Articles from Dr. James St. Clair, DVM.

Founder of TopDog Animal Health and Rehabilitation

Pet Obesity: The Two Statistics About How You are Killing Your Dog With Food

Obesity amongst humans is obviously on the rise and the media is having a field day with this growing epidemic. Due to poor food choices, lack of exercise and sheer lack of education, we as the human race are killing ourselves and our children with food. So what about our pets? Are they all lean, healthy and in perfect body condition? Obviously the answer to this is, no. We are actively killing our pets alongside ourselves and it is only getting worse every day.

Statistics #1

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, out of the 77.5 million dogs in the USA, an astonishing 35 million of these dogs are considered overweight and 6.7 million are considered clinically obese. So what… you say…right? No big deal! A little extra weight never hurt anyone. In comes statistic number 2.

Statistic #2

According to the Purina Lifespan Study you might as well plan on your overweight pet living 2 years less. Kudos’ to Nestle Purina PetCare who had the foresight and invested their time and money in showing the world, yet another reason why not maintaining ideal body condition can have devastating effects on your dogs long term health. The study took place over 14 years and was conducted at the Purina Pet Care Center in Missouri, USA. There were 48 dogs that were separated in two different groups. Though all of the dogs were fed a nutritionally complete diet, the amount of food fed differed for the two groups. The results were astonishing. The study clearly showed that dogs that were maintained in their ideal body condition lived a longer and healthier life. Stop for one minute and just consider the implications of this study to our health. How many years are we taking off of our lives by carrying around that extra weight? Hmmm… So TopDog’s Question is this: What is heck is wrong with American Dog owners? Enough already! Barring actually disease processes that lead to excess weight in animals, we as pet owners have full control over the food that our dogs consume. Here is a list of the Five Most Common Risk Factors of Overweight Pets: (courtesy of the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention)
  1. Osteoarthritis and Poor Joint Health
  2. Insulin Resistance & Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
  4. Heart & Respiratory Disease
  5. Kidney Disease
  6. Cancer
For more information you can check out: Association for Pet Obesity Prevention: http://www.petobesityprevention.com/ Nestle Purina PetCare: http://www.longliveyourdog.com/ In the next post we are going to cover TopDog’s Secrets & Philosophies to Healthy Weight Management for your dog. Stay Tuned In!