Americans, by and large, are a bunch of fat, unhealthy bastards, and many of them (us?!) are also pet owners who lack the basic understanding that the diets of domesticated animals must be regimented. The most recent survey of veterinarians by the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity found that 45 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats were overweight or obese; this represents a 2 percent increase in dog weight problems and a 5 percent increase for cats. But according to the website LiveScience, the trend may be tipping the other way: healthy pet food is a growth industry, and some pet owners are hiring personal trainers for themselves and their pets.
These photos illustrate the problem, which may seem funny at first glance, but pet obesity is no joke for animals who develop diabetes, respiratory disease, kidney disease, and other ailments. So after a vet told Texas dog owner Maribeth Ashley that her two dogs were at risk of developing hip dysplasia and heart problems, Ashley got a personal trainer to whip all three into shape. Now the three fatties "work through two-minute cardio blasts together," according to LiveScience. "Then Ashley drops to the ground for crunches and strength-training while Jennie and Pickles practice obeying 'sit' and 'stay.' " Sounds like it's time for a very special doggy episode of Thintervention? And it makes us wonder whatever happened to Prince Chunk, the fat cat who stole New Yorkers' hearts back in 2008.