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Let's fight pet obesity!

Let's fight pet obesity!

A worrying statistic has revealed that 59 per cent of dogs in the UK are classified as overweight or obese. Carrying extra weight increases strain on bones and joints, and dogs that are overweight can suffer from a range of conditions – such as osteoarthritis and diabetes, which causes them a significant amount of discomfort.

A balanced diet is crucial for your furry friend - just like it is for us. According to medicanimal.com, 20% of dogs will develop arthritis, 1 in 500 dogs will get diabetes and 15% of dogs will be affected by heart disease in their lifetime. Despite these scary statistics, pet owners still aren't taking preventative measures to stop their pooch from becoming obese and uncomfortable.

Exercise is not only extremely important for pet’s physical and mental health, but yours as well: even a simple walk can reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue. In older people, staying active can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Walking also boosts self-perception and self-esteem, sleep quality and mood – with studies showing that a walk in the countryside can leave you with a seven-hour high.

So, how do you help your fluffy friends lose a few pounds?

- Switching to a lower calorie dog food (we have tons available at PurrfectlyYappy.com) can benefit your pooch greatly.

- Measure their portions

- Ensure they aren't being fed somewhere else

- Fight the puppy dog eyes and avoid human food. Dogs have very different nutritional needs compared to humans!

- Weigh your pet regularly. Your local pet shop or vets will have a pet scale.

- Be patient. Healthy doggie weight loss takes time. Your dog should be losing 1-2% of their body weight per week.

- Increase exercise. Maybe you could extend walkies for an extra 20 minutes, or even just an extra game of fetch every day will work wonders!

Louise Penfold

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