U.S. Pet Obesity Statistics, 2012-2014
Dr. Ernie Ward and The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) recently released the results of the 2014 pet obesity survey. The study, conducted in the fall of 2014, continues to show that Americans are over feeding their pets. By a lot.
Overweight or obese dogs make up 52.7% of all dogs in the U.S. It is even worse for cats, with 57.9 % 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 no improvement over time. Sadly, the percentage of obese dogs and cats has increased in each of the past two years.
The sheer number of fat pets is pretty astounding. APOP estimates a total of 43.9 million overweight or obese dogs, 14.7 million of which are classified as obese (30% or more overweight). For cats, the total number of overweight or obese totals 55.4 million, 26.9 million of which are obese (Note: It appears that the APOP site reported the 2013 numbers for obese and overweight dogs & cats on their 2014 survey page. We have calculated the correct numbers).
The Dog and Cat Fat Gap
One of the most disheartening statistics from the survey continues to be the “fat gap”. According to APOP, the fat gap is the number of pet parents who incorrectly think their pet is at a normal weight, even though their pet is, in fact, overweight. In 2014, the percentage of dog owners thinking their fat dog was at a normal weight was 95%, amazingly, an increase from 2013’s 93%. Similarly, the fat gap has grown for cats, from 88% in 2013 to 90% in 2014. With numbers like these, there is little hope that the pet obesity problem will be resolved in the near term. After all, the fat gap statistics demonstrate that pet owners don’t think there is a problem, and therefore, there is nothing to fix.
|Pet owners who do not think their overweight pet is fat.|
|APOP Fat Gap||2013||2014|
It is pretty hard to imagine just how these awful statistics obtained, given all of the press on pet obesity and the number of sites that are writing about this topic (including our own efforts here at SlimDoggy to educate pet owners on the health and financial costs of having an overweight pet). I truly hope that the survey results are skewed (for whatever reasons) and don’t reflect the actual situation.
What do you think? Do you believe that the APOP survey is an accurate reflection of pet ownership in the U.S.?
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