April 8, 2021
Britain’s dogs have put on an average of seven pounds each since the start of the pandemic, reports SWNS Digital—and a survey of 1,500 owners revealed the obvious: They are to blame.
The survey found that 33% believe their pets’ lockdown lard is due to them dipping into the treat tin more often while home working. It’s a problem that both owner and pet(s) share, with nearly half (49%) of home workers admitting that their own snacking has increased during the pandemic.
Reasons for giving extra pet treats include trying to keep pets quiet during important conferencing calls (12%) and to curb incessant barking when home deliveries arrive (11%).
Nearly a quarter put extra snacking down the fact they are spending more time with their dogs (23%), whereas one in five (20%) just can’t resist those puppy eyes
The research—commissioned by Guide Dogs ahead of its annual Walk Your Socks Off fundraising challenge—shows that, when it comes to doggy exercise, 24% aren’t totally sure of how much exercise their fur baby needs each day.
A full 25% also admit to taking their dogs on fewer walks, thanks to longer working hours and a lack of routine at home. What’s more, another 8% say they used to rely on a professional dog walker to get the mileage in when they were working from the office; and 25% blamed a fear of their dog being stolen for taking their pet out less during COVID.
With an estimated 10.1 million pet dog owners in the UK, this adds up to a whopping 73 million pounds of extra weight, equivalent to 100 Boeing 747 jumbo jets, across the nation, SWNS Digital reports.
Dr. Helen Whiteside, head of research at Guide Dogs, said: “Our research has shown that lockdown has had a significant impact on many dogs’ health and wellbeing.
“And while a little weight gain is not the end of the world, it is important that owners address it as soon as possible, to prevent medical issues like heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems later down the line.”
Whiteside adds, “A healthier dog is a happier dog, so owners should prioritize daily walks, consider healthy treat swaps, and check their [dog’s] weight on a regular basis.”
The Walk Your Socks Off challenge takes place throughout May. To register, visit: https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/walk-your-socks-off/.
Research contact: @SWNS