The PDSA launches their 10th pet slimming contest to fight the flab of nation’s pets. Having problems with your pet gaining weight despite best efforts? You may want to enter their contest! 😉 But hurry entries are accepted until Sunday 26th of April via this website.
Details from the PDSA:
Findings from the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report say four out of five veterinary professionals have seen an increase in pet obesity cases in the last two years.
Obesity is the number one concern among vets when it comes to man’s best friend but worryingly, nearly half of people surveyed are not aware it’s a major issue. This is a huge concern given that 80% of vets and vet nurses believe there will be more overweight pets than healthy weight pets in five years time and PDSA is stressing the need for urgent action.
Obesity can contribute to pets developing deadly conditions that can cut their lifespan such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as debilitating conditions including arthritis.
To help combat the pet obesity crisis PDSA launched its annual Pet Fit Club competition and is inviting owners of the UK’s biggest pets to apply for a chance to take part in the fat fighting contest.
Nicola Martin, PDSA Head of Pet Health and Welfare, said: “Over the past decade, Pet Fit Club has transformed the lives of some of the UK’s most obese pets, having helped nearly 100 animals shed over 60 stone so we are welcoming entries again and offering our expertise.”
Early entrants to the competition, which has been helping the nation’s pets to battle the bulge for the past ten years, includes a bulging black cat Boycus, who tips the scales at a whopping 10kg – double the size of your average moggie.
Sadly obesity isn’t confined to just people, cats and dogs as even rabbits and rodents like Spider the rat, who is almost double the size of an average rat, and struggles to squeeze into his sleeping quarters, are piling on the pounds.
Pet Fit Club participants will take part in a tailored diet and exercise programme, overseen by expert vets and nurses over a six month period.
Owners can enter their pets at www.petfitclub.org.uk; the deadline for entries is Sunday, 26 April, 2015.
Nicola Martin added: “PDSA’s research has shown that pet obesity is a growing problem and that too many people are continuing to feed their pets inappropriate foods including takeaways, cake, cheese and chips and sadly many pets aren’t getting enough exercise.
“Pet obesity is entirely preventable and we’re trying to help owners understand that while their pets may beg for food, and giving a treat is seen as a way of showing affection, ultimately it could be killing them with kindness.”
PDSA’s PAW Report, produced in conjunction with YouGov, provides the biggest annual insight into pet health and welfare and has highlighted some of the not-so-sweet home truths about our pets’ unhealthy habits when it comes to diet and exercise.
Pet obesity – The Facts
89% of owners are aware that pets can suffer from obesity-related issues such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis
88% of owners acknowledge that overweight pets will have a shortened life span
Over 5.5 million pets get treats as part of their daily diet
Over 2 million owners give treats because their pets beg for them
In the dog house: Dog owners are significantly more likely than cat and rabbit owners to feed their pets unhealthy treats. And by quite a margin too – 83% of dog owners feed their pets at least one of these unhealthy things, compared to 38% of cat owners.
Dr Philippa Yam, leading animal obesity expert at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, said: “It’s clear that pet obesity continues to be a major issue due to a lack of understanding about pets’ welfare needs. PDSA’s Pet Fit Club competition has successfully raised awareness of this serious, but entirely preventable condition and continues to help many pets year on year.”
Further information about PDSA Pet Fit Club
PDSA Pet Fit Club was launched in 2005 and has already helped 63 dogs, 26 cats and 6 rabbits lose a total 60stone 6lb. This weight loss is the equivalent of 384 bags of sugar, more than 6,700 sausages, 761 tins of dog food or over 500 blocks of lard.
Rescue cat Boycus is one of several felines in the Denning household; all the others are a healthy weight, but this black cat has ballooned in the last couple of years and now weighs a whopping 10kg – more than double the size of an average cat.
He has a tendency to eat everything in sight and his owner Sam, from Sutton Coldfield, has tried everything to restrict his access to food to help him lose weight.
Boycus’ vet recently suggested upping the exercise levels, but with a fat, lazy cat, that’s easier said than done! Sam is desperate to help Boycus battle the bulge so has turned to PDSA for help.
Sam said: “We’ve had Boycus since he was a kitten and he’s seven-years-old now. The weight gain has happened in the past two years, despite our efforts.
“We’ve tried everything – we’ve built feeding stations, with cat carriers that are too small for him to try and stop him stealing our other cats’ food. But he always finds a way to break in.”
Guy is an eight-year-old white cat from Leicester who is loving, loyal and, according to his owner, has never been slim. Angie Barcock has had Guy since he was 12-weeks-old. She collected him on 5 November, so he was named after Guy Fawkes.
“He has always been a big cat,” said owner Angie Barcock. “He is the best cat ever, he’s so calm and placid, and he follows me everywhere. Guys is an indoor cat so perhaps doesn’t get as much exercise as outdoor cats. He eats normally although he does sometimes steal my other cats’ food, but he’s also very lazy!”
Angie added that she wants her beloved cat to lose weight with PDSA’s help for Guy’s health, as she is worried about his heart, so she has entered him into PDSA Pet Fit Club for help to reduce his curves
More about the PDSA:
PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, providing free veterinary care for the sick and injured pets of people in need and promoting responsible pet ownership. For further information about PDSA please visit www.pdsa.org.uk or call 0800 731 2502.