The Obesity Epidemic Has Spread to Our Pets


The obesity epidemic is moving further down the household hierarchy. New data from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention shows that more than half of U.S. dogs and cats are now overweight. One fifth of dogs and cats meet the definition of obesity: 30 percent above normal weight. The primary factors behind the epidemic fattening are owners who overfeed their pets and don’t exercise them enough, which can lead to costly health problems. Efforts are already underway to whip America’s 171 million dogs and cats back into shape, including Weight Watchers–type pet-diet plans and doggie treadmills. But the bigger problem seems to be owners’ behavior. Charles Dolcimascolo says his cocker spaniel Buffy ballooned up to 42 pounds after he fed her table scraps. “You couldn’t tell if she was a dog or a pig because she’s beige,” he said, adding, “She’d get depressed if I didn’t feed her.” See, maybe they just had a rough winter. Give them some doggie Prozac and a few thinspirational photos of a bitchy-looking greyhound, and they’ll be able to fit into their humiliating costumes in time for Halloween.

When Man’s Best Friend Is Obese