We know that 65% of dogs and 39% of cats in the UK are now overweight or obese, with nearly 40% of growing puppies being overweight too*. Worryingly, only 15% of pet owners recognise this and 81% of dog owners believe their dog is an ideal weight*.
We know that 97% of pet owners struggle to identify a healthy body shape and are more likely to underestimate the Body Condition Score (BCS) of an overweight pet*. The first step in tackling obesity is therefore to help pet owners recognise their pet is overweight. BCS is not only a basis for diagnosing obesity, it provides a method of guidance and communication, enabling pet owners to understand the impact of this growing disease on their pet.
Learn how to body condition score your pet at https://www.royalcanin.co.uk/body-condition-score/
The links between obesity and the increased incidence of other conditions such as joint disease, diabetes mellitus, urinary disease, skin disease and tumours are well documented*. It is no surprise then that research has found that owners of overweight cats and dogs spend more on health care costs than owners whose pets are at an ideal weight*. However, what some owners may not be aware of are the hidden costs, both physical and financial, associated with obesity.
Obesity will affect life expectancy and we know that overweight dogs can live up to 2.5 years less than those at ideal weight and overweight cats up to 2 years less*. By increasing awareness of obesity and encouraging owners and their pets to undertake a weight management programme we can help them live longer, healthier lives.
*References available from royalcanin.com.