Your dog may be smarter than you think.
Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images
Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images

American pets are getting fatter, study says

More than 70 percent of Americans are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But a new study says pets struggle with keeping the pounds off, too. 

»RELATED: VIDEO: How to get your overweight dog back in shape 

Banfield Pet Hospital recently published its annual report, revealing that one in three pets who visited the Banfield facility in 2016 was overweight or obese. 

The analysis, which also examines the health habits of 2.5 million dogs and 500,000 cats who see vets across the country, also showed that obesity among animals has been associated with a shorter life span, arthritis and tracheal collapse in dogs. 

"More than 20 disease conditions have been linked with pets being overweight," Kirk Breuninger, a veterinary research associate at Banfield, told USA Today. "While some may say, 'My pet looks cute being pudgy or plump,' ultimately carrying those extra pounds contributes to exasperating these diseases." 

»RELATED: Photos: Fat camps offer pudgy pets 'pawlates' to slim down

It’s also pricier to care for furry pals that are chubby.

The report found that owners of overweight dogs spend 17 percent more in healthcare costs compared to owners with healthy dogs. And owners of overweight cats spend more in diagnostic procedures versus owners of healthy cats.

So how do you combat the issue?

Breuninger suggests that people consult with their vets to determine an ideal weight. He also says keepers should cut back on giving treats as a form of communication and ensure their animals are active. 

»RELATED: If your pup is pudgy 

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