Pet Obesity is on the rise for the 6th consecutive year. Skinner’s outline the reasons why dogs become obese and how to prevent obesity in dogs.
A staggering 36% of all dogs treated by vets are obese resulting in numerous health conditions. This is down to five factors; too much food, lack of exercise, incorrect concept of correct weight, snacking and being fed the wrong food. With just a moderate 20% increase in body weight, this can contribute to conditions such as diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular and respiratory disease.
A worrying 1 in 3 pets are now obese, catching up with the catastrophic 6 in 10 humans who are obese. It seems there is something we need to learn from this epidemic, and not start letting it take effect on our pets! Like obese humans, dogs suffer from similar health issues.
Around 45% of pets are now overweight according to vets. Why don’t we worry more about this problem? Feeding our dogs the correct food is paramount and ensuring that they get the right amount of exercise each day is essential to health and wellbeing of our four legged friends.
Here’s why we should pay more attention to our dogs health, these statistics are not pleasant!
- Obesity can reduce life expectancy up to two years.
- Just a 20% increase in body weight can contribute to conditions such as diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular and respiratory disease.
- Can be prone to overheating during summer
- Increased risk of being diagnosed with cancer
- 80% of vets reported seeing overweight pets
Pet obesity is pretty straightforward to understand; dogs are being fed too much of the wrong food and not being exercised enough. 6 million dogs get daily walks of under one hour; and 250,000 do not get walked at all. Owners giving their dogs treats throughout the day is also extremely worrying, as human treats are even worse for pets than they are for humans.
Where diet is concerned, don’t guess! Check the pet food package guidelines to ensure you feed the correct amounts each day but remember that guidelines are just that, you may need to tweak amounts to suit your individual pets needs. Be aware of how much you are feeding your dog as a whole family to ensure you don’t accidentally overfeed – it is all to easy to be drawn into a set of begging brown eyes!