North America’s most common preventable disease among dogs is obesity. VCA estimates between 25 to 30% of the general North American dog population is obese, with 40 to 45% of dogs between ages 5 and 11 having higher than normal body weight.
Banfield Pet Hospital — the largest veterinary system in the United States — also claims the number of overweight or obese dogs has more than doubled between 2011 and 2020, showing a prevalent dog obesity issue that predates “pandemic pounds” from quarantine. However, one out of ten respondents to this study did not think pets have become more overweight or obese.
Findings like these suggest some pet owners may lack knowledge about the risks of dog obesity, and their own responsibility to make healthy choices for their furry friends. Here are just some of the health risks associated with dog obesity:
- Breathing problems
- High blood pressure
- Skin problems
- Bone and joint issues
- Weakened immune system
- Higher risk of cancer