PDSA has invited veterinary practices to join the PDSA Big Weigh In 2024, as part of their initiative to tackle pet obesity.
This is the second year that the PDSA has run the campaign, which encourages practices to offer free pet weight checks from February to March 2024.
This year’s Big Weigh In follows statistics published in the 2023 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, which revealed that most veterinary professionals estimate that 46 per cent of dogs and 43 per cent of cats are overweight or obese.
The report also highlighted that five per cent of dog owners last weighed their pet over a year ago – equating to 520,000 dogs. Fifty-one per cent of these owners felt that it wasn’t necessary to weigh their dog, while 17 per cent didn’t want to pay for their pet to be weighed.
As part of their campaign to tackle pet obesity the PDSA is asking veterinary practices to sign-up to offer free weight checks for pets between February and March 2024, to encourage owners to think about their pet’s weight and body condition score.
Participating practices should record weights and body condition scores on Big Weigh In appointment cards, and direct pet owners to PDSA’s information about pet weight, regular monitoring and weight loss support.
A list of participating practices will be published on the PDSA’s website, so that pet owners can find their nearest practice and book a slot.
The Big Weigh In was first launched as the PDSA Weigh Up in 2021, which offered free online sources for pet owners about the importance of healthy weight management. It became the PDSA Big Weigh In earlier this year, where veterinary practices also offered free weigh-ins.
Lynne James, PDSA veterinary surgeon, said: “Our PAW Report has consistently highlighted obesity as a top concern amongst veterinary professionals, which is why Weigh Up was launched in 2021, with the aim of raising awareness and tackling the issue,”
“Whilst owners may deem a few extra pounds as harmless and sometimes even cute, we as professionals know the longer-term health risks.
Professor Alex German, professor of small animal medicine at University of Liverpool, said: “I’m delighted to once again be part of the PDSA Big Weigh In. Obesity in pets continues to be a huge issue year on year and one that needs us to come together to tackle.
“I would urge all fellow veterinary professionals to sign up, so we can work together to ensure our clients know how to identify if their pet has gained an unhealthy amount of weight and how to deal with this.”
To sign-up, visit the website.
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