The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association is calling on vet practices in the UK to encourage clients to get their obese pets’ weight sorted in its May “Weigh in Wednesday” campaign.
The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) is calling on vet practices in the UK to encourage clients to get their obese pets’ weight sorted in its “Weigh in Wednesday” campaign.
Taking place throughout May (2013), the campaign was created by the PFMA so people would weigh their pets every Wednesday, either at the vets or at home. It was set up after research by the association found that while two-thirds of pet owners are aware of the harm obesity can do to their pets, more than half are yet to act on it. It also found 20% of pet owners think their overweight or obese pet is an ideal size.
According to the PFMA, vets claim nearly half of all pets they see are overweight, meaning the issue is reaching a “crisis point“.
Vet Zara Boland said: “Obesity has been linked to health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, while its inflammatory effect is known to worsen problems such as arthritis.
“With estimates of up to 50% of pets exceeding their ideal body condition and recent reports highlighting that 18.5 million dogs and cats in the UK are regularly fed inappropriate diets, the need for pet owner education and positive action is now. Collectively, we can achieve far more than working alone.”
The campaign has been developed, says the PFMA, to encourage pet owners to identify their pet’s body condition and then empower them to work towards the ideal condition. Pet owners share their experiences using #weighinweds and use the downloadable Pet Size-O-Meter tool to check their pets’ weight.
Practices can download a free starter toolkit at the PFMA website to help advise clients on both pet obesity and the campaign.