Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has revealed the top 10 calorie-laden human food offenders for dogs and cats, in an attempt to try and reduce an obesity crisis among the nation’s pets.
Hitting the number one spot for the worst offending food was sausages. One chipolata fed to a dog or a cat is equivalent to a human eating a 12oz steak, while a 3cm cube of cheese is the same as a human eating a whole cupful of cheese. Other seemingly innocent snacks include half a tin of tuna or a handful of prawns – a meal which equates to a large take away cod and chips for humans. This would add up to 295 calories, which is not far short of the 350 calories that a Jack Russell sized Terrier requires on a daily basis. Even a slice of toast is equal to a third of a dog’s daily calories!
One of the common misconceptions I often hear is that dogs and cats “get bored with their food”. However, I am sure that as long as food is available, your dog or cat will be happy. Indeed, offering them too much of a choice can make them fussy with the temptation then to start feeding them treats such as the examples above.
Obesity in our pets can cause exactly the same problems as in humans such as diabetes, heart failure and arthritis. So there is every reason to make sure that our pets do not become overweight.
As an example of how obese some pets become, a 7 year old Springer Spaniel called “Jack” has been named as the PDSA’s top slimmer of the year. He tipped the scales at 20kg, more than double his ideal weight! After 6 months of exercising and dieting he lost 6kg, with still some way to go.
It is so very difficult not to “fall for those appealing eyes” when you are eating your dinner. The temptation is great to give in and give them some of your food and this can be really hard to break.
However, please remember a slim pet is just as happy, if not happier, than a fat pet!