Vet’s Kitchen launches weight loss award to counteract Covid ‘free feeding’

Pet food brand Vet’s Kitchen is tackling the issue of pet obesity from a positive standpoint by launching an award to find the best weight loss stories amongst UK dog owners.

The campaign seeks to educate pet owners about pet obesity, healthy feeding tips and signs that your dog might be overweight, including how to help them lose weight. 52% of vets sight obesity as one of their primary concerns for the UK’s 10.1 million canine companions, yet as pet owners, many are unaware of their dog’s correct weight.

The Woof & Well Award is for a special dog that’s stuck to a sensible eating regime and ramped up their exercise regime. The sort of dog that would make Joe Wicks proud!

Those with a story to tell have been invited to share with the brand here. The most inspiring dog will receive a free diet consultation with the Vet’s Kitchen in-house Nutritionist, 6 months of tailored nutrition from Vet’s Kitchen, a doggy fitness tracker and a gold medal to fit their collar. A second and third prize of runner-up rosettes will also be awarded together with fitness trackers and a selection of Vet’s Kitchen products.

Fiona Firth, a pet nutritionist at Vet’s Kitchen, said: “We know how tempting it is to treat our dogs, especially at the moment by giving them an extra helping of food or worse, something from the biscuit jar, but dogs like humans need to maintain a healthy weight range. It’s also important to remember that dogs with different ages or different conditions can sometimes require a different type of food. If your dog is overweight for example, try and find a product rich in protein, but low in fat to help them lose weight. The Vet’s Kitchen Healthy Weight dog food contains 30% less fat than our Everyday Health dog food, it’s also high in fibre to help satisfy hunger.”

Fiona adds, “Dog obesity can lead to severe health problems such as diabetes, so regular exercise combined with feeding the correct amount of a good quality food is one way of caring for them from the inside out. What’s more, on our website, we have a handy Calorie Calculator to help work out how much you should be feeding your dog. “

The Vet’s Kitchen Woof and Well Award will be supported by Wood Green, The Animals Charity, who will help to 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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Don’t forget to allow for treats, dental chews out of their daily calorie allowance.

4. Add extra fibre using root vegetables, such as carrots as part of the daily allowance can help add to that feeling of fullness.

5. 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!! You can share your dog’s ‘From fat to fit’ story here.