While focus on obesity is usually in relation to humans, often our pets suffer too.
While focus on obesity is usually in relation to humans, often our pets suffer too. Happy paws

Getting fat can make you barking mad

OBESITY is a problem not just in humans but in our pets as well.

Obese, overweight, pudgy, plump, chubby, tubby, podgy, and large are just some of the words to describe the epidemic that is sweeping the globe.

The battle of the bulge is now having a dramatic knock-on effect on the Australian pet population.

"It's pretty scary when you look at the impact being overweight can have on our pet's overall health,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia said.

Veterinary Science Professor Paul McGreevy agrees saying obesity in pets increases the risks of the very same diseases us chubby owners are predisposed to - diabetes, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

"But it also directly compromises the quality of life by limited physical activity, a consequence that has a knock-on effect for owners who stand to lose some of the health benefits of pet ownership,” he said.

"Fit dogs want to live life to the max and so they tend to encourage physical activity in their owners too. Getting fit together is just another way in which we can feel the benefits of pet ownership.”

As far as technology goes Pet Insurance Australia has endorsed the FitBark, that can help dog owners set goals and monitor their pet's activity levels, while also providing valuable information for vets.

"With the similar FitBit product improving the quality of life for countless individuals across the world, it's wonderful that FitBark can now help motivate many canine companions, and their owners, to get moving.” Ms Crighton said.

Obesity - the figures

  • arthritis risen 600%
  • cruciate ligament damage 700%
  • Increase in claims for pet insurance


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