According to the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity, as Americans get bigger, so do our pets! 34.2% of Americans over age 20 were overweight as of 2008, and another 33.8% were obese, numbers taken from studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, a 2009 national survey of vets across the U.S. found that 45% of dogs and 58% of cats were overweight or obese. Those numbers revealed a 2% increase in dog weight problems from the year before, and a 5% increase for cats.

The cause are exactly the same for pets as for humans: eating too much and not moving enough. And just like for their two-legged owners, there are plenty of things you can and do to help prevent pudgy pets.

Human dieting tips are a good place to start, according to Stephanie Pappas, senior writer for LiveScience. That means counting calories via weight-tracking and meal planning, smarter more nutritional choices of pet food and exercise being foremost among them. Check out her full article for even more tips, tricks and techniques for helping your furry friend get fit.