Some interesting figures came out of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association last week.
Apparently one in three British pets are overweight, yet their owners just can’t see it. An alarming 8 out of 10 dog, cat and rabbit owners believed their pet is just the right weight, but when asked which picture most resembled their pet, only 33% dog owners and 23% cat owners chose a picture depicting a pet at normal weight.
Even more interesting – 9 out of 10 owners are not concerned about their pet’s weight – and from the third who did think their pet was overweight, 62% of dog and 72% cat owners believed they could do nothing about it.
Out of these same owners who thought their pets were overweight, a third admitted to feeding too many treats, 11% said they fed too much at mealtimes and 36% said their pet had too little exercise. So just how did those other pets get to be too fat?
My boxer Dylan teeters between just right and a little bit plump – and I know exactly where the problem lies. His food is measured according to his weight and he gets plenty of exercise – his weight depends how diligent we have been in securing the child gate that separates the kitchen – where the cats are fed – from the dining room. Dylan is a master at pretending to be asleep in his bed while keeping one eye on the gap – and he is up and in there in no time if we leave it open for a second when we are out of the room. Now there are two cats – two bowls – twice as much forbidden pleasure!
But with PFMA giving a timely reminder on the potential problems that obesity leads to, I’m going to instill reminders about the gate to all the family and cut down Dylan’s rations for a bit.
We may even use the PFMA’s Size-O-Meter to make sure we’re back on track!
(Check out the PFMA website for more information)