1 in 3 of UK Pet Guardians worry that their pet is overweight

1 in 3 of UK Pet Guardians worry that their pet is overweight

A third of British pet owners believe their pooches and moggies have piled on the pounds and fear their pet is overweight.

Concern over podgy pets has grown in the last few years, with veterinary professionals reporting an increase in levels of pet obesity. Many claim to have seen a rise in the number of overweight dogs, cats, rabbits and even small rodents being brought into surgeries for treatment.

The survey by Argos Pet Insurance has found that one in three (35 percent) people are worried that their dog or cat may weigh too much.

Some pet owners are trying to combat the problem, as a quarter of people interviewed have put their pet on a diet with the aim of reducing their weight. The same percentage of people also report working out with their animal to try and help them lose weight.

Five percent of people do feed their pet a special diet to match their own, while three percent feed their pets a vegetarian diet. Meanwhile, just one percent of pet owners feed their dogs or cats a vegan diet.

Rebecca Cannon, veterinary surgeon with Argos Pet Insurance, commented: “One problem may be the amount of food being given, even if the diet is good quality and balanced. Sometimes owners don’t realise their pets are overweight for their breed. Other owners may be failing to follow feeding guidelines. For example, feeding their pets on demand, when they assume them to be hungry, providing too many treats or allowing them to graze from a surplus of leftover food.”

Obese animals face similar health implications to overweight humans. Argos Pet Insurance have seen an increase in claims for obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and even certain types of cancer. As with humans, pet obesity can reduce life expectancy and quality of life.

The main causes of animal obesity are often, as you’d expect, too little exercise and too much food. However, some pets put on the pounds after neutering or due to conditions like hypothyroidism.

Rebecca added: “These figures regarding people’s fears that their pets are overweight are alarming and not to be ignored, but it is great to see some people are working to help their pets lose weight. We all want our pets to live long and happy lives, so we need pet owners to be conscientious when it comes to diet and exercise. Obesity is dangerous territory, putting pets at risk of a whole array of serious health problems.”

If you’re worried about your pet, check out these guides to getting your dog or cat in shape.

Story and tips kindly provided by www.argospetinsurance.co.uk

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8 thoughts on “1 in 3 of UK Pet Guardians worry that their pet is overweight

  1. Léa says:

    Poor angels. Madame Colette is the “typical” petite femme and while Simone appears larger, it is that mass of fur that clings to her. They have their paws full trying to keep their human in line. C’est la vie!

  2. erinthecatprincess says:

    I have to say that my human shoulders the blame for some of my weight gain, as since retiring there is always someone available to be asked for more food. That said, the feed makers are also to blame for high carb, grain packed foods, that have little benefit but to act as filler for the food and fattener for the cats and dogs. I lost 400gm, nearly a pound, through changing to grain free (Orijen) cat food diet, plus I now have a food dispense into which measured amounts are placed. Might seem a bit harsh, but actually it allows for treats between meals and the few mice too that happen to stray past my mouth.
    Great post guys, and folks really do need to look to what they are feeding, when and how much and stick to it. PS I do hope none of the 3% of vegetarian diets were for cats!

  3. Pingback: 1 in 3 of UK Pet Guardians worry that their pet is overweight - Katzenworld Shop

  4. simon7banks says:

    I know food on demand or food constantly around the house cause problems for many cats, but for some reason they don’t for mine. Millie, the first cat in here, had some kind of condition which meant she was often sick (and not from bolting food). Switching to entirely dry food (except small treats of human consumption fish paste) helped and she always ate in moderation. Emma, who moved in after Millie died, did get a little overweight at one time, but as she was always wandering a lot and visiting other houses, the cause may not have been here and she subsequently lost a little weight without any intervention by me. She’s out a lot, to my knowledge wanders some distances, comes in and eats hungrily, but when recently she’s been in the house more often and for longer, she’s also started eating less in one go. Suzy, a resident for sixteen months, spends the vast majority of her time in the house and eats frequently in small amounts. I think she eats in moderation because she’s confident the food will always be there. Lucy, who appeared as a stray at the same time as her sister Suzy (I say sister with confidence because they not only appeared together, they look almost the same) has at last just about gained the confidence to move in and does eat a lot (usefully hoovering up virtually anything the others have left), but I suspect she has nature’s slimming programme – worms. When if ever I’ll be able to get her to the vet’s I don’t know. The nearest I’ve got to touching her is that she once sniffed my cautiously-proffered finger. But she has learnt to appreciate the padded sleeping bag on the spare bed.

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