Pet calorie calculator launches to help combat overfeeding our furry friends
- Over a fifth of pet owners believe their animal is overweight, yet 86% of people confess to giving their pets snacks
- More than one in ten find it harder to say no to their pet than to their children when it comes to doling out treats
- comparethemarket.com has launched a bespoke Pet Calorie Calculator to help people manage their animal’s weight and avoid hefty vet bills
comparethemarket.com has revealed that the nation has a problem with overfeeding their pets. Research has shown that the majority of Brits (86%) are giving their pets extra snacks and treats outside of typical meal times, according to a poll of over 2,000 respondents.
It appears there is a lack of understanding when it comes to healthy feeding for animals. Only a quarter of pet owners believe they know exactly how much they should be feeding pets and over half (58%) never look at the calorie content of snacks and treats. Despite actively not checking calorie content, over a fifth (22%) of Brits believe their pet is overweight.
Only 15% say they have been given advice on healthy snacks for their animals. To help combat the issue, comparethemarket.com has developed a pet calorie calculator with ‘Vets in Practice’ star, Emma Milne. The calculator has been designed specifically to measure calorie content of human snacks and treats commonly given to pets, comparing the intake to the human equivalent number of burgers that have been consumed: (link no longer exisits.)
Emma Milne, veterinarian from Vets in Practice, said:
“Vets and nurses everywhere face the daily challenge of tackling the subject of obesity in pets and it’s becoming a huge welfare issue. Some owners really are killing with kindness. Obesity is just as deadly for our pets as it is for ourselves. Nowadays many people are so accustomed to seeing overweight animals that when asked if a ‘normal’ animal is ok they feel they are too thin or even emaciated. The calorie calculator can help pet owners see more easily the impact the ‘odd little titbit’ can have on their animals.”
Stephanie Corbett, Pet Product Manager at comparethemarket.com said:
“We’ve created this calculator with the aim of highlighting to owners how much these little treats can affect their pets weight and health. It is shocking to see that so few pet owners feel they’ve been given advice on healthy snacks and with pet obesity on the rise, insurance is more important than ever. Hopefully this tool will lead to a nation of more informed owners and healthier animals.”
Top snacks owners are feeding their pets:
- Chicken scraps (59%)
- Ham (27%)
- Beef (25%)
- Cheese (21%)
- Sausage (20%)
Will Calvet from Kew is using the calculator to help manage his cat’s weight:
“I’ve always wanted the best for my cat, but it’s so tempting to feed her extra titbits and any spare food we have left over, especially when we’ve been out of the house all day. It became such a habit to the point that Tipz would beg for extra treats as soon as we walked through the door.
At first, I didn’t think about what the extra treats might be doing to Tipz’s health until some of my friends started to joke about how big she was getting. After using the pet calorie counter, I realized just how much I was over-feeding her.
Nowadays, I make sure I control Tipz’s daily calorie intake and monitor her weight to keep it in-check. I’ll only give her extra food as a special treat and properly manage how much food I give her at meal times. She still gets the odd extra scrap, although it is a lot less than before.”