Pet obesity may be growing at the most alarming rate in households where a new baby is present, according to data released by Flexcin International, makers of the FlexPet joint supplement for pets. Customer advisor specialists at the company say new parents represent the fastest-growing demographic inquiring about dog-joint health issues relating to pet obesity.
Flexcin analyzed demographic data from its team of customer adviser specialists to determine the largest percentage of pet obesity-related inquiries. In a six-month analysis from June through December in 2010, new parents represented roughly a third (32.3 percent) of all dog-joint health inquiries tied to overweight pets (up from 25.7% in 2008). Elderly pet owners came in second at 28.5 percent.
Other data findings:
--78.4% of new parents said their dog was able to freely eat food that dropped from the baby’s high-chair.
--67.7% said they paid less attention to their dog’s food portions.
--64.6% said they had less time for dog walks or didn’t feel comfortable bringing the dog during baby stroller walks.
“Through the research and our discussions with veterinarian experts, new parents tend to let down their guard when watching their dog’s diet because their focus is clearly on addressing their new baby,” said Tamer Elsafy, CEO and founder of Flexcin.
Veterinarian Patrick Mahaney says it’s important to monitor a pet’s body condition to observe possible obesity signs. “Make sure you can feel your dog’s ribs and the spaces in between each rib. Also, check to see if the dog’s abdomen bulges out or swings down towards the ground,” said Mahaney.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention recently said 1/5 of the country’s 170 million-plus dogs and cats are considered obese.
Pet experts repeatedly warn that overfeeding can be extremely dangerous for dogs and pets, especially when people food is involved. A pet gaining just a few pounds can add significant stress to their body’s frame, which ultimately leads to joint pain and arthritis. The right mix of diet and exercise is the best way to prevent any pet from gaining weight.