America's ever expanding weight problem: not just for humans anymore!
According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 50 percent of America's pet cats and dogs are now considered overweight, with about one fifth considered obese. You guys, despite what the comic page says, you are NOT actually supposed to feed your cat lasagna.
See, Americans love food and hate exercise so much that they are passing their bad habits on to Captain Woofface and Missus Whiskertons. But feeding your leftover table scraps to your pet has its costs to their health, including, "diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure, high blood pressure and cancer."
In other words, if Garfield was real, he would have died right now due to some horrible, probably painful ailment. RIP Garfield.
In some cases the results are just sad. Take Fridge the cat for example. He's a 14-year-old, 30-pound cat in Longwood, Florida, who needs a ramp to get into bed, and had to have the side of his litter box cut down so he could fit his kitty gut over it properly.
Though, the WSJ reports that after years of treating the problem as taboo the veterinary community is amping up its efforts to fight pet pudginess:
Now, new efforts are afoot to stem what many vets believe is the single most preventable health crisis facing the country's 171 million-plus dog and cat pets. They include software for doctors to track a pet's "Body Condition Score," a blood test that could quickly determine animals' body-fat percentage, Weight Watchers-type pet diet plans and doggie treadmills.
Unsurprisingly, owners' own problems with weight seems to be casually linked with their pets' problems.
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"It goes to the dynamic of people looking like their pets," Heidi Ganahl, CEO of Camp Bow Wow, tells The Journal. "If the owner is focused on health, then the pets will be, too."
Of course, our pets' obesity problems are still better than our own: 74.1 percent of Americans are overweight.