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Bay Area Advocates Raise Awareness of Pet Obesity

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Go ahead, give a dog a bone — but make it low fat.

Jas Mattu, a veterinarian for Berkeley-based University Veterinary Hospital, is raising awareness of the pet obesity epidemic. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of cats and dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.

Mattu said the fault lies with humans, not with their pets. Some physical causes of pet obesity, such as too much food and not enough exercise, are clear cut. But other contributing factors, like human obesity and a sense that well-fed pets are better cared for, add to the problem.

“Our pets give us love, and we are letting our personal desire to give back, to feed them and give them more and more food, lead to health problems,” Mattu said. “Don’t kill your pets with love.”

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