It is no secret that Americans have grown increasingly heavier, with the average body mass index increasing from about 25 in the early 1960’s to around 28 in 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC considers adults with BMIs between 25 and 29.9 to be overweight. All races, genders, and even age groups have become increasingly heavier.

Unfortunately, the trend has also spread to the pet and animal population. With the bellies of animals expanding, so too is our understanding of the causes. To help, we have gathered the top 50 reads for understanding the animal obesity epidemic. They include causes, tips for spotting obese animals, and even how to keep your pet healthy.

Top News Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic

Read about the animal obesity items that made the headlines below.

    1. Obesity on the Rise in Animals : : According to MSNBC, the growing weight problem isn’t just confined to humans. Researcher David Allison of the University of Alabama, Birmingham is searching for a correlation between human obesity and animal obesity. The article outlines his theories and studies.

    2. Lab Animals and Pets Face Obesity Epidemic : A quick read of Scientific American tells that animals in human care are fatter than they were 20 years ago. Not just affecting pets, animals living in close proximity to humans and animals housed in research centers are all heavier. Environmental factors may also come into play.

    3. Animals Getting Fatter Too : Did you know that rats living on the streets of Baltimore were 40 percent heavier in 2006 than in 1948? This article from Discovery has that and more interesting tidbits. Also included are expert opinions and findings.

    4. Five Reasons Why the Obesity Epidemic is Spreading to Animals : According to Planet Green, there is more than one reason for the animal obesity epidemic. Although table scraps and lifestyle are part of it, they are by no means the only reason. Toxins in the water supply and even a disruption in migration are also thought to be causes.

    5. Most Pet Dogs are Too Fat : It isn’t just American pets who are part of the obesity epidemic. “The Telegraph” is a U.K. based paper that finds similar results locally. This specific article found that six out of ten British dogs are classified as overweight or obese.

    6. Junk Food is Causing Pet Obesity Epidemic : “The Telegraph” also takes into account this cause of animal obesity. They report that pet owners are increasingly feeding their animals a dangerously unhealthy diet of junk food, including curry, pizza, and ice-cream. These animals are also reported on as having increased health issues.

    7. Animal Obesity, The Next Big Health Crisis : This story is reported on by Natural News. Ethan Hunt reports that even monkeys are heavier now. There are also many related obesity stories.

    8. The Fat Cat Cometh : One would think that The Economist was writing about rich bureaucrats, but animal obesity is the topic of this article. In attempts to explain the growing epidemic of obesity in humans, scientists are turning to animals. The report examines studies by scientists examining what role stress, climate change, and artificial light plays.

Top Bizarre Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic

These entries on animal obesity stand out on their own.

    9. Rescue Center Steps in to Slim Down Obese Orangutan : According to CNN, a South African orangutan has become so fat on her diet of marshmallows that she’s been taken to England to lose weight. Weighing in at over 220 pounds, she weighs twice as much as she should. The article and video have more.

    10. Prince Chunk : He is a cat that became a media sensation in August of 2008. A New Jersey Animal shelter took him in after being deserted by his owner after a foreclosure and weighed in at 44 pounds, the average weight for a cat being seven to eleven pounds. Ultimately, his weight became his demise as reported on by The National Examiner.

    11. Heavy Hounds : If reading about the animal obesity epidemic isn’t enough, click here. Live Science actually has a gallery of images of obese dogs. Simply visit to view pictures as well as an informative caption for each.

    12. World’s Fattest Cat : A local television station reports on Mitsy the cat. She weighs in at 49 pounds. Must see images and video follow.

    13. World’s Fattest Dog : Cats aren’t the only ones affected by the animal obesity epidemic. This dog from the U.K. is large enough to be mistaken for a pig. Owner commentary is also featured.

    14. Top 10 World’s Fattest Animals : Haven’t seen enough? Than visit this article from “The Sun.” It shows the world’s fattest animals including a pigeon, porcupine, and pig.

    15. Fat Animals : This blog continues in the tradition of the above. An obese animal is featured along with a profile. Visit to see the latest, or send in your own picture.

Top Blog Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic

These blog entries contain even more on the animal obesity epidemic.

    16. Canary in the Coal Mine : Obesity Panacea is a popular blog dealing with obesity. It is authored by a PhD student who is researching the link between sedentary time and chronic disease risk in youth. In this blog entry, he takes on animal obesity.

    17. Obese Animals : Calorie Lab is a leading blog for dieters and those who want to know more about what goes in their food. In this blog entry, they take on the “FBMI” or feline body mass index. Ways to tell if your cat is overweight are discussed.

    18. Lessons From an Obese Hedgehog : If you and your pet are obese, check out this blog entry. Diet Blog is committed to getting people to eat right and get healthy. This particular post uses hedgehogs as inspiration.

    19. Man’s Best Friend or Beer Belly Buddy : Val Heart & Friends strives to get owners better behaved and healthier pets. Val gives her analysis on the animal obesity epidemic along with tips for owners. There are also many related entries.

    20. Fat Pets : Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet twenty-five years ago and spends his time writing a blog for “The Telegraph.” From Ireland, he takes on the animal obesity epidemic in this entry. He writes about what owners should do to keep their pets healthy.

    21. Obesity in Pets : The Paw Blog has tips for everything from antibiotics to spaying. In this entry, the topic of obesity in pets is examined. An FAQ is shared and is helpful.

    22. Killing With Kindness is Still Killing : That is how this blogger at Pet Crash views pet obesity. K9 Media passionately pleas for owners to treat their pets more humanely, even if it means denying them extra food. There are even five steps to help dogs lose weight.

    23. Fireflies in the Cloud : Writer Matt Dinniman had nothing to say in this particular blog entry. So instead he shared a bunch of pictures of obese animals. Click to check out cats, dogs, and wilder obese entries.

    24. 30 Bananas a Day : If you feel like animal obesity is a non-issue, you aren’t alone. This blogger takes a unique look at the epidemic, along with topics they feel are more important. She also links to the original article that got her going.

Top Health Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic

These offering focus on animal obesity as a health issue.

    25. Weight Loss Tools : The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention is dedicated to getting pets thinner. Among their many offerings are these weight loss tools just for pets. They include a pet weight translator, step weight loss program, treats, and more.

    26. Pet Health : The folks at Pets-ercise specialize in dog walking and pet sitting. After a visit to the dog park, the blogger noticed the increased number of overweight dogs. Quick tips and pointers are also included.

    27. Is Fido Fat? : Stephanie Pappas is a Live Science senior writer. In this entry, she gives tips on how human diet tricks can help slim down animals. Both food and exercise are discussed.

    28. Pet Health Care Gazette : This site specializes in keeping pets healthy from A to Z. The obesity and overweight epidemic is discussed as well as the health risks for the animals. There are sections on why being overweight is dangerous, how to tell if your pet is overweight, determining proper body weight, and more.

    29. National Pet Obesity Awareness : With an awareness day for just about everything, pet obesity is not an exception. Maria Goodavage is the writer of “For the Love of Dog Blog” and has more to say about it. She also includes the risks obese pets face.

    30. Overweight Dogs : The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is well known for their efforts on the behalf of animal health. In this offering, they discuss the problem of overweight dogs. Eight must read facts are shared.

    31. Overweight Cats : Not to be left out, the ASPCA also gives tips for owners of overweight cats. Nine tips and facts are shared, along with many other entries for cat owners.

    32. Obese Pets on the Rise : The experts at Animal Medical Hospital provide 24 hour care to pets in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this blog entry, they take on the animal obesity epidemic. There are also many other tips for pet owners.

    33. Dog Obesity : The National Institutes of Health have also noticed the animal obesity epidemic. In this published expert opinion, they examine the attitudes and behaviors of dog owners. Results are shared.

    34. Vets Concerned at Rise in Porky Pets : The animal obesity epidemic has even spread to other parts of the world. In the Pet Pages section of this Australian offering, they are also noticing a rise in pet weight. Several locals are interviewed.

Top Diet Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic

Knowing more about pet food can help you better understand the animal obesity epidemic.

    35. Food and Calories : Part of keeping a healthy pet is knowing what the caloric intake of their food is. Use this free tool from the APOP to get the calorie contents of many popular foods. They include canned, pouched, and dry foods for dogs and cats.

    36. Sugar Additives : Not only found in human foods, these additives can help contribute to pet obesity. The ASPCA takes a closer look at the link between sugar and weight gain. There is also tons of other information for pet owners.

    37. Canine and Feline Nutrition : Dr. Lorie Huston gives the basics on nutrients for dogs and cats. The six essential nutrients, along with where they are found, are shared. There are also many other blog posts on nutrition.

    38. The Role of Nutrition in Heart Disease : It’s not just people, pets are also subject to heart disease. With diet playing a huge role, Caroline outlines the signs of heart disease in pets. She also shares how nutrition can help.

    39. The Overweight Pet : Know what to feed your pet by knowing how they eat. The Pet Center outlines the type of eaters including the Nibbler, Beggar, Good Dog, and Gourmet Dog. Tips and definitions for each are discussed.

    40. What Not to Feed Your Pet : The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention gives tips for owners on what not to feed their pets. Among the forbidden foods were certain treats, bones, wieners, and more. They even showed the caloric equivalent to what people eat.

    41. Weight Loss Questions : Is it a while before your next vet visit? Then visit here to get Doctors Foster and Smith’s answers to many common weight loss questions. They include calorie content, obesity, and even how fast you can expect to see results.

    42. Weight Loss Handout : This PDF is offered to vets who have overweight patients. Download the brochure yourself by visiting this link. It is authored by Dr. Ernie Ward.

    43. Dangerous People Food : They might be good for you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be toxic for pets. Visit this site to get a list of foods to not feed your pet. Some regular and lesser known foods are on the list.

Top DIY Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic

Take matters into your own hands when dealing with animal obesity with the help of the below.

    44. Homemade Diets : Pet Diets is a place where owners can come to learn more about animal nutrition. In this section, they offer an interactive online tool to create and download homemade diets for your healthy cat or dog. A nutrition consultation is required.

    45. Library of Pet Obesity : If you still haven’t read enough about pet obesity, click here. Nulo is a provider of natural foods for dogs and cats. A virtual library is full of expert articles on nutrition, fitness, and more.

    46. Dog Health Center : This guide is offered by the experts at Animal Planet. Veterinary specialists weigh in on food labels, treats, and much more for dogs. There are also loads of other stuff for animal lovers.

    47. Cat Health Center : Not to be outdone, there is also this guide for cats. Choose from information on everything from organ systems to first aid. You can even ask cat related questions.

    48. DIY Dog Food : If you thought Allrecipes has a listing for everything, you’re right. In this offering, animal lovers share their recipes for healthy dog food you can make at home. They include recuperation food, a casserole, meatloaf, and more.

    49. DIY Cat Food : Lisa Pierson is a veterinarian and shares loads of advice for cat owners. Clicking here gives you a comprehensive guide on making your own cat food. You can also get more information on the store bought kind.

    50. No Cans : This site was inspired by the pet food recall of 2007. The author includes recipes for dogs and cats, including items just for kittens. They also discuss the dangers of food items that are not safe for pets.

Although there are many useful entries above, be sure and consult a veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet or following the advice of any of the above top 50 reads for understanding the animal obesity epidemic. The vet can also tell you if your pet is indeed overweight or obese, along with any special diet needs they may have.