Three million overweight dogs targeted as Beco Pets launches Canine Health Campaign
Britain’s biggest eco-pet product company Beco Pets has launched a campaign to fight dog obesity and help the UK’s three million overweight dogs get fit, not fat.
The pioneering firm, whose toys are popular with dog owners in 43 countries, notably America, Canada, Italy, Germany and New Zealand, wants British dogs to lead by example and stay slim.
An alarming report by the UK’s leading veterinary charity, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), warns that one in three of Britain’s nine million dogs are now are overweight or obese. The number of overweight pets will continue to climb.
Central to Beco Pets’ campaign is the popular new flying disc toy in their ‘Fetch’ range, The Beco Flyer, which encourages dogs to take healthy exercise outdoors.
Growing popularity of The Beco Flyer (RRP £9.99) – which is made from 100% extra-super-soft natural rubber, and which has an 'easy pick-up wobble' and raised profile design that means it’s easier for dogs to grip or catch without damaging their teeth or mouth – comes after the President of the British Veterinary Association recently warned dog owners they could cause their pets "horrific injuries" if they play fetch with sticks.
It also follows the finding by the PDSA charity that over 2.7 million dogs in the UK are not given the chance to exercise off the lead outside the home or garden every day. Worse still, in one investigation, 67% of pet owners in Europe were found to be overweight themselves (source: BBC, East Midlands).
Now Beco, whose environmentally-friendly products have just helped win it a place on the shortlist for the 2016 European Business Awards as a “UK National Champion”, is targeting dog health. Beco Pets’ crusade tackling dog obesity includes:
Beco Pets co-Founder and Design Director Toby Massey, a dog owner for six years and the man who designed The Beco Flyer, said: “We want British dogs to get healthier and stay slim. That’s why we’ve launched our campaign, which is aimed at both dogs and their owners.
- Giving away 1,000 free Beco toys to owners of fat British dogs nationwide to encourage them to take exercise
- Publishing and circulating a leaflet outlining ’10 Golden Rules’ for getting your dog fit if it's overweight
- Seeking support from 300 veterinary practices, asking them to sign up to the campaign and distribute educational leaflets
- Contacting doggy boot camps and fat camps, sending them ‘Beco Flyer’ gifts, which dogs love chasing and retrieving
"The Beco Flyer is designed to fly further than a traditional ball, increasing the mileage your pet covers. The Flyer’s bright colours also make it easier to spot as even the best retriever gets a little confused!”
Fellow Beco Pets co-Founder and Sales Director George Bramble became a dog owner for the first time two months ago when Labrador puppy Tarka arrived.
He said: “It’s vital to keep dogs healthy. I’ve seen research that shows 60% of pets in the UK aren’t ever weighed, and dog obesity is on the rise. We have a duty of care to do better.
"Owning a dog should be a reason to get outside and get some exercise. Looking after a dog responsibly can be great for both the dog’s and the owner’s waist line.”
As with humans, the risk of a dog becoming fatter increases throughout its life. The medical effects of a dog being overweight include a reduction in its life expectancy, diabetes, locomotion difficulties, circulatory problems, skin disease, respiratory problems, low immunity and a higher operation risk.
PDSA vets warned owners they could be drastically shortening their pet’s life expectancy. Owners have admitted indulging their pets by giving them cake, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, chips, takeaway and even alcohol. On top of all these unhealthy treats, 2.6 million dogs are fed table scraps or leftovers as their main meals. Most owners believe their pet is a healthy weight.
Beco Pets’ ‘Top 10 Tips For Getting Your Dog Slim and Keeping Fido Fit’
1. BAN LEFTOVERS: Feeding dogs scraps from your meal table is the greatest single cause of obesity
2. STOP 24/7 SNACKS: Limit access to food by feeding your dog at the same time, same place daily to create a routine
3. GET OUT MORE: Set up a regular exercise plan, with walks, play and chase activities. You might enjoy it, too.
4. LIMIT TREATS: Most dogs would rather have your attention than a calorific treat. Groom or play with them instead.
5. BOX CLEVER: Use interactive toys so your dog has to work for its food, like a treat inside a rubber Beco bone.
6. GET WEB-WISE: Download a dog workout chart from the Internet, checking the amount of exercise your breed requires.
7. WEIGH IN: Track of your dog’s calorie intake, maybe weighing food with kitchen scales. Also weigh your dog regularly.
8. ASK THE VET: Get your vet to assess whether your dog is overweight by calculating its "body condition scale".
9. FIGURE IT: Healthy dogs’ ribs, spine and hip bones should be easily felt, and their waist should be visible.
10. GO A-LA-CARTE: Choose the right diet for your dog, depending on its breed and age. The less processed meat meal and carbohydrates the better and stick to high-quality dog food if budget permits