Obesity has become a risk to the UK’s pets. Extra weight means our furry companions are more likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
Information from the PDSA, suggests a third of dogs and a quarter of cats can be classed as ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’. 80 percent of vet professionals surveyed by the charity believe there will be more overweight pets than healthy ones by 2019.
Surveys carried out by the organisation suggest that as many as 4 million pets – 2.6 million dogs, 1.4 million cats and 12,000 rabbits – may be fed table scraps or leftover human food as their main meals. Nearly 500,000 dogs also appear to have been fed human chocolate, despite its potentially fatal side effects.
So, what is the answer? Owners clearly love their pets but some require eduction and support, either regarding suitable diets or portion sizes.
The pet industry and animal lovers need to work together to tackle the rising danger to pet health. Independent retailers are already stocking diets suitable for pets in need of weight management and encouraging owners to seek veterinary advice.