Pet Obesity in the U.S. 2015, Part 2
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) has recently released the results of its latest annual pet obesity survey. I had contacted APOP because their site did not provide much detail on this year’s survey. Dr. Ernie Ward was kind enough to send over more detailed data, which I will be sharing in this post.
As I discussed last week, the APOP pet obesity survey indicated that American’s are not doing a very good job in keeping their pet’s weight at safe and healthy levels. Overall, 53.8% of dogs are overweight or obese, the highest percentage since the APOP began the pet obesity survey. Using this year’s numbers, I can estimate that in total, there are about 45 million fat dogs in the US.
Worse, the percentage of obese dogs rose to 20.2%, the highest levels since 2011 (which I believe was the first year of the survey), when obese dogs were estimated to make up 21.5% of the canine population. The table below shows the survey results over the past five years.
|Percent of all Dogs||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015|
|Overweight or obese||53.0%||52.5%||52.6%||52.7%||53.8%|
There is just no improvement in the data at all. American pet owners are completely failing in their responsibility to keep their pets healthy. Fat dogs are more likely to experience shorter life spans, and a plethora of ailments and diseases including osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, many forms of cancer, and generally lower quality of life.
Another interesting piece of data that I found was about the age distribution of the survey respondent’s pets. As shown in the table below, I calculated the percentage of each reported age group that was found to be overweight or obese. To my surprise, the two youngest age groups showed the highest likelihood of being overweight. One possible explanation for this is that overweight dogs will likely live shorter lives, and thus, they are not able to be part of the survey.
|Age||% of Dogs Overweight or Obese|
|1 to 6.9||56%|
|7 to 9.9||56%|
|10 to 11.9||54%|
|12 to 14.9||40%|
|% of dogs for each age range that are overweight or obese|