Pandemic Pounds

Veterinarians see increase

Nearly 75% of veterinarians believe the pandemic affected pets when it came to weight, according to Hill’s Pet Nutrition. You might think pet parents at home would mean more exercise, and maybe it does, but it also apparently means more treats. “With people spending more time at home over the last nine months, treats are often given as a form of love, with more than half (53%) of pet parents saying they’ve been giving their pets treats for no reason,” according to Hill’s.

While 73% of owners feel they can tell if their pets have gained weight or are overweight, veterinarians feel differently. The survey reported that veterinarians only feel that about 12% of pet owners are accurate about their pets’ weight.

Is there hope for pudgy pets? Fewer treats, no table scraps, and more exercise could help with weight control. Close to half the owners surveyed said they could, and would, work on their pets’ diets.

Planning more exercise in the form of cat play and walking dogs is important. Monitoring food intake, including treats, can also help. A third of the owners were even willing to cut back on social media screen time to help their pets return to a healthy weight.