Pug by charles deluvio on unsplash
Thinking of a doggy diet? Why not try a diet club for dogs? Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

A new diet club for dogs will launch this spring

If you’re struggling to keep your dog’s weight under control, then you’re not alone. According to a new study, nearly half of dog owners confess to overindulging their pooch since start of the pandemic. And seriously, who can blame us? However, it’s not good in the long-term for dogs to be overweight. So, if you’re thinking about getting your dog back into shape this spring, you might like to know about the new ‘Fitness Furst’ Diet Club for dogs!

‘Fitness Furst’ Diet Club for dogs

In a bid to help curb dog obesity, raw pet food brand Natural Instinct is launching the ‘Fitness Furst’ Diet Club. It’s free to join and it aims to provide you with expert opinion and advice so you can help you dog get back into shape. The club will be hosted by a vet and animal behaviourist. It will include a weigh in, as well as advice to support you with feeding, diet and fitness.

But why is the club launching now? Well, Natural Instinct have recently conducted a study into dog obesity and the news isn’t great. They’ve discovered that more than a third of dog owners (36%) admit their dog is either very or slightly overweight. And 44% revealed they have fed their dog extra treats every week due to increased time at home.

Of the 2,000 dog owners surveyed, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) said their dog had put on weight due to extra treats. Whilst 12% said their dog had put on weight as a result of going on less walks. This isn’t surprising as many of us have been shielding or reduced our time spent outdoors due to the pandemic. Personally, I’ve found it difficult at times.

So, what else has the research discovered? Well, it shows that French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas and Cockapoos are the most likely breeds to be fed extra treats. But, these are popular breeds at the moment, so perhaps this is to be expected! I think whatever dog you have, it’s very easy to spoil them. Especially when you’re stuck in the house more!

Getting portion size right

It’s not simply down to dishing out too many treats though. The data shows a lack of knowledge is also a key factor in the battle against obesity. Nearly two thirds (62%) revealed that they did not know the correct portion sizes for their dog, confessing that they always estimate meal sizes. The younger age group of 16-29-year olds are the least likely to know correct portion size (54%), as well as West Highland Terrier owners, with 83% estimating what they feed to their dog.

1 in 5 (21%) also said they were unaware of the correct weight for the breed and size of their dog. The over 60’s were the least aware of the correct weight (28%), while the survey also found that Shih Tzu (29.1%) and Pug owners (26.8%) were least likely to know how much their dog should weigh.

Nearly two thirds (63%) said they would benefit from advice and guidance on helping their dog lose weight. Over half said they want expert tips on general health, fitness and feeding, while more than one third (35%) want a clear and structured diet plan. So, this is where the diet club for dogs will come in handy.

How can you tell if your dog is overweight?

So, you might be asking yourself, how can you tell if your dog is overweight? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  • You can’t feel their ribs.
  • Their weight is higher than normal.
  • They do not have a prominent abdomen.
  • They do not have a defined waist.
  • Lack of interest in physical activity.
  • Excessive panting.

We asked our vet what the correct weight is for our dog Poppy, and we do weigh her regularly to keep things in check. Her food is weighed out each day too (it’s probably the most we use our kitchen scales). This has helped with keeping her healthy, although it’s never easy! Anyway, if you think you could benefit from extra support, this club may be just right for you. There’ll be canine experts hosting free online sessions very soon, so pop an email to fitnessfurst@naturalinstinct.com and ask to join.

Natural Instinct

Natural Instinct are a raw pet food company. They understand that a healthy diet plays a huge role in your pet’s life and are dedicated to providing customers and their furry friends with balanced and complete pet food of the best quality.

A raw food diet for your pet means feeding as nature intended, free from artificial additives, colours, preservatives and fillers. They produce natural, complete and complementary frozen meals and treats, full of goodness and high value nutrients.

Their research was conducted by Perspectus Global on behalf of Natural Instinct. It surveyed 2,000 UK dog owners, aged 18+ years. It took place from 23th to 25th September 2020 and has been weighted to be nationally representative.