Pet Obesity Epidemic Continues

Share Button

apopDr. Ernie Ward and The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)  recently released the 2013 results of their pet obesity survey. The study, conducted in the fall of 2013, shows no real improvement in the obesity rates for dogs or cats.


Overweight or obese dogs make up 52.6% of all dogs in the U.S.. It is even worse for cats, with 57.6 % of cats being reported as fat.


Pet Obesity Statistics over the past Three Years

We compiled the data from the past three years and as you can see, there has been only small improvements over time. It appears that there is a slight trend in the right direction as dogs seem to be moving from being obese to overweight.  In 2011, 21.5 of all dogs were obese and in 2013, 16.7% were reported as such.  This drop is almost exactly offset by a gain in the  percentage of dogs who are now classified as being overweight.


Percent of all Dogs 2011 2012 2013
Overweight or Obese 53.0 % 52.5 % 52.6 %
Overweight 31.5 % 36.8 % 35.9 %
Obese 21.5 % 15.7 % 16.7 %
Source: Association for Pet Obesity Prevention

The APOP Fat Gap

Disturbingly, according to the survey, among all pets that veterinarians ultimately classified as obese, 93 percent of dog owners initially thought their pet was in the normal weight range. APOP refers to this disparity as the “fat gap.”


Even worse APOP reported that 72% of pet owners believe that obesity causes a decreased lifespan in pets. Yes, almost 3 out of 4 pet owners know that having a fat pet will decrease the pet’s lifespan, yet, still more than half of dogs and cats are still too fat!


SlimDoggy Jack wants to have a serious talk with these dog owners.

Share Button


  1. Wow.
    Rebekah recently posted…Black & White SundayMy Profile

  2. Totally sad situation. Getting people do what they KNOW they should do isn’t any easier, is it? *sigh*
    Jana Rade recently posted…If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach ItMy Profile

    • No it isn’t. I’m hoping more and more education will help, but fear it won’t.
      mkob recently posted…Gardening: What Vegetables Make Good Dog Food?My Profile

      • According to that study, the education is out there and is sufficient. Beat them with a big stick, maybe? LOL Or possibly some kind of incentive/positive reinforcement. One thing communists were pretty good at was incentives when they really wanted something to happen, such as increase or decrease in population. They used child “support” to do that. The state would give certain amount of money to people with kids. When they wanted more kids, they gave very little for the first and much more for the second etc. When they wanted less kids, they gave a lot for the first and very little for every next. Given that people were quite poor, it worked quite well.

        Perhaps something such as
        – lower premium on pet health insurance for dogs in optimal shape
        – lower veterinary rates, some kind of discounts

        or something like that.
        Jana Rade recently posted…Cleaning Dog’s Ears Using A Cotton BallMy Profile

        • I like where you are going with that idea. They do similar for humans with discounts if your non-smoke/drinker etc. They should do something for the dogs.
          mkob recently posted…Gardening: What Vegetables Make Good Dog Food?My Profile

  3. Some people…. just wow!
    Dina Mom recently posted…Favourite Dog ParaphinaliaMy Profile

  4. Makes me angry and breaks my heart at the same time. People who don’t watch their pets weight are shaving years off their lives!
    Sue recently posted…Adopt a Pit Bull Dog – National #DogFighting Awareness Day | Tuesdays TailsMy Profile

  5. I walk dogs, and while dog owners seem to be aware that their dogs need more exercise, they seem to have trouble cutting back on the treats and food. It’s frustrating sometimes. They seem to want their pets to lose weight, but they don’t take it seriously enough.

    I would say just about every house cat I know is overweight. I know even my two could stand to lose just a little. I need to play with them more and cut back on their food just a little.
    Lindsay recently posted…How to be a guide dog puppy raiserMy Profile

  6. I’ve noticed something recently. A lot of cat/dog food commercials show them pouring kibble into a dish, and they’re NEVER measuring what they pour out!!! Maybe companies should be encouraged to show people measuring out their pets’ food instead of just pouring it? They could still show the whole bag while someone does that. Maybe part of the epidemic is the fault of cutesy commercials? I’m sure that just pouring gets ingrained into the brains of people (that are doing this) just by seeing it done exactly that way so often.

  7. In dogs, what do they consider over weight and opposed to obese? I couldn’t see it on that site.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes–No RestMy Profile

    • Thanks for asking – we’ll add it. It’s considered as a percentage from the optimal – overweight is to up to 25-30% over optimal, Obese is greater than 25-30% over optimal weight.
      mkob recently posted…Five Tips on using Incentives to Train Your DogMy Profile

      • But how did they come up with optimal weight? For example top weight for male Chessies is 80 pounds. Thunder’s best weight is 95. We know that, but most people just looking at what his weight should be would think over weight. Does that make sense?
        2 brown dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes–No RestMy Profile

        • Like with people, there is not set weight for any individual dog.

          It depends on their frame size and muscle and fat proportions.

          With dogs, we can use breed ranges as a guide and a guide only. Ultimately, it is a judgement based on the body condition score (BCS) that helps determine optimal weight.
          steve recently posted…Five Tips on using Incentives to Train Your DogMy Profile

Comments are now closed on this post.