ORLANDO, Fla. -

Over 54 percent of pets in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Obesity can cause decreased life expectancy, heart and respiratory disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis, according to Dr. Neil Shaw the chief medical officer for Blue Pearl Veterinary hospitals.

“These numbers are absolutely staggering, especially when obesity in pets can be so easily prevented,” said Shaw.

Making sure pets receive adequate exercise and an appropriate diet can easily prevent obesity.

Shaw also recommends having animals seen by a family veterinarian at least twice a year.