In an effort to fight pet obesity, Purina Veterinary Diets has put together "Project: Pet Slim Down," a nationwide program that unites veterinarians and pet owners in helping pets lose weight.
The online program, which allows owners to get advice for and track their pet's weight loss, focuses on shrinking the growing number of overweight cats and dogs in the US. According to a survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 45% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight or obese. "Pet owners might mistakenly think that a pudgy dog or cat is cute, without realizing this extra weight puts the pet at a greater risk for developing serious health problems, including arthritis and diabetes," said Dr. Grace Long, a veterinarian with Nestle Purina. "But the good news is that with proper nutrition and exercise, pet obesity can be reversed."