Borris, at his heaviest, was not alone. The worldwide prevalence of pet obesity lies between 22% and 44%, and rates seem to be rising. The reasons why are fairly predictable. Owners of overweight dogs feed them more snacks and table scraps, are more likely to have their pets present as they prepare their own meals and are less likely to walk them daily. Owners of obese cats tend to use food as a reward and play with them less. If a dog owner is obese, the chances are their pet will be too (this doesn’t apply to cats).
But obesity also seems to be occurring even in some domestic and wild animals who aren’t being overfed or under-exercised. If these findings are true, something else must be driving obesity and uncovering those could help tackle our own epidemic with the condition.