Cat eating food

Has your pet gained weight during the pandemic?

PDSA is urging owners to think about their pet’s health and wellbeing after research showed that 1.4 million pets have been fed more human treats since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The vet charity’s latest PAW Report also revealed that 9% of dog owners and 5% of cat owners say their pet has gained weight over this period.

Cat in bed

More than 4,500 pet owners were surveyed for the 2021 report. Among those who said their pet was overweight, the most common factors preventing their pet from losing weight were said to be: giving in when their pet begs for food (29%), they like feeding treats to their pet (19%), their pet is fussy with food (19%), and they feel giving treats shows how much they love them (15%).

Worryingly, many owners don’t fully understand the detrimental health effects of obesity in our four-legged family members. Three in ten (31%) owners don’t agree that overweight pets are more likely to develop serious diseases, and 35% disagree that they are less likely to live as long as other pets.

“Although some owners may think their chubby pets look cute, being overweight is a major red flag when it comes to their wellbeing,” explained PDSA vet nurse Nina Downing. “Overweight animals have a much greater risk of developing health problems such as arthritis and diabetes — which can have drastic consequences, even shortening their life by up to two years.

“I’d encourage anyone who is concerned about their pet’s weight to take action now — the risks of carrying extra pounds are significant, however, making small changes to keep them at a healthy weight can make a huge difference. To help owners spot the signs of weight gain in their pets, we’ve created our handy #WeighUp guide, which makes it easy to review a pet’s shape and breaks down achievable steps to combat any weight-related issues.”

At Petwise we offer pet insurance policies exclusively for pets aged seven years and older. There’s no upper joining age limit, and no co-payment is applied regardless of the age of your pet. Why not get a quote today?