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News Article

Rise in pet obesity in the UK

PFMA report details findings from vet and owner surveys and discusses why the UK is struggling to beat the obesity epidemic

A report from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) reveals that 51% of dogs, 44% of cats and 29% of small mammals in the UK are overweight or obese. All of these figures have increased since PFMA published its findings five years ago (dogs were at 45%, cats 40% and small mammals 28%).

It has been 10 years since the publication of PFMA’s first Obesity Report. The 2019 report summarises some of the work undertaken since then by PFMA – and some stakeholders – to help combat obesity. It also details the outcomes of new pet obesity and nutrition research, which was commissioned among 277 vets and 8000 UK households.

The research shows that the majority of owners are seemingly unaware of the problem; 68% of pet owners think their pet is exactly the right weight and 67% admit they are not worried about pet obesity.

Nicole Paley, Deputy Chief Executive of the PFMA said: “Pet Obesity is a serious condition, which is now recognised as a disease among many health organisations. Over the last ten years, we are proud to have helped communicate the importance of healthy nutrition and dangers of obesity – to pet professionals and owners. However, the message is not getting through to pet owners - and we need to do more.”

PFMA research also analysed professional and pet owners’ insight on why pets are obese. It was found that 98% of vets but only 41% of owners believe excessive treating contributed most to obesity. Only 23% of owners admitted to feeding scraps. With regards to fitness, 80% of vets said that a lack of exercise contributes to obesity whilst only 44% of owners shared this view.

The latest report, ‘Pet Obesity Ten Years On’, together with the previous reports, can be viewed at: PFMA Pet Obesity Reports

Article details

  • Date
  • 17 July 2019
  • Source
  • PFMA
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals