A new report from Banfield Pet Hospital discusses the health of our dogs and cats, and the news isn't exactly great. Turns out, our pets are trending toward obesity. In fact, throughout the U.S., one out of three of our pets are overweight. And that's a lot. But broke down the geography further to see which states were the guiltiest of overweight pets.
A New Report Reveals These States Have the Fattest Cats and Dogs
Paradoxically, the states with the fattest pets and the fattest people do NOT line up.
When we heard that Banfield had broken pet obesity down by state, we assumed that the states with the most obese people would also have the most obese pets, but as it turns out, that's not true! In some ways, the trend is the opposite. For example, Colorado has very fit people, but they have a high percentage of obese pets — 33 percent of dogs and 35 percent of cats are obese.
Minnesota took the top prize for heaviest pets, with 41 percent of dogs and 36 percent of cats being overweight or obese.
In second place, Nebraska has 39 percent of dogs and 43 percent of cats that are overweight or obese. Those percentages are huge, and they'll only grow if we don't change our ways.
So why are our pets overweight?
First of all, we spoil our pets more and more. We love to show our furry friends love the same way we do for our friends and family — with food. For pets, all that extra food, be it human food or treats, can add up quick. Although pets love a tasty reward, Banfield insists that we shouldn't make treats more than 10 percent of our furry friends' diet. And we really have to watch how much people food we give them, because people calories add up fast.
Also as more pets plump up, that body type is becoming normal.
We know, how cute is that little bundle of fur? As our pets get chubbier, we get used to seeing them. And thus, we start to think that overweight is normal. But Banfield reminds us to check in with our vets regularly to make sure our pets haven't gotten too heavy.
It's important for the health of our furry friends that we curb their obesity before it causes health problems. And that responsibility always falls on us, the owners.
Where does my state rank on the pet obesity map?
Here are the states with the highest percentage of overweight dogs, according to Banfield's State of Pet Health Report:
- New Mexico
- New Mexico
If your state didn't make the top ten, that's probably a good sign. You can find your ranking on Banfield's website here.