Results of a new study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) released last month reveal a record number of U.S. pets are now classified as overweight or obese, with nearly 54 percent of dogs and 59 percent of cats being classified that way. The findings indicate roughly 41.9 million dogs and 50.5 million cats in the U.S. are too heavy.

The study began in Oct. 2016 and included the assessment of 1,224 dogs and 682 cats by 187 veterinary clinics within the U.S.

For pets, being overweight can have significant adverse effects on their health and quality of life, and leads to the premature death of millions each year. Pudgy pets have an increased risk of developing diseases like diabetes, arthritis, cancer and liver disease.

“As pet obesity becomes more prevalent across the country, many pet owners are increasingly concerned about how to improve their pets’ health,” said Dr. Asaf Dagan, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Canine and Feline practice), and PetPace’s chief veterinarian. “With PetPace, we’ve created a device that gives pet owners the information they need to improve their pet’s quality of life. When using a PetPace smart collar, pet owners can check their pets’ activity levels, calories burned, HRV and a multitude of other vital signs, right from their smart phone.”

PetPace’s sensor-rich smart collars allow for remote continuous monitoring and analysis of pet vital signs and activity directly from a mobile device. Trackable vital signs include temperature, pulse, respiration, heart rate variability (HRV), activity levels, positions, calories and more.

Petpace allows you to set and track activity and calories goals, while monitoring vital signs and other health attributes, sending immediate alerts, when necessary, directly to your smartphone.

“Most importantly, we recommend for people to speak to their veterinarian about assessing their pet weight and, if needed, getting them on a customized plan to shed the excess fat,” Dagan said.

A recent survey revealed that four out of five independent veterinarians recommend a health monitoring collar like PetPace. Using advanced health monitoring devices allow pet owners to quickly identify impending health concerns, monitor existing medical conditions and learn more about their pet’s daily habits.

Take care of your pet’s health – fat is not healthy and you, as the pet owner, can give your pet a healthy diet and lifestyle so that you can have a long happy life together!