May is National Pet Month

It’s no secret that obesity is growing at an alarming rate in the United States. But look no farther than your own backyard to find the latest victims of this epidemic: your pets.  

We’ve supersized Fido and Fluffy. An astounding 35% of the U.S. pet population— 48 million cats and dogs—are considered overweight.  

Overeating and too little exercise are the chief culprits. Many pet owners contribute to poor nutrition without realizing it. Feeding a pet table scraps tops the list of faulty feeding habits. One ounce of cheese fed to a 10-lb. cat is equivalent to a human eating a whopping 3.5 hamburgers.   

But there’s good news: It’s not too late for our plump felines and chunky canines to shed a few pounds. With proper nutrition and exercise, cats and dogs can get down to their ideal weight and remain there—an important step toward enhancing overall health and well-being.   

“The major factors of obesity are the same for people and pets: high caloric intake and a decrease in physical activity,” confirms celebrity personal trainer and dog owner Gunnar Peterson. “Many pet owners think that food equals love, but this is not the case. My dog Lennox would much rather wrestle with me than have a treat, and it’s a workout for both of us.”  

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of this story.    

For Your Organic Bookshelf

Photo courtesy of Hill’s Pet Nutrition