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News 669 views last update:6 Aug 2012

UK pet insurance warns for pet obesity

New research from Sainsbury's Bank indicates that obesity is a serious problem affecting over a third (34%) of the UK's combined cat and dog population. Sainsbury's Pet Insurance estimates that around 2.72 million dogs and 2.87 million cats are suffering from obesity.

According to a research study carried out by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, some 81% of animal physiotherapists think obesity is the number one health danger for dogs. Almost two-thirds of the physiotherapists believe the main causes of the rise in canine obesity are lack of exercise and overfeeding.

Human snacks
Claire Moyles, Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Manager said: "Many pet owners may like to treat their animals with food and snacks intended for human consumption, but they must be aware of the detrimental effect this can have on their pet's health. Treats such as chocolate can not only lead to obesity but when ingested in large amounts can even have serious effects on an animal's pancreas and heart.

"Overfed, obese animals often suffer from diabetes, osteoarthritis and other conditions that require a long-term course of veterinary treatment and their life expectancy can also be reduced dramatically. "Owners concerned about their pets' weight should consider feeding their animals from the growing range of nutritionally balanced, low-calorie, organic or additive and preservative free pet foods."

Money spent
New research from Sainsbury's Pet Insurance reveals that 422,800 dog owners and 202,100 cat owners spend around £516 a year on pet food for a single animal, the equivalent of either 1,613 pouches of dog food or four a day, and 2,345 pouches of cat food or six a day.
The average annual amount of money spent on feeding a dog is £209, the equivalent of 653 pouches or 550 cans of dog food. For a cat, it is £167, the equivalent of 795 pouches or 491 cans of cat food.

Related websites:
British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Sainsbury Bank  
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

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