A recent survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that 53% of dogs and 55% of cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese and owners are unaware of their pet's weight problem in many cases, a phenomenon dubbed the "fat pet gap" by veterinarian Ernie Ward, APOP's founder. AVMA President Dr. Rene Carlson noted, "We could keep many pets we see in middle and old age off of expensive pain medications if they got the weight off."

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