Now we know it’s not 1 April just yet, but seeing as the day falls on a Sunday this year – when Dogs Monthly will be kicking its heels in the park, rather than sitting behind a desk – we’re posting early with a picture of a pair of porky pooches testing out the world’s first stair lift for dogs.
Yes, that’s right. As well as a comfy basket for dogs to sit in during the stair elevation stage, it features an electronic retractable platform – activated by a paw recognition button – to take the dog from floor to basket level.
While raising a few smiles, there’s a serious message underneath; the prototype stair lift has been designed by More Th>n Pet Insurance to draw attention to the growing problem of obesity among Britain’s pets.
Figures show that one in three dogs are now obese, but if obesity levels continue to rise at the current rate, by 2022 more than half the county’s canine population will be severely overweight and unable to carry out basic tasks – like climbing a set of stairs – without putting serious pressure on their hearts and joints.
To prevent pooches piling on the pounds, TV vet Joe Inglis recommends dog owners do the following:
1. Feed your dog good quality food – and weigh it out. Make sure they are
getting the right amount each day.
2. Cut out treats and titbits as these are one of the main causes of weight gain.
3. Make plenty of time for walks to keep your dog (and you) in shape.
4. Make exercise fun with activities such as flyball and agility.
5. Consult your vet right away if your dog starts putting on weight.