’s probably underweight.
So which states topped the list for plump pooches and fat cats? The states with the highest percentage of overweight dogs were: Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, Utah, Indiana, and Oregon. The states with the highest percentage of overweight cats were: Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Idaho, Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, Kansas, Utah, and New Mexico. For contrast, the states with the highest percentage of overweight people are West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Indiana.
Being overweight is not only uncomfortable and unhealthy for your pet, but it can be hard on your wallet, as well. The Banfield report said owners of overweight dogs spent 17% more on their dog’s health care and 25% more on their medications, while owners of overweight cats spent 36% more on diagnostic tests.
Just like humans, the best way for a pet to lose weight is through diet and exercise. There’s no better time to start than today to increase your pet’s health and happiness!
(H/T: The Washington Post)