PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) and Royal Canin have partnered up to launch a new initiative aimed at encouraging pet owners from all around the UK to take advantage of a free weight check for their four-legged friends. The ‘Big Weigh In’ campaign is a continuation of the 2021 ‘Weigh Up’ campaign, which provided pet owners with free online resources to help determine and understand their pets’ body weights throughout the pandemic. This time, the focus is on tackling the ongoing pet obesity crisis that the UK pet population is currently facing, and is set to take place in February and March 2023 in over 500 veterinary practices across the country.
The 2022 PAW (PDSA Animal Wellbeing) Report found that 60% of pet owners regularly fed their pets human food, including leftovers (26%), cheese (22%), and bread or toast (10%). Unfortunately, human food is often high in fats and sugar, which contributes to obesity and weight problems in pets, and may cause an unbalanced diet. According to the PDSA, feeding dogs a slice of toast with butter is equivalent to humans consuming two portions of fries, while giving cats three small cubes of cheese is equivalent to humans eating two quarter pounders. It is evident that many pet owners are unaware of the harmful effects their food choices are having on their pets’ health, which is why the PDSA and Royal Canin are urging pet owners to take advantage of the free weight check.
The PDSA Big Weigh In is set to help pets like Roscoe, a dog whose inspiring weight loss journey was featured on their website. Roscoe was initially brought into PDSA care, weighing a staggering 75kg. Through a tremendous effort from his owner, he managed to shed 23kg and is very nearly at his ideal weight. His excess weight was previously affecting his daily life by leaving him breathless and drained of energy. Losing the weight was a crucial step in improving his health and overall happiness.
The primary goal of the PDSA Big Weigh In campaign is to encourage pet owners to maintain healthy weights for their pets, enabling them to live better and potentially longer lives. Pet owners can find out which veterinary practices across the UK are participating in the campaign and offering free pet weight checks through the veterinary practice map.
PDSA Veterinary Surgeon, Lynne James, believes that the Weigh Up campaign was successful amongst pet owners who wanted to understand more about their pet’s weight, in order to keep them healthy and fit. PDSA Big Weigh In is a natural progression and is inviting pet owners to come and get their pets weighed for free in participating veterinary practices across the UK. PDSA has also launched a PDSA #WeighUp Pet Weight Loss Support Group on Facebook for pet owners to share their progress, access exclusive tips and content, and participate in weekly Q&A sessions with PDSA vets and vet nurses, all aimed at helping pet owners embark on an effective pet weight loss journey.
If you are a cat or dog owner and want to know more before visiting your local participating veterinary practice, the PDSA website has plenty of information on its ‘Weigh Up’ page. Also, take some time to explore the website and learn more about the excellent work that PDSA does to ensure that sick and injured animals receive the proper treatment and care they need.
In conclusion, obesity and weight problems are prevalent in the UK pet population, which has led to the launch of the PDSA Big Weigh In campaign. Through this initiative, pet owners can ensure that their pets are healthy and happy. We encourage all pet owners to take advantage of the free weight check offered by participating veterinary practices, and to join the PDSA #WeighUp Pet Weight Loss Support Group to receive helpful tips and support for their pets’ weight loss journey. Remember, healthy pets are happy pets!