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Hill’s ensures lockdowns don’t mean health breakdowns for our nation’s pets

Hill‘s Pet Nutrition launches new national campaign to tackle the rise in obesity

23 February 2021, at 3:00pm

Hill’s Pet Nutrition launches on 17 February a new national campaign to tackle the rise in obesity, placing a greater emphasis on helping pet parents take control of their animal’s nutrition and address the poor feeding habits amongst many owners, heightened by the pandemic.

As the UK navigates a third lockdown to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19, obesity has been identified by Vet Professionals as one of the top five welfare issues amongst UK pets, and lockdowns are not providing any relief. Yet worryingly, 8 in 10 (84 percent) of dog owners and almost three quarters (73 percent) of cat owners think their animal is an ideal weight.

Recognising the rising rates of “treat love” during lockdown (16 percent of dog owners and 17 percent cat owners have admitted to feeding their animals more treats over lockdown), the company’s new Weight Management campaign “Feed the Love, Lose the Weight” has been developed to raise awareness on the negative effects of too many treats, whilst educating pet owners on the full spectrum of aspects that make up their pet’s health and nutrition.

A suite of free tools and resources aim to help people take control of their pet’s nutrition, ranging from online BFI calculators, educational support and regular tips and guidance on how to maintain a healthy weight. The campaign also aims to support Vet Professionals start the often-neglected nutrition and diet conversation, not helped by the current lack of face-to-face interaction.

Michael Unsworth, Veterinary Affairs Manager at Hill’s explains:

“We know that at least 50 percent of pets in the UK are currently clinically overweight or obese, and that this is becoming a serious welfare issue. We also know that during lockdown periods exercise may be limited and bad food habits creep in, and if left untreated, can have a hugely detrimental effect on the animal’s health and quality of life going forward.

“People simply don’t realise there is a problem. Most pet owners do not have the education or the recognition to make these informed decisions themselves, and when it comes to their pets, owners can often have their blinkers on. As the animal’s advocate, we are committed to raising awareness of this serious issue and supporting pet parents through that education process. Our free resources will also allow Vet Pros to tackle this issue head on, without having to wait to see the animals in person. This is a growing epidemic that we as a country need to address right now, and this emotive and informative campaign will help drive awareness amongst owners all over the UK to be more mindful of their pet’s nutrition and eating habits.”

Two animated mini-movies brings the campaign to life, sharing the weight loss journey of “Poochini” and “Moto”. The movies follow two stories of owners who love their pets very much, but due to their own life hardships, over-feed their pets with “treat love” and “people food” that add up over time and cause them to become overweight. The short films highlight the change in their pets’ quality of life as their weight increases, and how a healthy meal plan can support their best friend to live their very best life.

The campaign will be rolled out across social media including YouTube to help raise awareness about pet obesity.

As well as the free resources and tools available online, Hill’s Pet Nutrition offers a range of scientifically proven foods to help aid weight loss and weight management in dogs and cats - for their breed and size - and at each stage of their life.

For more information about the new campaign, the free resource tools, or the weight management products available from Hill’s Pet Nutrition please email: clarionhillsteam@clarioncomms.co.uk

Statistics are taken from the recent PAW report from PDSA.