A Wake-Up Call for All Dog Owners in the UK

As we step into another year, a concerning revelation has come to light, one that hits close to home for dog lovers across the UK. The PDSA has flagged a pressing issue that needs our immediate attention: the obesity crisis affecting our dogs.

46% of dogs are overweight

This isn't just a small bump in the road; it's a widespread problem that's reaching critical levels, with an estimated 5 million dogs carrying more weight than is healthy for them. In response to this growing concern, the PDSA is rebooting its 'Big Weigh In' campaign, an initiative aimed directly at addressing and combating pet obesity. This year, they're joining forces with Royal Canin to offer free weight checks at over 500 vet practices across the UK throughout February and March. This is an incredible opportunity for us as dog owners to get a clear picture of our pets' health and take active steps toward improving it.

The numbers are quite startling: about 36% of us admit to frequently sharing our leftovers with our dogs, thinking of it as a treat. While the occasional table scrap might seem harmless, the PDSA's Vet Nurse, Nina Downing, reminds us that regular overfeeding can lead to a host of serious health issues. From diabetes to arthritis and breathing difficulties, the consequences of excess weight can significantly impact our dogs' health and, ultimately, their happiness.

But here's where the 'Big Weigh In' comes into play. It's not just about identifying the problem; it's about empowering us to do something about it. Dr. Lauren Hayes, MRCVS, from Royal Canin, sheds light on the importance of our dogs' weight on their overall health and wellbeing. She suggests simple yet effective strategies, like using digital scales to measure food accurately and considering diet changes that promote safe weight loss.

Backed by the insights from the 2023 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, the UK's most thorough assessment of pet wellbeing, this campaign is more than just a wake-up call; it's a roadmap to a healthier life for our dogs.

Participating in the 'Big Weigh In' offers more benefits than just a check-up. It opens the door to a treasure trove of resources aimed at educating us about our dogs' weight and how to monitor and support weight loss effectively.

This moment is a call to action for all of us dog owners. The obesity crisis is a collective challenge that affects the wellbeing of our beloved pets. The 'Big Weigh In' campaign is a golden opportunity for us to step up and make a meaningful difference in their lives. Let's take this chance to ensure our dogs lead the healthy, active lives they deserve.

Find your local participating practice and book your free appointment today by visiting pdsa.org.uk/WeighUp. Together, we can turn the tide on obesity and gift our dogs the vibrant, long lives they deserve.