Pet obesity has become a major problem throughout the UK, with an estimated 4.6 million pets (including dogs, cats and rabbits) now considered as obese, putting them at a much higher risk of contracting illnesses like cancer, diabetes and osteoarthritis. And 81 per cent of veterinary professionals have expressed concern over the problem, having seen a significant rise in pet obesity in the last two years.
Leading veterinary charity PDSA and Vets4Pets are stressing the importance of tackling the problem with a careful diet and plenty of exercise. And there is help for owners to help reduce their pet’s weight, both in veterinary practices by attending weight clinics and online by using tools such as www.vets4pets.com/petobesity
Much of the problem is caused by giving treats in addition to complete commercial meals with cheese, crisps and biscuits the main culprits.
Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets said working farm dogs and cats are less likely to fall victim to being overweight: “Cats and dogs with active outdoor lifestyles, such as those living on farms, will be less prone to pet obesity.”
This seems to be true with our own cats who are slim and very active. I wish I could say the same for myself.