As in humans, obesity also poses health problems for pets.
The old saying that owners tend to look like their dogs could be true as obesity has now been declared the biggest health problem for British canines. This coincides with the record number of obese men and women that was recorded in the same country in 2001.
Obesity has been declared an epidemic in the US and is also reaching huge proportions in Europe. In South Africa it is estimated that two fifths of all adults are obese. Our unhealthy lifestyles seem to be rubbing off on our furry friends.
For Fido, fat is more dangerous than a car
A study conducted by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (which deals with both canines and humans), found that obesity is the number one health problem facing dogs in Britain, followed by traffic and disc problems.
The study was released to coincide with the centenary of the world-renowned Crufts dog show, in which over 20 000 top pedigree dogs parade their slim bodies on the dogwalks of Birmingham.
The researchers questioned a number of physiotherapists who worked with dogs as to what they thought the biggest killer of dogs was. Three-quarters of the physiotherapists questioned cited obesity as the biggest health risk.
Like master, like dog
The study authors noted that just like their masters, dogs become obese because they eat too much and exercise too little.
According to the study, the British nation overfeed their dogs at meal times and give "titbits" to them throughout the day.
If your dog really is your best friend and you want it to live a long and happy life, feed it the right amount of healthy food and take it for regular walks, which will also help you to beat the bulge. - (Health24, March 2003)
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