Off the couch, kitty. Tufts University hopes to make pet obesity a thing of the past. (Photo: PetMD.com)
In the fight to curb obesity nationwide, the U.S. seems to have ignored one crucial subgenre of our population―our pets. According to BusinessNewsDaily.com, up to 60 percent of our nation’s pets are obese or overweight. (If you’re keeping score, the tally for humans is about 35 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control.) To combat pet obesity, Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has just opened the nation’s first weight-loss clinic for pets.
Business News Daily reports that the university’s Veterinary Obesity Clinic not only provides weight-loss strategies for its overweight patients, but offers anti-obesity education to veterinarians, and conducts clinical research to determine the most effective obesity treatment options. The clinic is housed in the Foster Hospital for Small Animals in Grafton, Massachusetts.
Obesity is a serious issue, but in pets leads to its own unique set of complications. Cats and dogs may not develop coronary artery disease like overweight people do, but according to PetMD, they do experience serious medical issues like diabetes, arthritis and liver disease. Most importantly, pet obesity leads to a shortened life span.
Though the idea of a “pet obesity clinic” may conjure up images of a rotund cat, sweating it out alone on a treadmill, pet owners shouldn’t expect their furry family members to go it alone. BusinessNewsDaily reports that a 2006 study at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Wellness Institute found that overweight pets can have an encouraging effect on overweight owners to exercise with them simultaneously.
Is pet obesity an issue for your pet? Would you send them to a weight loss clinic? Let us know what you think in the Comments.
A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and medical writer. In addition to reporting the weekend news on TakePart, she volunteers as a web editor for locally-based nonprofits and works as a freelance feature writer for TimeOutLA.com.Email Andri | @andritweets | TakePart.com