Mince pies, mulled wine and sweets; for us humans the Christmas period was a time for indulgence. But, for pets, the food-fest may still be ongoing.
The recently released PDSA Animal Wellbeing report (PAWS) revealed that 5.5 million pets are being fed fatty treats as part of their daily diet. Frequent offenders include crisps, cakes, cheese, chips and takeaways plus leftovers from human food.
Sadly, the news gets worse. 80 percent of vets and vet nurses say there will be more overweight than healthy pets in five years time. The PAWS report also found that two million soft-hearted owners give their pets treats if they beg.
If this behaviour results in obesity, it may do more than cause discomfort for the animals. Diabetes and cardiovascular issues are among the problems that can come with high weight gain.
So, what’s the solution? The pet trade is in a position to pass along good advice to owners. Pet Gazette’s January issue features tips from the PDSA’s Senior Veterinary Surgeon for Science and Welfare and the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association.
The experts share a range of ideas from visiting pet nutritionists to weighing out food servings. Treats can be carefully incorporated into pet diets to avoid a calorie overload.
Owners can find helpful information at the 82 percent of vet practices already offering weight clinics and dietary advice. For more tips download the 2014 PAWS report from www.pdsa.org.uk or tweet your own solutions to @PetGazette.