Eighty-four million. That’s how many U.S. dogs and cats are overweight or obese, according to a 2008 pet obesity study from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). That figure, which rose from 2007, represents an alarming trend in the veterinary industry, says Dr. Ernie Ward, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and founder of APOP. Our pets are getting fatter. “Just as we’ve become a nation of couch potatoes, our pets have become a nation of lap potatoes—and that’s not good for anyone,” Ward says.
But this trend doesn’t have to continue. By encouraging your clients to be more active with their pets, you’ll see healthier patients—and healthier clients. Use APOP’s top pet fitness and weight loss products of 2009 guide to inspire clients to leave the TV behind in favor of a more active lifestyle. After all, the holidays are coming up, and most pets love opening gifts.