Vet charity PDSA is urging pet owners to consider the health and wellbeing of their pets this National Obesity Awareness Week (10-16 January 2022), following research revealing a large number of pets have suffered weight increases.
The study of more than 4,500 pet owners by the UK’s leading vet charity, PDSA, and YouGov, found that 1.4 million pets have been fed more human treats since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
This could be leading to a ticking obesity time-bomb, says PDSA.
The detrimental health effects of obesity in pets don’t appear to be well-recognised amongst owners. Three in 10 (31%) owners don’t agree that overweight pets are more likely to suffer from serious diseases, and 35% don’t agree that they are less likely to live as long as other pets.
PDSA Vet Nurse, Nina Downing, said: “The findings of our PAW Report indicate that the nation’s pets are at more risk than ever before. Although some owners may think their chubby pets look cute, being overweight is a major red flag when it comes to their wellbeing. Overweight animals have a much greater risk of developing health problems such as arthritis and diabetes – which can have drastic consequences, even shortening their life by up to two years.
“I’d encourage anyone who is concerned about their pet’s weight to take action now – the risks of carrying extra pounds are significant, however, making small changes to keep them at a healthy weight can make a huge difference.”
She added: “To help owners spot the signs of weight gain in their pets, we’ve created our handy #WeighUp guide, which makes it easy to review a pet’s shape and breaks down achievable steps to combat any weight-related issues.”