Pet obesity misconceptions exposed in national survey

  • Half of all cats and dogs are above their recommended body weight, despite majority (87%) of pet parents thinking their pet is not overweight
  • One-in-three admit to being unable to correctly check if their pet is overweight
  • One-in-four believe finding the right food is the most difficult part about managing their pet's weight

National research* commissioned by Royal Canin has uncovered a weighty issue for Australian pet owners, with data revealing a vast disparity between awareness of pet nutrition and safe weight management. 
In the survey of more than 8000 Australian and New Zealand pet owners, Royal Canin sought to understand respondents’ knowledge around animal weight management. The report discovered that while 96% of pet parents would consider pet obesity to be a serious health concern, 35% admitted they do not know how to check if their dog or cat is a healthy weight.
Globally, one-in-two pets are considered to sit above their healthy recommended weight. This discrepancy suggests there is a considerable portion of Australians who require education about how to monitor their pet's weight and how to recognise when their dog or cat may require a weight management plan.
While 87% of all pet owners said they feel equipped to manage their pet's weight, 42% said that the first step they would take is to reduce their pet's food intake, which indicates a common lack of awareness regarding safe pet weight management.
For smaller breed dogs, this becomes an even bigger problem. An ideal weight for a Mini Dachshund sits between 4–5kg – so, should their body weight increase by just 20%, this essentially equates to a 17.18kg weight gain for an average male human. Although seemingly slight for the dog, minor increments in a small pet’s weight can result in significant health impacts. 
Through the report, Royal Canin aims to highlight the health implications of overweight and obese pets. Dogs and cats sitting within a high weight bracket are impacted by a lower quality of life and are more likely to face a reduced life span as well as several health-related issues, such as diabetes, heart, respiratory and joint conditions. 
Royal Canin ANZ Scientific Services Veterinary Manager Dr Corey Regnerus said, “The findings have opened our eyes to a clear disparity among Aussie pet owners about how to safely manage their pet’s weight. Royal Canin is always advocating to improve and nurture the wellbeing of pets across Australia, and this starts with educating owners on finding a whole balanced diet and nutrition plan for our pets.”
Providing a complete balanced diet, avoiding feeding human food, and engaging in regular exercise are proven tactics to reduce your pet's weight over the course of time. 
Royal Canin’s prescription diets are specifically designed to help safely reduce and manage your pet's weight while still delivering all the nutrients they need.   
Royal Canin is urging all Australians who are concerned or unsure about their pet's wellbeing to speak with their veterinarian to discuss a weight management plan for their furry friends. 

Like & share this page