90% of dog-owners don’t know how many calories their pet needs, according to Tails.com, which surveyed 2,800 UK pet owners. The results highlight how little the British public understands their pet’s nutritional needs.
Almost half of UK dogs are overweight according to Tails.com Head Vet Sean McCormack BSc (Hons), MVB, MRCVS. This leads to myriad health problems including breathing problems and joint disease, limiting mobility in later life.
The survey also found:
1 in 5 owners cannot identify an overweight dog
13% of dog owners admit they lie to their vet about dog nutrition
Only 11% of owners can resist those puppy dog eyes which lead to over-feeding
Owners are also unaware of the dangers that feeding “human foods” can have. Three in five don’t know that mushrooms can be dangerous to dogs, and nearly half don’t know that nuts can be harmful.
How can owners combat obesity in dogs?
Head Vet Sean says, “Portion control is key to maintaining a healthy weight in a dog. Simple changes can have a big impact on your dog’s weight too; if feeding human foods as treats, choose healthy options such as lean unprocessed meats and be careful not to provide too much.
“Have a feel of your dog on a regular basis to assess if your pet is putting on weight. This type of check is called a ‘body condition score’ and includes reviewing several areas of your dog’s body to identify excess fat. You can also easily find out what your dog’s daily calorie needs are using our simple and free online tools.”
For more information you can watch Sean’s YouTube video about checking a dog’s weight.