Huffpost Healthy Living

Pet Obesity: The Most And Least Obese States For Dogs And Cats In The U.S.

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It isn't just human portion sizes and waistlines that have increased and expanded over the past five years. Fido and Fluffy have gained weight, too.

According to a recent report from Banfield Pet Hospital, 37 percent more dogs and 90 percent more cats are overweight than they were five years ago.

Banfield, the world's largest veterinary practice, recently released its State of Pet Health report, detailing findings about pet obesity, as well as other common health problems in dogs and cats.

The report analyzed data from the 2 million dogs and nearly 430,000 cats cared for by Banfield vets, working in 800 hospitals across the country, according to a press release.

But, just like we don't always recognize obesity in ourselves, pet owners don't always think their furry friends are overweight. More than three-quarters of dog owners and nearly 70 percent of cat owners believe their pet is at just the right weight, according to the report.

"It's a sensitive subject," Brittany King, D.V.M., associate veterinarian at the Banfield Pet Hospital in Cypress, Texas, tells The Huffington Post. "You don't want to tell [someone] 'Your pet is fat.'"

While it's a necessary realization for many owners to face, she says, it's often a fix as easy as measuring the food you give your pet each day. Even shedding just a few pounds is good for your pet, she says. "We're not [always] looking for drastic changes."

Another easy way to help your pet eat healthy is to ease off the treats. "As we get busier, a lot of owners don't have a lot of time to spend with their pets," says King. "and think 'I'll show my pet love by giving her an extra treat.'" Also keep in mind that a treat can be a piece of her regular, healthy food, she adds, or make a walk or a new toy a reward rather than using food at all. King suggests making sure all familiar members are on the same page, too; you may be feeding Fido appropriately while a young child is sneaking him French fries under the table!

Like with humans, where pets live seems to have some influence over whether or not they will be overweight. However, the most and least obese states for humans aren't always the same states where pets have some extra pounds to lose.

Banfield's report found eight states where both dogs and cats are at high risk for being overweight or obese, and 10 where both are at low risk. Click through the slideshow below to see if your state made the list. Then tell us in the comments if you agree with the findings.

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Most And Least Obese States For Pets
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