UK Pets Risk Early Death as Owners Feed Them Fatty Treats - The New Indian Express

UK Pets Risk Early Death as Owners Feed Them Fatty Treats

Published: 07th April 2014 04:14 PM

Last Updated: 07th April 2014 04:17 PM

Over four million pets in the UK are obese as their owners are feeding them fatty treats such as takeaways, biscuits, chips and even alcohol from their tables, according a to a new report.

"Take-aways, biscuits, chips and even alcohol – are all fuelling an ongoing obesity crisis for British pets, whose collars are bursting at the buckles due to our addiction to high-calorie, fatty diets," according to the report by the UK animal charity People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).

More than 10 million pets are getting fatty treats, due to owners sharing their own unhealthy eating habits with their pets in a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to make them happy, PDSA said.

The research shows that around nine out of ten owners (87 per cent) give pets treats, despite the fact that 91 per cent realise the resulting obesity can reduce their pet's lifespan.

Around 2.5 million dogs (one in three) and over two million cats (one in four) are currently overweight and, not only could they have their lives cut short, they will also have a drastically reduced quality of life in some cases.

Scotland topped the lardy league table when it comes to lavishing animals with potentially deadly junk food, with 72 per cent of owners admitting to giving fatty treats.

Welsh pet owners are the next worst offenders, with 69 per cent of owners over indulging their pets.

Two in three North West pet owners (64 per cent) are also loading their pets up with high-calorie, unsuitable snacks.

While London pet owners scored the best, around half (48 per cent) of owners are still feeding inappropriate food to their four-legged friends.

"Sadly, seeing morbidly obese pets is now an everyday occurrence in vet practises across the UK; it is one of the biggest welfare concerns facing the nation's pets. It's effectively a silent killer leading to long term health issues for pets that can cut their lifespan by up to two years," said Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon.

"Pet obesity significantly increases the danger of developing major health problems such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease and can also bring about the onset of these chronic diseases much earlier.

"It's tragic to think that millions of pets are suffering under the strain of carrying too much weight, when it is an entirely preventable condition," said Pendlebury.

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