A report by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) suggests Britain is facing an epidemic of overweight dogs and cats. Although owners’ awareness of pet obesity has improved, vets still feel up to 45 per cent of dogs they see are overweight although, worryingly, 63 per cent of owners think their pet is the correct weight.
The main causes of weight gain in dogs are thought to be:
● Exceeding manufacturers’ feeding guides – two in three owners don’t follow the guidelines when deciding portion size.
● Feeding with human leftovers.
● Giving too many treats – nearly half of owners feed pets treats more than twice a day, and one in three uses ‘human’ food to treat.
● Insufficient exercise.
Three in four UK vets now run obesity clinics and welcome questions from owners about their pet’s weight, so contact your local vet to see what support is available.
The PFMA already runs one initiative called ‘Weigh-in Wednesday’ www.pfma.org.uk/weighinwednesday, but it’s now also launched the #GetPetsFit Facebook campaign to help support owners who are doing their best to tackle their pets’ weight issues. Find out more at www.facebook.com/GetPetsFit