It’s vital to ensure pets are healthy — and not breaking the scales, says Money Matters contributor Robert Nurden...

76% of owners don’t think their pet has a weight problem

A fit pet is a happy pet, and keeping your beloved animal in peak condition means you can both live life to the full.

Yet, statistics about obese animals make for worrying reading: while 35% of dogs are too heavy, 76% of owners don’t think their pet has a weight problem. Like humans, being under or overweight can lead to serious health problems for animals — high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory and heart diseases

So how do you protect your pet from such woes?

First things first: pets should be properly fed, and that means quality, not quantity. ‘You should feed a carefully controlled diet suitable for your dog or cat, ensuring clean water is available,’ says Farrah Stevens of the Animal Health Trust. ‘Remember, human food can play havoc with their digestive systems.’ For example, chocolate and raisins are poisonous to dogs and cats.

Next comes exercise. As it happens, one in four dogs don’t get their daily walk! But for unfit dogs, there’s help at hand in the form of dog agility classes. For just £2.50 an hour, owners can lead their pets around a challenging obstacle course that exercises different muscle groups. Just one session can burn off as many as 700 calories! Visit agilitynet.co.uk to find classes in your area.

 

This post was written by Money Matters contributor Robert Nurden.

 

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