Pet calorie calculator launches to help combat overfeeding our furry friends

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:https://www.comparethemarket.com/pet-insurance/content/overfed-pets/

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 ourselvesNowadays 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.”

SNACK ATTACK

Top snacks owners are feeding their pets:

  1. Chicken scraps (59%)
  2. Ham (27%)
  3. Beef (25%)
  4. Cheese (21%)
  5. 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.”

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10 thoughts on “Pet calorie calculator launches to help combat overfeeding our furry friends

  1. I always thought the rule of thumb was if i can feel but not see a cat’s ribs then the cat is right weight.

    I travel a lot so i bring my cat to my parents house for maybe 2 to 6 weeks at a time. Last winter after a month away I saw my cat (Billysky) and said something inappropriate to my mother because my kitty had become fat. In retort, my mother insists I am starving my cat (and told me to watch my language). My cat eats mostly wet food and a bit of Hills for Teeth dry food.

    When Billysky came home, I switched her to wet food that has no grains in it, limited her intake, and played with her alot. Not but 3 weeks later she seemed to be the right weight again (11.6 pounds/5.3 kg). I personally think the grain free wet food made the difference.

    Sorry this comment is long, but I got my first cat Sabrina when I was 6 years old and she died when I was 23 because she became obese and, not to go into details, but she couldn’t get out of way fast enough, She was so obese she couldn’t do anything fast.

    So yes I want to keep Billysky as lean and healthy as possible and love the fact that this article calls it out.

  2. I always ask Andy and Dougy’s veterinarian to evaluate how my kitty boys are doing on weight control. They get weighed each time they visit their veterinarian, of course, and he does a hands on check as well since Persians look fat and fluffy by virtue of their hair.

    Whatever he says with regards their weight, I pay attention. Table scraps of human food Never! They are six years old now, so it is more important not to give them too many kitty treats (made specifically for cats) no matter how much they beg – and they do try to work me!

    By being a good weight for their age and activity level, it should help them go into old age with much better overall health and fewer preventable disabilities. Sometimes the best way to love your kitties is to just say no when they want a treat!

  3. I have two cats. One is the eater and one is not. One is heavy and one is skinny. I am really picky about what I feed them. There seems to be only one food that Teagan (the heavier one) likes. I have found a couple that Nessa (the skinny one) likes. Just this week I bought some that is not my first choice to feed them, but Teagan doesn’t like it so Nessa gets to eat her full plate. She is a grazer/snacker. So she will eat a little then go away, but when she goes away Teagan comes and eats it. Then when Nessa comes back there is nothing because Teagan ate it all. I have tried putting a plate up so Teagan won’t get it, but then I am not always around to put it down when Nessa comes in to eat it. And I have forgotten about it on the counter. So, I am trying this Teagan-doesn’t-like-it-food. We will see. Nessa loves it. But she still does the grazing thing.

    I keep thinking about those feeders that you can program for specific cats. I would just program it for Nessa. But . . . I am not there yet.

    1. Ah we’ve got one of those feeders you can Programm we always thought Oliver was stealing all of Nubia’s food. Turned out within a couple of months of the feeder she was getting too fat!!! Must have had her private bowl and Olivers who of course had lost the weight she gained LOL

  4. This calorie counter for cats sounds really useful and should provide people with the knowledge whether they are over feeding their cat or not. Thanks Sean

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