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Study: American pets are becoming more overweight

DENVER — A study by Banfield Pet Hospital shows it’s not just Americans facing a problem with obesity; pets are also becoming more overweight.

The report released Tuesday found one-third of American dogs and cats are overweight, and it’s been steadily increasing over the past decade.

In the past 10 years, the number of overweight dogs has gone up 158 percent and the number of overweight cats has gone up 169 percent.

Veterinarians say 20 diseases and chronic conditions are linked with excess weight, and also say owners of overweight pets spend 36 percent more on veterinarian bills than owners of healthy pets.

The study attributes the increase in overweight pets to overfeeding, lack of exercise, breed and genetics, and ailments that keep pets from being active.

The report also broke down statistics, by state. It lists the Colorado dog population at 96,244 and the Colorado cat population at 18,713.

The rate of overweight and obese dogs in Colorado is 10 percent above the national average. The most common ailments for dogs in the state are dental calculus, overweight, nuclear sclerosis, patellar luxation and skin tumors.