by Heather Reynolds
It turns out that 40% of dogs in the United States are overweight. Although it shouldn’t be too surprising, with 34% of the human population overweight, it is still unfortunate that we as pet owners are projecting our bad nutrition and exercise habits onto our beloved pets. And as you would expect, just as with humans, obesity in dogs can be a killer.
Dogs can be plagued by the same weight-related issues as humans, including pancreatitis, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It can also lead to a higher rate of accidents due to more weight bearing down on joints and bones.
While it may not seem significant if your pet gains a few extra pounds, it can equate to a big health concern. For example, a 12-pound Yorkshire Terrier is the same as an average female weighing 218 pounds, and a 100-pound Labrador Retriever is the same as a 232-pound average male.
It is important to know what weight range is healthy for your pet, so you are aware if a problem exists.
Here are the top five dog breeds in the United States and the healthy weight of each:
1. Labrador Retriever: 65-80 pounds
2. German Shepherd Dog: 75-95 pounds
3. Yorkshire Terrier: Less than 7 pounds
4. Golden Retriever: 65-75 pounds
5. Beagle: 18-30 pounds
And the following are the top four cat types and healthy weights for each:
1. Domestic Cat: 8-10 pounds
2. Persian: 7-12 pounds
3. Siamese: 5-10 pounds
4. Maine Coon: 10-25 pounds
Most of the time there are preventative measures pet owners can take to prevent obesity in their pets. Easy changes like decreasing food and treats throughout the day and increasing walks and other forms of exercise are a good place to start. Also, do a bit of research on your pet breed http://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/Home/Pet-Health-Problems to find out how much exercise your pet typically needs, and if your pet is prone to any health issues that could lead to weight gain.
Because unfortunately, in some cases, obesity is related to other health problems, such as hypothyroidism, or medications your pet may be taking, such as steroids. So, if you are taking all the appropriate measures to keep your pet healthy and he or she is still packing on the pounds, there may be other causes at work.
We love our pets and we need to show them by keeping them happy and healthy. What are some things you do to keep your pet healthy?
Heather Reynolds is a pet lover and Internet Journalist at Trupanion, a pet insurance company. Feel free to contact her with any questions relating to pet insurance at firstname.lastname@example.org.