America has one of the highest obesity rates in the world. While it may not occur to many pet owners, obesity in American pets is also extremely common. Around half of all cats and dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Being overweight can cause just as many health issues for our pets as it can for us. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint injury, various forms of cancer and decreased life expectancy are all linked to obesity in pets. Just like their owners, pets have daily caloric needs that, when exceeded, can contribute to weight gain. Diet is not the only culprit in the obesity epidemic. Unhealthy weight may also be a symptom of an underlying illness. Talk with your veterinarian at your pets’ next wellness exam about their ideal weight. To learn more about pet obesity visit http://www.petobesityprevention.org/.