My survey results are in from last week’s poll! (I would’ve liked a third option “I don’t know” but it wasn’t capable).
88% NO 11% YES
According to a worldwide survey, however, over half of all dogs and cats weigh too much, yet only a QUARTER of owners would describe their pet as overweight. Do you know your pet’s body conditioning score? Do you know what to look for when checking your pet’s score? Can you feel your pet’s ribs and see indentation?
More about this survey:
- Over half of cat and dog owners always or often give their pet food if they beg for it (54 percent)
- Almost a quarter (22 percent) of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their pet to keep them happy
- Only 20 percent always measure how much food they are giving them
- 87 percent always or often give their pet roughly what they think it needs at each serving
There is actually surprisingly little understanding of how much food dogs and cats need or what they are allowed to eat for pet parents. A common question that comes up in a groups is, “how much do you feed your dog?” This shouldn’t be based on what others are feeding their pets, nor should it even be based on the guidelines on the back of your kibble bag. Those are, in fact, exactly what they are – just guidelines, and usually intended for intact males. There is no set carb amount to feed a dog, which is determined by you. You need to calculate the kcal required per each individual animal, according to your pet’s weight, activity level, and body type. Each pet is an individual. Most pet owners have no clue whether their pet is overweight or not.
According to the survey, estimates suggest that as many as 59 percent of dogs and 52 percent of cats worldwide are overweight. Yet in the survey, only a quarter of dog and cat owners (24 percent) describe their pet as overweight. Though, when asked if their dog or cat displayed any signs of being overweight, 64 percent pointed out that their pet had at least one sign of being overweight, For example not being able to feel their pet’s ribs or having to loosen their collar.
Because pet owners and their pets have such a strong emotional bond, this may be part of the issue when it comes to admitting a problem. Owners express their love for their animal through feeding, which leads to overfeeding and consuming more calories than needed.
The survey also concludes that 59 percent of dog and cat owners said that they felt rewarded when treating their pet. 77 percent said their pet gets excited when they see food.
Many owners are not mindful of the consequences of over-feeding their pet. People are unaware that overweight pets are susceptible to diseases such as diabetes and orthopedic issues, 61 percent surveyed in fact. Similarly, that lack of awareness for their pet’s poor quality of life equaled 53 percent, the risk of heart disease at 53 percent and reducing their pet’s lifespan by 51 percent.
“The survey results were announced ahead of the Royal Canin Weight Management Congress taking place in the UK on 21st and 22nd February. Cat and dog owners in Brazil, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States were questioned for the survey which aimed to illuminate the growing issue of pet obesity. Alongside the well-publicised human obesity epidemic, companion animals have similarly been getting heavier and heavier.
“Like humans, pets need to be at a healthy weight,” said Alex German, Professor of Small Animal Medicine at the University of Liverpool. UK. “This is a very complex issue though and one that requires understanding and commitment from both pet owners and vets”.
Continuing on with survey results. We as humans monitor our on weight regularly, yet 40 percent do not know how much their own dog or cat weighs and 22 percent surveyed said their pet has never been weighed!!!
72 percent said their veterinarian had even spoken to them personally regarding the health benefits of diet and exercise for their pet. However, “two-thirds of dog and cat owners said they would like their vet to more actively advise them on their pet’s weight (67 percent) and 82 percent would like to be given healthy weight guidelines for their pet and advice on keeping them fit and healthy.”
About the Survey The survey was conducted online during January and February 2018. The total sample size was 5,309 cat and dog owners who were responsible for their pet’s health and well-being (Brazil 1,068; China 1,036; Russian 1,111; United Kingdom 1,023 and United States 1,071).
The thing I find with our area is people come in my shop and they either do or don’t know their pet is overweight or even morbidly obese that the pet can’t stand on the table. I hear it all the time, “yes we know, we need to cut back on the treats,” but people don’t want to do the work. You are only hurting your pet. We have control over our bodies, but you are responsible for what goes into theirs.
Danielle & Riggs
The Pet Professionals: Cert. Vet Assist, Professional Dog Groomer, Canine Nutritionist.