Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day
Veterinarians are asked to report body conditioning scores to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention on Oct. 8.
How big is the problem of pet obesity? Veterinarians across the country are being asked to help answer that question by taking part in an annual study on obesity prevalence.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) is launching its eighth annual Pet Obesity Awareness Day study and is challenging participating veterinarians to assess as many dog and cat patients as they can on Oct. 8, and report the data back to APOP.
Results from the 2013 study indicated that 52.6 percent of dogs and 57.6 percent of cats qualified as overweight-which is about 80 million pets nationwide. The study also found that while their veterinarians considered those pets obese, 90 percent of their owners believed their pets' weight to be normal.
“Our historical research shows a clear epidemic of pet obesity in our country,” says Ernie Ward, DVM, founder and president of APOP. “The annual veterinarian-conducted study is vital to measuring the longitudinal trend so our industry is informed. Armed with this knowledge, APOP, the veterinary community and entire pet industry can set forth common strategies to fight and prevent overweight pets, because we all want to give them longer, healthier and happier lives.”
Veterinarians interested in participating in the study can sign up at petobesityprevention.org, where they can download the assessment form to record basic body conditioning scores for each patient.