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Pet feeding and exercise

According to Downes et al. (2017) obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in pet dogs and cats and leads to an increased risk of developing various diseases, such as cancer and diabetes mellitus, a worsening of existing orthopaedic problems, and an overall reduction in survival rates.

In the study carried out by Downes et al. (2017), pet owners reported a perceived low level of control over feeding, often undermined by other people feeding their pet and their pets begging for food. Owners often gave their pets treats to influence behaviour, when their pet begged or because of the strong emotional attachment they had with their pet (Downes et al., 2017). According to the study, the majority of participants had a positive attitude towards pet exercise, however, some negative experiences of stress associated with dog walking, and fears over aggressive confrontations with other dogs were described by owners (Downes et al., 2017).


Downes et al. (2017). Owner attitudes towards pet feeding and exercise. Irish Veterinary Journal (2017) 70, 29 doi: 10.1186/s13620-017-0107-8.

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