Survey shows obesity in dogs and cats is a growing epidemicEmma Doheny
March 09, 2020
Top tips to control weight gain as survey shows 60 per cent of dogs and 40 per cent of cats are overweight
Obesity in dogs and cats is a growing epidemic with almost 60 per cent of dogs and 40 per cent of cats overweight according to a recent study*. This leads to reduced life expectancy and a litany of unhealthy conditions including heart disease and diabetes in animals.
Petmania Ireland conducted a nationwide survey held throughout December and January which reveals worrying results:
- 60 per cent of dogs and 40 per cent of cats are overweight
- 43 per cent have not weighed their dog in the last three months, 53 per cent of cat owners have not weighed their cat in the same period.
- Less than half (46 per cent) of the respondents knew what an ideal ‘Body Condition Score’ for their pet should be.
- 28 per cent do not measure their dog’s meals and choose to free pour / 63 per cent free pour their cat’s food.
- 36 per cent give treats because their cat begged / 39per cent give dog treats two or more times each day.
- 18 per cent of respondents said their dog gets less than 30 minutes of exercise each day whilst pet owners observed that their cat spent most of their day sleeping and 4 per cent of dog-owners admit that their dog gets no exercise.
- 58 per cent of dogs spend three-plus hours alone each day, while for cats this figure is 91 per cent
- 28 per cent of dogs and 17per cent of cats share their owner’s bed
- Encouragingly, 75% of dogs and 91% of cats have been neutered
Committed to helping pet-parents manage their pet’s diet throughout their life-stages and form long-term #HealthierHabits, the number one thing Petmania recommends is that dog and cat owners weigh their animal at least every three months. This way they know when a weight problem emerges and can address it quickly with some simple practical tips for example:
Tips to manage cat’s health and diet:
- Choosing the right food for your cat’s life stages is the first step to preventing obesity. Measure the portion sizes and remember that treats can significantly add to your cats calorie intake.
- Outdoor cats tend to be more active but you can encourage indoor-cats natural instincts by using toys, tunnels and climbing posts.
- Introduce ‘play-time’: 10 to 15 short bursts of interaction with your cat each day will keep them fit and active.
- Position your cat’s food and water trays away from each other to encourage them to move around more.
Tips to manage dog’s health and diet:
- Choosing a ‘complete food’ ensures that all of the basic nutritional content for your dog will be included. It is recommended to use a digital scales to measure your dog’s meals to ensure you are not over feeding.
- Exercise requirements will naturally change over the lifetime of the dog, it is encouraged to be a little creative when choosing an exercise regime for example play Tug-of-War, cycle or rollerblade with your dog on a lead, do some agility training which is available in most towns. See Petmania’s free OT booklet for dog’s exercise needs.
- Treats should make up no more that 10 percent of the dogs intake.
- If competition for food is an issue in your home adjusting your feeding regime may reduce over-eating or introduce a puzzle feeder to prolong the feeding process plus it offers great mental stimulation too.
Emily Miller of Petmania said,
“Petmania offers regular free weight-checks in store and this is the easiest way to track and maintain the animals health. For the rest of March we are running Operation TransPAWmation to help pet owners understand how to manage the health of their four-legged family members. We hope people will pop in with their cats and dogs to get a free weight check and speak to our pet experts.”
Petmania is inviting pet owners to take part in Operation TransPAWmation for free in one of its 12 stores nationwide. Pet owners can bring their dog or cat to Petmania for a free weight check and body condition score check. Throughout the campaign the pet retailer are giving participants free booklets containing a food diary, exercise hints, tips and exclusive discounts. Each animal that takes part will automatically go into a draw to win a three month’s supply of food from Royal Canin. For full survey results and more information visit: petmania.ie | #PetmaniaOT | #HealthierHabits |royalcanin.co.uk