Tipping the Scales: Association Holds Annual Pet Obesity Survey

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention is working with veterinarians and owners this week to track the weight and related risks animals face. Last year's results show that many owners are in the dark about whether their pets are overweight.

It’s time for your four-legged friend to hop on the scale.

On Wednesday, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) is conducting its seventh annual survey about pet obesity designed to show the dangers animals face from being overweight.

The Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey, said to add an extra minute or two to a standard vet office visit, is intended to “allow the veterinary profession to better understand the current state of pet overweight and obesity in the U.S.,” according to the association. More details:

Why it matters: “Our historical research shows a clear epidemic of pet obesity in our country,” Ernie Ward, a veterinarian and APOP’s founder and president, said in a statement. “The annual veterinarian-conducted study is vital to measuring the longitudinal trend so our industry is informed.” Ward, known as “America’s Pet Advocate,” has drawn significant attention to the various perils pets face. An example: In the summer of 2012, he created a viral video in which he stayed in a hot car with the windows rolled up for half an hour to show the danger posed to pets left in those circumstances.

Last results: Last year, APOP found that more than half of all studied animals could be considered overweight or obese, with certain breeds, such as golden retrievers, at increased risk. Even more troubling? More than 45 percent of dog and cat owners believed their pets to be of normal weight when the animals were actually overweight or obese.

More information for vets and owners who wish to take part in the survey on Wednesday is available on the assocation’s website.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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