Friday, 06 January 2017

Man's Best Friend Needs Walk off the Winter Weight, Too!

Britain's bloated canines will be put on a strict diet this January, after piling on the pounds by being fed too many Christmas dinners, crisps and cakes, and other 'festive treats'.

A survey by Butcher's Pet Care found that nearly half of the nation's dogs gained between two and four pounds over the Christmas period, compared to their owners who on average gained three pounds; with nearly a fifth putting on 5 pounds or more!

The research reveals that it wasn't just humans who sat down to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner this year, with over a third of dog owners admitting that their pampered pets also got a taste of the action, tucking into turkey, roast potatoes and all the seasonal trimmings.

In addition to the turkey dinner, some of the dog owners polled confessed to lavishing their dogs with a diet of cheese and crisps, sandwiches, bacon, and even alcohol during the festivities.

With the average Christmas dinner containing in excess of 900 calories, porky pets are more than likely to join their owners for a snooze in front of the television after dinner, rather than take in a bracing walk.

Tellingly 70% of owners said they would be taking steps such as going on longer and more walks with their dog in January to try and shed some of the festive pounds; as well as giving them smaller and less frequent meals (25%) to try and bring their weight down.

Over a quarter said that by making their dog fitter in the New Year, they hoped it would also make them leaner and healthier too.

Clare Scallon, from Butcher's Pet Care, which commissioned the study to mark its 30th anniversary comments; "In the 1980's when we launched our first canned dog food, the landscape was very different from the pampered pets we see today.

"We firmly believe that this aspect of 'humanising' our dogs comes from the very real love and friendship owners feel towards their dogs. We want to be able to treat them like members of the family, and while the rest of us overindulged during Christmas, why wouldn't we want to spoil them too?

"Nevertheless, a dog's short digestive tract means that these types of foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars can actually be very dangerous to dogs. Dogs are natural meat eaters and this is all a dog should really need as part of a healthy and balanced diet."

Research shows that the nation's dogs are top of the tree more generally when it comes to dinner times, as the majority receive their meals, some specially prepared, before anyone else in the family (66%). Of the dog owners polled, almost 1 in 10 are regularly microwaving their dog's dinners before serving, with over a third adding extra human food such as cheese or vegetables to their dog's meals.

Clare Scallon continues, "It's fine to give your dog the odd treat now and again, but all a dog really needs to stay active and healthy is meat; it's what dogs love and thrive on.

"Meat is packed full of the right protein, fats, vitamins and minerals which contribute to giving a dog a healthy coat, bright eyes, and plenty of energy to run around. Tripe in particular acts like a super food for dogs, as it is rich in many natural nutrients like Omega 3 and 6, enzymes and probiotics which are essential to a dog's wellbeing. Our very first product and grain free recipe was the Tripe Mix; and this recipe continues to be the No. 1 best-selling single can* today thanks to its fantastic health benefits, and great meaty taste dogs love.

Since 1987 when Butcher's launched their first canned dog food, Butcher's Tripe Mix, the British family firm, whose heritage is in farming and as butchers, has used its unique meat preparation skills and pet nutrition expertise to specialise in the making of quality, natural dog foods which are rich in meaty proteins.

Butcher's Tripe Mix is a complete and balanced meal suitable for all dogs from the very small to the very big; and unlike some other dog foods, contain absolutely no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives, is free from grains, soya, cereals and bulking agents and is wheat, gluten free too.

Clare adds: "The best advice for owners who have allowed their dogs to over-do-it over the Christmas break, is to stop letting them share their plate, cut out the leftovers, and spend more time out and about and enjoying being active with their dog."

*No.1 Best Selling Single Can – Symphony IRI, Tota Market Unit Sales 52 w/e 03.12.2016

Could your pooch use a post-festive slim down? Let us know on Twitter @theladymagazine

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