More evidence for inducing and integrating that what we need are a species-appropriate diet and exercise.
In “Why are So Many Pet Owners Allowing Their Companions to Get Fat?” (July 06, 2012), Dr. Becker writes:
Banfield Pet Hospital recently released their State of Pet Health 2012 Report, and the news isn’t good. In fact, it’s extremely troubling.
Chronic diseases in cats and dogs have risen dramatically over the last five years.
The report is a compilation of medical data from about 2 million dogs and over 400,000 cats that visited a Banfield hospital in 2011. Some of the disturbing findings:
Overweight and obesity increased in dogs by 37 percent, and in cats by a stunning 90 percent
Arthritis increased 38 percent in dogs and 67 percent in cats
Almost half of arthritic dogs and more than a third of arthritic cats are also overweight
Nearly half of diabetic dogs and cats are overweight
Forty percent of dogs with hypertension and 60 percent with hypothyroidism are overweight
The data set is limited, but Banfield is big. But maybe since it is big it gets a different clientele than other vets? They seem conventional, too; Dr. Becker’s clinic would not be like this: her pet patients get better and her clients would generally be more health-conscious. But, she is rare — unfortunately!!
Not sure if the data is representative of US or of developed countries or not, but from my general knowledge, it seems generally representative of the culture and yearly changes in health status.
Not sure how they classify, either, and classification is a determinant of the stats.
She then points out something that is the same for people as for dogs and cats:
Clearly, overweight and obesity in pets today is both its own disease and the root cause of many other diseases that develop as the result of too much weight.
In addition to arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and hypothyroidism as mentioned above, obesity also causes respiratory problems, kidney disease, and a significant reduction in both quantity and quality of life.
But I think that overweight/obesity are not the cause of the other diseases, but are another symptom of a common disease. One problem with metabolism could give rise to both obesity and respiratory problems or whatever.
Three things Dr. Becker recommends are:
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