More than half of Canadian pets are obese: survey

 

With fitness and exercise facilities closed due to the pandemic, you probably wouldn't be surprised to learn many Canadians have put on a few extra pounds over the last few months, but you might be surprised to discover, so have their pets.

According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, 50 to 60 per cent of Canadian pets are overweight or obese.

Additionally, while 75 per cent of respondents said they feel concern or sadness when they see an overweight pet, few are aware of factors that contribute to pet obesity.

Further, the survey found a correlation between dog owners who infrequently walk their dogs and dog obesity.

Moreover, the leading cause of obesity among pets was owners feeding them table scraps/excess treats--70 per cent of owners admitted to feeding their pets table scraps, while 41 per cent admitted to giving their pets more than two treats per day.

“Table scraps are safe if they are whole, unseasoned foods like fruits and vegetables. However, most table scraps from human meals should be avoided as they can be both fattening and potentially toxic,” Andrea Gieger, R&D scientist and nutritionist, said in a news release.

“Treats are a great tool for training but should be fed in moderation," she continued.

As well, 40 per cent of respondents admitted to portioning their pet's food based on their best judgement, rather than consulting the pet food label or recommendations from a veterinarian.

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