Supporting pets who’ve piled on pandemic pounds

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A new campaign has been launched to tackle the UK’s growing pet obesity crisis, after a vet charity’s survey revealed 850,000 dogs — nine per cent of the total canine population — gained weight during lockdown.

The PDSA has helped hundreds of pets lose weight, including Oscar, who lost 39 per cent of his body weight.

Worrying findings from the PDSA’s 2021 PAW Report highlight how a couch potato lifestyle with less frequent exercise, excessive food consumption, and an increase in feeding human treats during the pandemic, has created a ticking time bomb threatening the lives of pets around the UK.

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The charity has launched its #WeighUp campaign, which offers online videos and a free downloadable guide advising owners on how they can help their pets slim down. PDSA vet nurse Nina Downing said: “Obesity is one of the biggest long-term health concerns for our pet population; vet professionals estimate that up to half of the patients they see each week are overweight.”

Visit www.pdsa.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/weigh-up