The majority of pet cats and dogs in the U.S. are carrying extra weight.
In the eighth year of an annual survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 58 percent of cats and 53 percent of dogs were found to be overweight in 2014.
The research also shows that 28.1 percent of cats and 17.6 percent of dogs were reportedly obese, which is when the animal is more than 30 percent its ideal body weight.
Part of this problem is due to the owners' inability to recognize that their pets are heavier than they should be.
In fact, the majority of the owners of overweight pets--90 percent with cats and 95 percent with dogs--considered their animals to be normal in appearance.
This difference between perception and reality, termed the "fat pet gap," is of particular concern to veterinarians since weight loss cannot happen without the owner's acknowledgment that a problem exists.
Obesity in pets can cause similar health problems as it does in humans, including shorter lifespans and diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
More from AOL
'Antiques Roadshow:' Frederic Remington portrait worth $800K
Solar-powered plane lands in China on round-the-world flight
Star Wars planets like Tatooine may be common, study finds