Dog pounds on the rise as 1 in 4 pets on a diet
As yet another survey suggests that 25 per cent of people have their pussycats and pooches on a diet, leading pet insurance technologist Aquarium Software hopes this is finally a sign that pet parents are taking action to address what has been described as a modern day animal obesity crisis.
Dog owners were exposed as top of the treats table, with 36 per cent treating their dog three or more times a day; while cat owners were slightly better at 19 per cent. However, with 65 per cent seeking out healthy treats, perhaps the picture is not a dark as it looks. With pets appearing to mirror the expanding waistlines of their owners, many have turned to wearable tech, with fitbits for owners and dogs now available. However, senior executives at Aquarium are the first to point out that technology alone may not be the answer.
“While Aquarium is the first to advocate high tech solutions, the best way for both humans and animals to avoid preventable diseases like Type 2 Diabetes is to take more exercise,” said Mark Colonnese, Sales and Marketing Director at Aquarium Software. “This news about diets is hopefully a sign the message is getting through, but owners need to understand there are consequences for overweight pets.
Doctors have argued that Type 2 Diabetes should be called ‘walking deficiency syndrome’ and longer walks with a pet is a great way for owners and pets alike to lose weight and combat other related problems such as arthritis, high blood pressure and reduced life expectancy as a consequence. Technology is involved in this area and allows insurers to better track fat dogs and fat cats and punish or reward owners accordingly.
“The hope is hitting pet parents where it hurts (in the pocket) might be an additional incentive for people to pay more heed to pet health,” added Colonnese. “Next generation pet insurance software can use data to reward responsible owners with healthy pets with lower premiums and make those with obese pets pay more. It’s controversial, but as with smoking there is a view that increased costs and taxes can make people think twice but there are other advantages to this approach.”