A shocking 1 in 3 dogs in the UK are considered overweight (you can check whether your dog is overweight using our ‘Dog BMI Calculator‘). It seems that our pets are unfortunately following the human obesity epidemic. Our pets are becoming obese for the same reason we are – not enough exercise and too many treats! A new campaign from Hill’s Nutrition ‘Lose 60 Tonnes in 6 Months’, aims to raise awareness of canine obesity and help us fight it.
Now 60 Tonnes may sound like a lot (12 elephants to be exact!) but considering there is a minimum of 5 million dogs in the UK (now expected to be closer to 10 million!), that’s only a target of about 50 grams of weight loss per obese dog – a very achievable target! So will you be joining in with this campaign?
Although we often look at pet obesity fairly light-heartedly, it is in fact quite a serious issue, which is what Hill’s Nutrition are trying to make us aware of with this campaign.
If you want to start your pet on a reduced calorie diet, Hill’s do have their own reduced calorie pet food; Hills Prescription Diet Canine r/d. They also have a reduced calorie diet for cats too. Case studies have shown that by switching to a specialised calorie controlled diet (such as those made by Hill’s or Royal Canin) instead of simply reducing food intake, pets don’t go hungry and still get all the nutrients and vitamins they require to stay healthy. Hill’s r/d has shown a 22% body fat reduction over 8 weeks in dogs and a 20% body fat reduction over 12 weeks in cats.
The Dangers of Obesity
Obesity puts extra pressure on various parts of your pet’s body, from the joints to heart and arteries. As such, obesity can reduce the lifespan of your pet and reduce general your pet’s general well-being and happiness.
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory distress
- Skin disease
- High blood pressure
- Certain cancers
Remember that obesity is a completely preventable condition – it can be prevented by something as simple as switching the diet. Remember when switching the diet, gradually make the change from the old to the new food – mixing the food together for a few days before completely switching to the new food.
So let’s lose those 60 Tonnes! Let us know how you get on in the comments below and whether you think 60 Tonnes is achievable (obviously not per dog, but the whole of the UK!).
We’ve also added our BMI calculator below so you can check whether your dog is overweight, underweight or the correct weight for their breed and size.