Survey reveals pets have piled on the pounds over lockdown

Latest research has revealed that a whopping 1.4 million furry friends have piled on the pounds since March 2020.

The worrying findings unveil the true extent of what was already a growing pet obesity epidemic, with the pandemic creating a ticking time bomb threatening the lives of pets across the UK.

The study of more than 4,500 pet owners by PDSA and YouGov also found that 1.4 million pets have fed their four-legged friends more human treats since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, adding further fuel to the pet obesity crisis. As a result, we are launching our #WeighUp campaign, which offers online videos and a free downloadable guide to help owners get their pets in shape.

PDSA vet nurse, Nina Downing said: “Worryingly, the detrimental health effects of obesity in our four-legged family members don’t appear to be well-recognised amongst owners. Nearly a third (31 per cent) don’t agree that podgy pets are more likely to suffer from serious diseases, and 35 per cent don’t agree that they are tragically less likely to live as long.

Obesity has been a huge problem among UK pets for a number of years and sadly our PAW Report indicates this is only getting worse. It is one of the biggest long-term health concerns for our pet population, because it is so commonly seen by vets and nurses, with vet professionals estimating that up to half of their pet patients they see each week are overweight**.

“Animals who are overweight 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. We could therefore see this huge obesity problem impact on our pet’s health for years to come.”

Find out more about PDSA’s #WeighUp campaign, sponsored by Royal Canin, and to download its free guide to help check if your pet is a healthy weight visit www.pdsa.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/weigh-up