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B. Like Owner, Like Horse? Maybe . . .

Narrator: For Science Today. Obesity rates in this country continue to climb and it seems pets with overweight owners are more susceptible to becoming obese and not just house pets. Jan Roser, an animal scientist at the University of California, Davis says this trend is becoming apparent among horses.

Roser: The owners do have a tendency to transfer their lifestyle onto their horse, particularly since horses are now becoming more and more of a companion animal. And people don't recognize when a horse is too fat and when it isn't.

Narrator: Roser says there's often a lack of knowledge about the nutritional needs of horses and that overfeeding them supplements and especially, an unbalanced, high protein diet, cause them to put on excess weight and this puts strain on their feet.

Roser: And certainly, medically it's not in a fit condition, so if you try to push this kind of horse, it'll get fatigued earlier than a more conditioned horse would.

Narrator: And so, like humans, a better, more balanced diet and plenty of exercise are essential for horses. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.