According to a 2012 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats are overweight or obese. That equals 88.4 million pets!
Obesity in pets is no joke. Just like in humans, it can cause a host of health issues, including respiratory distress, orthopedic problems and arthritis, and has been shown to make dogs more prone to diabetes and compromised immune systems.
So how do you know if your dog is overweight? And what can you do to help your portly friend? Read on!
When determining if your pet needs to shed a few LBs, ask yourself: Does he bulge at the waist? You should be able to feel, but not see, your dog’s ribs and spine
Talk to your vet! Certain health conditions—such as a low thyroid level and other hormonal imbalances—can cause weight gain in dogs.
One of the most important steps for controlling your dog’s weight is to cut out the treats and snacks. Exercise can only accomplish so much if your pet is taking in too many calories between meals.
“If you feel you must give your dog treats, choose low-calorie options such as veggies or a piece of rice cake,” recommends the ASPCA’s Dr. Louise Murray, author of Vet Confidential. “Decide how many treats your dog will get each day, and…make sure everyone in the family understands the plan and agrees with it.”
Pop a candle in your morning muffin, give your pet a kiss and join us in celebrating the birthday of ASPCA founder Henry Bergh! Born in 1813, Bergh dedicated his life to advocating for the protection of animals and in 1866 founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. How amazing is that?
In honor of Bergh’s birthday we’re offering ASPCA supporters the chance to win a $50 ASPCA Birthday Gift Pack! The pack is chock-full of gear you can use to follow in Bergh’s footsteps and spread his life-saving message:
•10 ASPCA Orange Wristbands (to give to your friends) •ASPCA Message Tee of your choice •ASPCA Message Tote of your choice •ASPCA “We Are Their Voice” License Plate Frame •ASPCA “Will Fight for Cruelty” Travel Mug
In preparation for Hurricane Isaac, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team has kicked into high gear and headed to the Southeast, providing communities in need with transport, planning, grants and other assistance.
Today, at the request of the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi (HSSM) in Gulfport, we’re relocating animals from that shelter to the Broward County Humane Society in Florida.
“Having been through Hurricane Katrina and responding to numerous disasters, we learned that by assisting agencies with pre-evacuation efforts and getting animals out of harm’s way, we can greatly reduce the number of animals impacted by the hurricane,” says Dr. Dick Green, FIR Team Director of Disaster Response.
“The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to assist the Humane Society of South Mississippi and be part of a collaborative effort to relocate these dogs and give them a second chance,” he adds.
Dr. Green and the FIR team are monitoring the situation closely and have organized sheltering and water rescue teams to support the local agencies as needed.
The ASPCA is also providing emergency grants in communities affected by Isaac, including to the Louisiana State Animal Rescue Team to increase its water rescue capacity.
In a happy coincidence, 89 dogs are making their way from Baton Rouge Animal Alliance in Louisiana to New York aboard a Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team vehicle, part of a scheduled transport arranged through the ASPCA Animal Relocation program. The dogs, mostly small-breed adults and large-breed puppies, will get a second chance at finding loving families at Pets Alive shelters in Westchester and Orange counties.
If you live in an area threatened by severe weather, the most important thing you can do for animals is ensure the safety of your own pets. For more information on how to keep yourself and your pet safe in an emergency, please read our complete list of Disaster Readiness tips.
Watch this blog for more updates on the ASPCA’s response to Isaac.
You did it! In the final days of California’s legislative session, animal advocates have scored a major victory by securing passage of S.B. 1221, a bill to prohibit the use of dogs to pursue and kill wildlife like bears, cougars and bobcats.
It was a real nail-biter and there was very loud opposition by hunters, but thanks to our amazing California Advocacy Brigade, outstanding leadership from the bill’s sponsor, Senator Ted Lieu, and help from Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, this important humane measure passed the Senate last night and is now on its way to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
Californians, we still need you! Governor Brown has until September 30 to act on this bill—and of course, hound hunters are bombarding him with phone calls demanding he veto it. If you are a California resident, we urge you to call the governor’s office at (916) 445-2841 to leave a message stating your support for S.B. 1221.
Keep your message short and polite:
“I urge Governor Brown to sign into law S.B. 1221 to ban the cruel practice of hounding our bears and bobcats. Californians strongly oppose this inhumane and unsporting activity because it harms wildlife as well as dogs who are injured and abandoned. Thank you.”
ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres discusses the new Louisville partnership with WDRB Fox 41 this morning.
We have some exciting news for Kentucky residents! A big congratulations goes out to three Louisville animal welfare organizations—Louisville Metro Animal Services, the Kentucky Humane Society and Alley Cat Advocates—for joining our ASPCA Partnership program. These organizations will gain access to various ASPCA resources, expertise and guidance, including strategic planning support, statistical analysis, training and participation in ground-breaking research projects.
ASPCA President Ed Sayres is in Louisville today to kick off this exciting new collaborative effort. “We look forward to the future success of this collaboration in Louisville, as these agencies already have displayed tremendous growth potential by working well together on joint adoption events and spay/neuter clinics,” he says. “By continuing to build on those accomplishments, we know our partners will be able to affect positive changes for animals most at risk in the Louisville community.”
Last year, nearly 20,000 homeless pets entered these three Louisville agencies. Through this partnership, we hope to assist with shelter overcrowding, increased pet adoptions and targeted spay/neuter programs.
“Working together, we will improve the lives of cats and dogs in our community,” says Lori Redmon, president and CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society, “ensuring every pet is offered a second chance at finding happiness.”
Congratulations, Louisville partners, and keep up the great work!