An overweight dog or cat is more likely to have arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and breathing problems.
Who's to blame for this? We are.
And pet parents are the only ones who can do something about it.
Dr. Marty Becker, founder of vetstreet.com, says you've got to measure the food you give them.
"Stop feeding out of food bowls but instead put that kibble into food puzzles."
That's right, make them work it. And Dr. Becker says make them work out every day.
"You want to get a dog panting-tired every day. It doesn't take much effort to get a little Dachshund panting-tired a lot more effort for a big Shepard. But if you control the amount you feed them and increase the exercise, pretty soon those excessive pounds will melt away. And you know what else, those behavioral problems melt away as well."
Is it worth the effort? You bet it is. Remember, those extra pounds not only cause pain an discomfort, they'll shorten your furry friend's life.