Killing with Kindness: Diet Disaster for UK Pets

Fat-dog-after-beforeIt now official our nations pets, mans best friend among them are suffering the same plight as 25% of our children and 60% of the adult population. The shocking news revealed in a new report concludes twelve million UK pets are being fed too many ‘treats’, including takeaways, cheese, crisps and cakes, often on a daily basis, which is fuelling the UK pet obesity epidemic. These are just some of the frightening findings of the biggest national pet health report conducted by leading veterinary charity, PDSA.

What is even more concerning, according to the animal health and welfare charity, is that 50% of owners say they think ‘treats’ make their pet happy with just 2% confessing to feeling any guilt about feeding naughty treats. And with just one cube of cheese given to a medium sized dog the equivalent of us eating four shortbread biscuits, half a Margherita pizza, or one and a half burgers. -PDSA

Sound familiar? yes of course it does, it’s exactly what’s happening every second of every day in every home with our children and loved ones.

In response to these worrying statistics, PDSA is launching its annual search to find the UK’s most overweight pets with the worst diets. Get ready for the TV program deals coming to a screen near you soon.

Dogs, just over six million of them, are fed the greatest amount of junk food with 90% of dog owners admitting thatFat-cat cheese, toast, crisps, biscuits, takeaways, cakes and other fatty treats form part of their doggy’s diets. Cats have the second worst meal plans with 43% being given fatty treats (over five million). Rabbits have the least amount of junk foods (26%) but even so, this still equates to over 430,000 bunnies eating a diet that includes toast, biscuits, cake, cheese and crisps – a far cry from the hay, fresh greens and rabbit nuggets that they should consume. -PDSA

Rabbit Nuggets? well not sure about that one

The groundbreaking PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, the largest of its kind ever to assess and measure the health and welfare standards of dogs, cats and rabbits, was produced in conjunction with YouGov and involved 11,000 pet owners. The Report lifts the lid on all aspects of pet wellbeing, and when it comes to what our pets are eating, millions of pets are set to develop obesity related, life-threatening illnesses if their diets don’t improve. –PDSA

29% of owners admit to feeding ‘treats’, often on a daily basis, which suggests pet waistlines are set to continue to expand. Dog obesity levels are now higher than human obesity figures. –PDSA

So what are they going to do about it? Although the initial report and findings are to be commended, the proposed follow up action by the PDSA has a familiar ring founded in that old myth calories in calories out. The dietary advice for dogs for example on the PDSA website is:

Feeding a complete, commercial dog food is normally preferable to a homemade diet. It’s not easy to achieve the correct balance of nutrients if you make your dog’s diet yourself. –PDSA

Most dog foods these days are complete, meaning they contain all the nutrients that a dog needs, in the right amounts. If extra food is given, as treats, your dog must do something with the extra calories. If your dog isn’t being exercised enough, the calories will be turned into fat. –PDSA

The only time you should really give food treats is when you are training your dog using rewards (please visit our puppy and dog behaviour section for more information). If your reward is a food treat, try to use something healthy such as small slices of carrot. However, if your dog is only interested in less healthy food, such as small pieces of sausage, reduce the amount of food given in the main meal so that there  aren’t too many calories on training days. –PDSA

The sad fact is that nothing will change here, nothing at all, well not for the better that is until such time as we address the root cause, hey we’re the adults here right? Pets regardless of species are no different in their dietary requirements to that of us human kinds (Omnivores). That is we are all designed to thrive on naturally available foods specific to our genetic group. Yes Rabbits eat grass, greens, nuggets? No, they’re herbivores. Dogs and Cats on the other hand are carnivores. Although we like to think they are like us, it’s without doubt they are indeed meat eaters, look at the skeletal and dental evidence. So what about artificially manufactured pet foods? These are good  yes? Well, what do you think? click this link to find out what’s in Dog food as an example.puppies-eating-meat

All animals including people can only thrive on the specific foods their anatomies are genetically designed to process and recognise. You may think manufactured alternatives look great and taste great, but it’s not food (hence obesity and generative disease epidemics )and actually it doesn’t taste great it’s the sugar rush your feeling (click link to watch video).

There are several issues here, ignorance, social, environmental, psychological, commercial,economical and at the heart political. But these of course are not excuses. One thing however is totally clear, almost all, from the government down to the dog walker in the street needs to unlearn everything they thought they knew about diet and nutrition.

It’s high time to Wake Up People ! Wake Up Do-Gooders! Wake Up Policy Makers!

Pets, People and every living creature alike need Real Food.

Sadly if you sit around waiting for something to change, history shows us it’s just not going to.

This is a bottom up event and it’s not going to be easy, this is much much more than just a chubby pet issue.

Your’s and their very existence may well depend on it.

– Paleoworks –

About Paleo Works

Paleo Works Have you ever wondered how you arrived at “being overweight” and thought how difficult it is to get rid of and keep off those excess pounds? Hi, I’m Katie and together with Mike my husband, we are Paleo Works. As a busy working mum of four, I often watched others embark on weight loss progammes only to return to their start weight (and then some) shortly after reaching their target. Why was this happening? Conventional dietary wisdom would have us believe that it’s YOU who has failed. But Mike and I thought different. We felt that there had to be something wrong with that conventional dietary wisdom after all we can’t all be hopeless? So we studied intensely, sought out advice and read avidly. We questioned robustly and talked with many on various 'dieting' regimes. What we found was radical, our story has to be told, our knowledge has to be shared. So If you are ready to stop blaming your self for being overweight and ready to change your approach to weight loss then contact us and let’s get started!

Posted on October 20, 2011, in Caveman Diet, Family, Junk Food, Pets, Processed Food and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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  4. Pingback: Killing with Kindness: Diet Disaster for UK Pets « Paleoworks | Nutrition For Pets

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