Fat Cats and Big Dogs: New Study Reveals Alarming Pet Health TrendsSerge Bielanko
A new study out this week issues some pretty big red flags for American pet owners.
According to an article in today’s Chicago Tribune, the Banfield Pet Hospital, which has 800 hospitals in 43 states, has released a study that points to a weight “epidemic” amongst the country’s cats and dogs.
The hospital group’s study is one of great interest largely due to the fact that it sees and documents such a large cross-section of animals from so many various parts of the nation.
Plus, as the Tribune‘s Steve Daly puts it, “Unlike human physicians, who report every illness from Lyme disease to heart disease to a central database, there’s no similar method for veterinarians to report on pet health issues…Banfield offers the next best thing.”
The hospital maintains a comprehensive database of all of the animals they treat, which included over two million dogs and close to a half million cats last year alone.
And, according to the Trib, the report finds that, “The number of overweight or obese cats has increased a whopping 90 percent over the past five years.”
The dog numbers aren’t quite as high, but still, with the study’s findings that 37 percent of dogs have grown much heavier over the same 5-year period, there is still reason for concern.
Another worrisome fact revealed by Banfield’s research shows that while there are 20 percent more cats than dogs as pets in the United States, our feline friends account for less than a quarter of all vet visits. No one seems quite certain why that is, but the fact remains that people aren’t taking their cats in for care nearly as often as their dogs.
You can view the entire Banfield Pet Hospital State Of Pet Health 2012 report here.
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