Santa Barbara, California (PressExposure) February 08, 2007 -- Online pet Q&A service http://www.WhyDoesMyPet.com is urging pet owners this year to critically assess their pets weight. Dr Matthew Homfray said âconservative estimates are that 25% of cats and dogs in the USA and UK are obese. Often owners are unaware of the health problems obesity can contribute towards, such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. As a result they donât take the problem seriously. Furthermore, obese pets experience fatigue, exercise intolerance and heat intolerance leading to a poor overall quality of life.â
Fellow online vet Dr David Brooks added âmany pet owners donât even realize their pet is overweight. Recognizing a problem is the first step in dealing with it. With breed variation itâs not always that obvious, so on our website weâve developed a series of questions and diagrams owners can use to assess whether or not their pet is overweight.â
The www.WhyDoesMyPet.com campaign follows the festive and New Year period, when many pets around the world are indulged with treats. But are owners really expected to deprive their beloved pet of these little indulgences? âNot at allâ says Dr Homfray. âTreats should just be used in moderation. Too many treats can pile on the pounds so it is important to take any treats that you feed your pet in the day out of their daily food allowance. As a rule of thumb treats should never account for more than 10% of your petâs food intake. Treats are best used as a reward for something well done and not as a substitute for main meals.â
For some pets the problem lies deeper than treats. The online vets are keen to educate owners on the recommended quantity, quality and frequency of main meals as well as the amount and type of exercise necessary for individual pets.