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Over the past year there have been so many people adding new members to their family, mainly dogs but also cats and other adorable animals! The pandemic has meant that we’ve been at home a lot more with our pets and just like with ourselves, it’s easy to fall into bad habits when things in our lives change.
We have two cats at home, Jinx and Kirin, and they have definitely loved having more people at home more often. Although I already work from home anyway, John is home because he no longer goes into the office and we have had periods of time where Erin hasn’t been able to go to school, meaning she’s also been home a lot more too. The cats have ended up having quite a few more treats compared to normal, and maybe being fed more often too. With cats, it’s not as easy as taking them for a walk to ensure that they get plenty of exercise so it’s important to be careful with what you feed them. Excessive amounts of food and treats can obviously lead to an unhealthy weight gain.
Vet’s Kitchen understand that things might have got a bit out of control and that your pets might need a bit of encouragement to get back to being fit and healthy again. Of course, we all want our pets to have the best life possible!
Vet’s Kitchen are ‘on the look out for a dog (or cat) that has gone from fat to fit! And we want to hear their story. The Woof &Well Award is for a special pet that’s stuck to a sensible eating regime and ramped up their exercise game (the sort of dog or cat that would make Joe Wicks proud!)’
The Vet’s Kitchen Woof and Well Award will be supported by Godmanchester-based animal charity, Wood Green, who will provide tips and advice to pet owners. From how to recognise if your dog is overweight, to exercise and diet plans. Linda Cantle, Director of Pet & Owner Support Services at Wood Green, says: “It’s great that brands are taking steps to highlight how the public can act in a responsible and caring way towards their pets. Just like Vet’s Kitchen, our mission is to provide support and guidance for pet owners, and this includes raising awareness for health issues like obesity.”
Vet’s Kitchen offer these tips to dog owners who’d like to help their dog lose weight:
- Choose a lower calorie food or ‘lighter’ food option for them and make sure the fat content is below 10% for them to lose weight.
- Weigh out your dog’s food each day or weigh out a week’s worth on a Sunday if you find yourself short of time during the week.
- Don’t forget to allow for treats, dental chews out of their daily calorie allowance.
- Add extra fibre using root vegetables, such as carrots as part of the daily allowance can help add to that feeling of fullness.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise! Just like humans, taking your dog out for a walk every day is good for them. It is important to start with shorter distances and build up the time you spend outdoors gradually. For older, overweight dogs bear in mind that 80% of senior dogs suffer from arthritis (often undiagnosed) and they should be exercised using shorter more frequent walks (e.g. 3 x 15 mins per day) to help them lose weight without over-stressing the joints.
The Woof & Well Award launches on the 31st March and is open to all dogs resident in the UK who can show they’ve been barking up the fitness tree with some noticeable results. A before and after photo together with 100 words to explain their journey would help the judges to choose the gold medal winner and runners up. The award scheme closes on the 30th June when the winners will be revealed in their glossy coat glory!!
Vet’s Kitchen’s Facebook page has all of the details of how to enter and what the prizes are.
You can find all of the T&Cs here: https://vetskitchen.co.uk/pages/woof-well-terms-and-conditions