Dogs have put on half a stone in lockdown after too many treats, research finds

too many treats
Margaret Davies

A third of owners say their dogs’ lockdown lard is due to too many treats.

Inews reports that dogs have been following in their owners’ footsteps and piling on the pounds in lockdown, according to research.

The charity Guide Dogs found that the average pup has piled on 3.3kgs in the past year, with city dogs inflating by 5kg since the first lockdown was announced. Half of owners admitted to snacking more themselves and extending the habit to their pets, with a third saying their dogs’ lockdown lard is due to dipping into the treat tin more frequently while working from home.

A quarter said they take their dog on fewer walks, due to longer working hours and struggling with a lack of routine at home. Dogs living in London saw the largest average weight gain at 5kg – or half a stone – whereas dogs living in Yorkshire or East Anglia saw the lowest average weight increase at 2.4kg. Guide Dogs, which is urging people to sign-up to its fundraising walks to burn the puppy fat, also raised concerns that dogs have been under-socialised during lockdown, with one in five owners (19 per cent) admitting they no longer let their pet play with others on walks due to distancing measures.

Dr James Greenwood, resident vet at BBC’s Morning Live, told i: “The problem through lockdown is that we haven’t been able to get them out exercising as much as we used to, and human nature is to apologise to our dogs through giving them a bit extra. “If they haven’t had the exercise and you’ve overfed them, that’s the worst thing. “If you’re stuck at home, use obstacle courses and sniffing games to make them work for the food so they have to engage their
brain, rather than gobble down loads of food.” He added: “A lot of people have got puppies through lockdown, and people are using food as part of the training programme. That doesn’t need to be on top of their daily intake – weigh out their food for the day then take a handful out to use as treats.”

Charles Lawley, 33, from the Peak District, owns two Beagles

My two dogs, Eddie and Kimmy, have both put the pounds on during lockdown. They wear harnesses when we go for walks, and both have had them loosened by a few inches in recent months. Kimmy in particular has put on two or three inches around the waist. Before lockdown they would be running around playing with each other the whole time, but when the family is home they spend more time curled up. I’m the main dog walker in the house. But as an aid worker I have had to quarantine after essential work visits to the Middle East, meaning they haven’t been getting out as much at times. Beagles are hunting dogs by nature… and in this house that means hunting for food dropped at meal times, which has increased by being at home all day. Anything dropped by my two young kids, Sam and Niamh, is prime target. Eddie in particular is keen to take food he decides humans are finished with!

(Story source: Inews)

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