An online “pet calorie calculator” has been launched after a survey showed 22% of pet owners believe their animal is overweight, yet 86% still feed them snacks outside of typical mealtimes.
The online tool, developed by comparethemarket.com and TV vet Emma Goodman Milne, measures the calories in common pet treats and compares the intake to human burger consumption.
A total of 2,000 pet owners were questioned in the survey, conducted by One Poll for UK price comparison website comparethemarket.com.
The calculator has been designed specifically to measure the calorie content of human snacks and treats commonly given to pets, comparing the intake to the human equivalent number of burgers that have been consumed.
The survey showed:
- A quarter of pet owners believe they know exactly how much they should be feeding pets;
- More than half (58%) never look at the calorie content of snacks and treats;
- Despite actively not checking calorie content, more than a fifth (22%) of Brits believe their pet is overweight; and
- 15 per cent said they have been given advice on healthy snacks for their animals.
Mrs Goodman Milne said: “Vets and nurses everywhere face the daily challenge of tackling the subject of obesity in pets, and it’s becoming a huge welfare issue. Some owners really are killing with kindness.
“Obesity is just as deadly for our pets as it is for ourselves. Nowadays many people are so accustomed to seeing overweight animals that when asked if a ‘normal’ animal is okay, they feel they are too thin or even emaciated.
“The calorie calculator can help pet owners see more easily the impact the ‘odd little titbit’ can have on their animals.”
Click HERE to try Pet Calorie Counter
Top snacks owners are feeding their pets are:
- Chicken scraps (59%);
- Ham (27%);
- Beef (25%);
- Cheese (21%); and
- Sausage (20%).