Six out of ten British dog owners put their pet on a diet
Six out of ten British dog owners currently have their pet on a diet.
Some of the methods included in most of these diets are weekly weigh-ins and no food after 6pm, according to the new poll.
This research has also found that that one in four owners have even resorted to dieting with their dog.
The poll was based on 1,641 British dog owners who have had to put their pet on a diet in a bid to slim them down.
Measures include putting pictures of thin dogs on the fridge, banning guests from feeding their pet and encouraging the dog to drink more water so it feels full when it's time for a meal.
According to the researchers, one fifth even get on the scales at the same time as their pet to see if they have lost weight, with a similar number having even tried to adapt human diets to suit their canine companion.
Clare Scallon, from dog food producers Butchers Lean & Tasty, who commissioned the poll, said: “While it’s good to hear that people are paying attention to the food their dog is eating, they very definitely should not be using human diets as a way of helping them to lose weight.
The expert also points out that human diets are tailored to human needs, and owners must be aware that the nutritional amount their pet is receiving is the proper one. “You know your dog better than anyone else, but if in doubt talk to your vet or other pet expert for advice on achieving a healthy diet.”
The study also found that 34 per cent of owners allow their dog to have a day off the diet, and six in ten people practise “portion control” with their pet, reducing the size of their meals to prevent over-eating.
Britons are becoming increasingly aware of the physical exercise their dogs need. In addition to regular walks, they are letting their pets into the garden more frequently for a run around, and investing in lots of dog toys to encourage active play.
The research also found Labradors are the dogs which are most like to be overweight, followed by Border collies, spaniels and beagles.
The last UK census recorded that a total of 10.5 million dogs are kept as pets.