Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
PetPlan fights animal obesity

Petplan, the UK’s leading pet insurance provider is launching the UK’s first ‘Petometer’ – a device which measures the number of steps taken each day by a dog – in a bid to help tackle the obesity epidemic that’s sweeping through the nation’s canine population.

Obesity is slowly but surely ruining the lives of many of the nation’s pets with 41% now considered to be overweight or obese.

As with humans, being overweight can have severe consequences for a pet and is a contributory factor to life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver problems as well as osteoarthritis and cruciate ligament ruptures. In 2004, Petplan paid out over £7 million on conditions that can be aggravated by obesity.

The Petplan Petometer is the first device of its kind to count accurately the number of steps a dog takes every day. Attached unobtrusively to the dog’s collar it uses an electronic sensor to record the movement of the front legs.

Giving paunchy pooches a helping hand in the battle of the bulge, and enabling pet owners to monitor their dogs’ exercise routine, Petplan has also compiled a Petsercise Programme. Taking the UK’s most popular breeds in turn, the Petsercise Programme advises how many steps each breed should be taking per day.

Petplan veterinary consultant and TV vet Scott Miller comments: "Obesity is becoming a huge problem for our pets – and it is pet owners who are to blame. It’s a direct result of lack of exercise and poor diets. We hope the new Petplan Petometer will give pet owners the wake-up call that’s required to begin sensible exercise regimes for their dogs."

BREED RECOMMENDED NO. OF STEPS

1. German Shepherd 23,000 – 25,000

2. Golden Retriever 18,000 – 25,000

3. Labrador Retriever 20,000 – 25,000

4. West Highland White 20,000 – 22,000

5. Cocker Spaniel 25,000 – 27,000

6. Boxer 30,000 plus

7. CKCS 15,000 – 20,000

8. Yorkshire Terrier 16,000 – 18,000

9. SBT 30,000

10. Springer Spaniel 25,000 – 30,000