Pet Obesity Survey Reveals U.S. Cats and Dogs Getting Fatter

February 14, 2024
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A recent pet obesity survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reveals its findings. Learn more.

Move More, Eat Less

October 7, 2020
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“Eat less, move more” has a nice ring to it, but neither of those practices can fix everything and everybody.

Eat Less, Move More

October 6, 2020

There is the disagreement about whether some calories are good while others are bad. Also, there is the energy balance controversy.

Pets Count on Us to Keep Them Healthy

August 28, 2020
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Pet obesity might serve as an ideal test bed for the treatment and prevention of child obesity, with focus primarily on parental behaviors.

American Society of Animal Science Reminder

July 9, 2020
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Like humans, pets eat in response to stress, and exhibit eating-related behaviors that look very much like addiction.

Talk About the Animals

June 30, 2020
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Dr. Pretlow will speak at the annual (virtual) meeting of the American Society of Animal Science on Monday, July 20, on the topic of obesity in pets.

Pet Obesity and a Certain Amount of Weirdness

October 28, 2016
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Co-dependency takes many forms. Pets can become morbidly obese, but they can also recover if given the opportunity for a new lease on life.

Kids, Pets, and Withdrawal

October 27, 2016
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It is National Pet Obesity Awareness Month, and we’ve been talking about what happens when a pet-parent tries to halt the pet animal’s addiction to overeating.

More About How to Help Kids and Pets

October 26, 2016
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What happens when a pet-parent or child-parent initiates a program designed to reverse the addiction to problem eating?

How to Help Kids and Pets

October 25, 2016
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Eliminating problem foods and between-meal snacking, as well as decreasing portion sizes, can help prevent obesity in both kids and pets.

The Overweight Pet Blues

August 12, 2016
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When a child or pet is given an edible treat to cover depression, anxiety, isolation, emotional pain, or stress, it could lead to addiction.

Pet-Parents, Obesity, and Canine Focus

August 11, 2016
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One of the major causes for obesity for both kids and pets seems to be parental co-dependency — buying affection with food.

The Many Similarities Between Kids and Pets

August 10, 2016
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There are many similarities between the needs of kids and pets when it comes to obesity, such as exercise and connection with nature.

Dr. Pretlow’s Newest Publication

August 9, 2016
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Yesterday, Childhood Obesity News mentioned the previous posts that have dealt with the role of pets in combatting overweight and obesity in kids. Today, we start by looking back over the posts about the serious and widespread problem of obese pets. Th …

Pet Week — a Quick Review

August 8, 2016
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Studies found that children in dog-owning homes tend to get more exercise. Pets can also provide comfort and exert a relaxing influence that relieves the stress in many lives.

Motivation from Virtual Pets

September 30, 2015
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Animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted intervention are two names for an aspect of “green care,” described in a previous Childhood Obesity News post. Real live animals are not the only ones who can help kids out of obesity. Imaginary animals made …

Pet Obesity Imitates Childhood Obesity

April 29, 2015
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According to the latest figures, 52 percent of pet dogs in America are overweight or obese: about 43 million dogs. The cat statistics are even worse—an estimated 57 percent of cats, or 55 million animals, are overweight or obese. There has been an alar …

Animals, Obesity, and Green Care

March 3, 2014
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The use of companion animals is only one aspect of green care, also known as social farming. Either term is inclusive and covers not only animal-assisted therapy, but green exercise, ecotherapy, therapeutic horticulture, and wilderness therapy. It’s al …

Year-Round Pet Obesity Awareness

June 4, 2013
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Childhood Obesity News has been looking at the parallels between humans and animals in an area called displacement behavior, which in humans can also be called adjunctive behavior or body-focused repetitive behavior. When feeling boxed in, conflicted, …

Pet Obesity and Childhood Obesity

May 31, 2013
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Richard French, DVM, M.S., Ph.D., of Becker College (where he is a veterinary pathologist and Dean of Animal Studies) is very concerned about obesity among pets. There is a lot of it. American households contain 77 million dogs, of which 53% of the adu …

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day: October 13

October 13, 2010
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First, how do we know how many pets are obese? It’s simple. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) is in its fourth year of conducting an annual survey of veterinarians and pet owners. The Association estimates that nearly 90 million animal …

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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