Pet owners “aren’t feeding their pets correctly”, according to new research from Burgess Pet Care and Marsden.
The findings from a national pet obesity survey revealed a “worrying” number of pet owners are not paying enough care and attention to the size of their pets’ food portions, highlighting how incorrect portion control may be fuelling the UK’s pet obesity crisis.
Over 500 UK pet owners took part in the survey, and 32% of owners admit they are only guessing the correct amount of food that they feed to their pets instead of following the recommended dietary guidelines. The survey also highlighted a lack of owner knowledge in response to weight management for their pets.
Some 40% of pet owners admit they could improve their knowledge of what constitutes a healthy diet and 62% of pet owners admit they have never asked their vet for weight management advice for their pets.
Dr Suzanne Moyes, veterinary director at Burgess Pet Care said: “Accurate and regular weighing of both pets and their food portions is essential to ensure they maintain a healthy weight.
“As well as ensuring their pets are following a healthy diet full of nutritious foods, pet owners should also carefully monitor the food intake of their pets by paying close attention to portion sizes in order to avoid overfeeding, which is one of the biggest contributing factors to obesity.”
She added: “Obesity can lead to a variety of different health and wellbeing issues, including osteoarthritis, diabetes, cardiac disease and cancer. To help prevent pet obesity, provide your pets with a nutritious and controlled diet and ensure they’re getting regular exercise.”
“Be sensible with treats, avoid feeding them scraps and be sure to visit a veterinary professional if you have any concerns about your pets’ weight.”
David Smith of Marsden said: “The findings from this survey have revealed pet owners don’t always recognise that their pet is overweight. Accurate and regular weighing of both pets and their food portions is essential to maintain a healthy weight.
“It’s encouraging to see that 100% of respondents answered their pet’s weight is quite important or very important to them and we would strongly recommend that pet owners regularly weigh their pets to help keep track of their weight.”