About a half of Britain’s dogs are overweight or obese, a new study has found. Experts say too many treats and too little exercise are to blame.
Essential reading: Keep your dog safe and fit with these smart collars and GPS trackers
It is the time of the year when many of us tend to pun on some extra weight, but it seems dog’s have the same problems. We simply feed them too much over the festive season and don’t take them for enough walks. Just like in humans, over time this can lead to arthritis, diabetes, heart issues and shorter lifespans.
A new study illustrates the extent of the problem. According to health tracker firm PoochPlay’s analysis of 2,600 dogs in Britain, some 9% are obese and 41% are overweight. A separate PoochPlay study of 3,600 dogs found that a third don’t exercise enough.
The findings pretty much mirror estimates from the American Animal Hospital Association. They found that most dogs in the United States don’t get enough exercise, more than 40% are overweight, 25% are obese.
Exercise needs are based on a dog’s age, breed, size and overall health. At minimum your pooch should spend 30 minutes outdoors every day, and ideally close to two hours. Experts say that at ideal weight, we should be able to easily feel our dog’s ribs.
Now pet owners can use technology to get a better overall picture of their animal’s health. There is a range of devices, such as Fitbark, Whistle and Tractive, which keep tabs on activity, sleep and your dog’s overall health. Some even allow you to link your Fitbit, Apple Watch, Health Kit or Google Fit device and start monitoring your dog’s fitness right next to yours!
The global pet wearables market is expect to grow to over $3.4 billion in the next four years. This is due both to an increase in disposable income and new guidelines from animal care organizations, which are helping to raise awareness on best practices of pet care.
Sales of these wearables are booming thanks to consumers who want to improve their pets’ lives with devices similar to what they themselves are using. The other benefit to using smart collars is safety. Currently, 1 in 3 pets will become lost in their lifetime. Using one of these devices can ensure that your pooch isn’t one of them.
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