Obesity is taking its toll on our pets

Obesity is taking its toll on our pets
In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 image, Biscuit looks at his cage in the shelter in St. Charles, Mo. (AP Photo/St. Charles Animal Control via St. Louis Post Dispatch)

The number one health issue facing our pets today is obesity. More than half of the dogs and almost two-thirds of the cats in this country are overweight - and that's not good.

"We're just feeding them too many calories every day and they're not taking enough walks or getting enough physical activity,” said Dr. Ernie Ward founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Dr. Ward says fat cats and fat dogs have more medical problems, very similar to what happens to us when we pack on the pounds.

"We're talking about type 2 diabetes, crippling arthritis, breathing problems, high blood pressure,” Ward told me. “We're also finding more and more cancers are directly related to excess fat."

You need to do two things: Cut the calories and boost the exercise.

Go easy on the commercial treats – they can be loaded with fat and calories.

Get your pets up and moving. Play with the cat a couple of times a day. Take the dog for a good, brisk 20 or 30 minute walk every day. It’s good for you and your best friend.

More Info: Got a plump pooch? Gym memberships for dogs