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Porky pets piling it on during lockdowns

August 18, 2020
Photo credit: David Caird | Herald Sun

Herald Sun, August 18

ANIMAL lovers who overfeed pets during lockdown are urged to think carefully about the diet of their furry friends.

The Lost Dogs’ Home has witnessed an increase in overweight or obese pets arriving at the shelter and vet clinics.

About 40 per cent of dogs and cats seen at Frank Samways Veterinary Clinic during the latest lockdown have been overweight or obese.

Lost Dogs’ Home spokeswoman Suzana Talevski said that while many pet owners are spending more time at home, they need to consider if their pet is getting enough exercise.

“Just like we do, dogs love food treats. And just like us, dogs sometimes get too many calories from their treats. Vegetables can be a great snack option for your dog. For a cat, try setting aside some of its food allocation as a treat,” Ms Talevski said.

Newport’s Campbell and Bella McArthur have enjoyed being home to devote extra time, and feeds, to cat Ashie.

When Ashie tipped the scales during his recent lockdown check-up, the vet made the pair promise to stop sneaking him food.

“He’s put on weight because we haven’t got so much to do in lockdown and we love to spend time with him, but he always asks to eat,” Bella said.

Ms Talevski said that while owners might overfeed animals for love or to keep them busy, they should be aware of negative impacts. “Overfeeding can lead to health issues like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and reduced lifespan.”