Rome

More than one quarter of Italians believe their pet is fat

Number could be much higher, report says

More than one quarter of Italians believe their pet is fat

Rome, July 5 - Approximately 29% of Italian pet owners believe their dogs and cats are just a bit, if not a lot, on the chubby side, a European report by YouGov said on Friday. And that could be an underestimate, the survey said. Commissioned by Hills pet food company, the report polled some 4,300 pet owners in Europe, 1,300 of whom were Italian. After comparing what owners told the surveyors they considered overweight with pictures of animals truly suffering from obesity, the numbers were adjusted. The survey said that the estimate for overweight companion animals could be as high as 95% for cats and 63% for dogs in Italy. Part of the cause for pet weight problems is that 26% of Italian owners tend to feed animals leftovers and snacks, in most cases empty calories, compared to 8% in the Netherlands and 13% in Britain, the report said. The report stresses that obesity can cause serious health risks such as diabetes and heart disease.

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