2.7 Million Pet Owners Are Told Their Pets Are Overweight In The Last Year

  • In the last 12 months, 1.7 million dog owners and one million cat owners have been told by a vet their pets are overweight
  • Vets suggest that the top misconceptions held by pet owners about the weight of their pets are that overfeeding or giving treats is a way of showing love to pets (54 per cent)
  • Vets report having to seek medical treatment for injuries caused by lifting heavy animals

New research from Direct Line Pet Insurance​ (1) ​reveals​ ​pet obesity is on the rise across the UK. In the last 12 months alone, 2.7 million pet owners have been told their dogs (1.7 million) or cats (1 million) are overweight. This is one in eight (12 per cent) dog owners, a rise on the eight per cent who were told their dogs were overweight over the two years previously, highlighting it is a growing issue.

Research conducted amongst vets​ (2)​, in the last year, reveals that the vast majority (83 per cent) are seeing an increase in the proportion of overweight pets being brought into their practice for treatment. Vets estimate that they are treating 49 per cent more overweight pets than they were just a year ago. In fact, it is estimated that a vet will treat six animals showing signs of obesity during an average week.

Not only is the pet’s health at risk if it is overweight, owners themselves are at increased risk of injury when lifting overweight animals. In just the last year dog owners have sustained several different types of injuries as a result of their pets, some of which are relatively minor, like bruising (two million dog owners) and muscle strain (1.2 million owners) but others are much more serious. Dog owners have reported suffering major injuries including broken bones and spinal injuries as a result of carrying their pet.

The increase in overweight pets means vets are at a greater risk of injury when treating patients and over half (54 per cent) of vets are regularly concerned about injuring themselves when treating heavier animals. Nearly two-thirds of vets who have sustained an injury when treating an overweight animal have had to see the doctor (63 per cent) and two fifths (41 per cent) have needed to go to the hospital. The rise in obesity has also meant that veterinary practices are needing to invest in additional lifting equipment, according to 42 per cent of those surveyed.

Eva Sandstra-Bennett, Head of Pet Insurance at Direct Line, said: “It is alarming that pet obesity is increasing. Dogs and cats being overweight is a very serious issue as it can affect joints, cause diabetes, heart and breathing problems. While it may be horrible to hear from a vet that a pet is overweight, owners should pay attention to their warning, as addressing the problem quickly will reduce risk of future health problems such as diabetes. Measuring out food can help avoid over feeding and while those puppy dog eyes may be hard to resist for scraps and treats, giving in may do more harm than good.”

Vets believe that owners are often unaware of the health issues associated with the weight of their pets. The most common weight-related misconceptions owners have around their pets are that overfeeding or giving treats is a way of showing love (54 per cent), that vets are being overly cautious when it comes to pets’ weights (50 per cent) and that you can feed your pet more as long as it’s high-quality food (47 per cent). Vets say almost a third (30 per cent) of owners believe that obesity isn’t a serious issue in animals, while 16 per cent of owners are also thought to not believe that animals are able to become medically obese.

Breed analysis

Pug owners are most likely to be told they have an overweight pet, with 75 per cent informed that their pet is too heavy by a vet in the last three years. This was closely followed by Boxer owners, of which nearly 67 per cent have been told their dog is overweight and Golden Retrievers (45 per cent)

Table one: Number of overweight dogs broken down by breed

Dog Breed Catergory Proporion of owners with overweight dogs Number of overweight dogs
Pug 75% 305,226
Boxer 67% 319,767
Goldon Retriever 45% 339,904
Spaniel Breeds (Cocker, Springer, Cavalier King Charles etc.) 40% 600, 969
Staffordshire Bull terrier 40% 447,289
Labrador 36% 784,812
Poodle or Poodle-cross (Labradoodle, Cockapoo, Goldendoodle) 31% 155,530
Other Terrier (Jack Russell, West Hihghland, Yorkshrie, Border etc.) 25% 287,442
Border Collie 23% 680,957

Source: Direct Line Pet Insurance 2019


1​ Research conducted by Opinium among a UK nationally representative sample of 2,006 adults between 20​th​ and 23​rd​ August 2019

2 R​esearch conducted by Pure Profile among 101 vets between 29t​h​ August and 3r​d September 2019

Should Dogs Be Allowed In The Office?

Should Dogs Be Allowed In The Office?

Credit for this article goes to Katlyn Eriksen

More than 25% of employers say that they are happy to have a dog-friendly work policy, and 1 in 4 firms regularly allow pets in the office. The fact is that we are a nation of animal lovers and dogs bring great joy and companionship to our lives. There are some big advantages to having a dog in your office, but there can also be a downside too (least of all getting less work done because you’re too busy making a fuss of the lovely doggy). But should they really be allowed at your workplace?

Dogs help reduce stress

In Britain 59% of the population deal with workplace stress, however, the good news is that dogs can help to reduce this. In 2018 a study of more students at the British University of Columbia found that the impact of therapy dogs on stress was quite profound. All of the participants reported immediate strong benefits included feelings of happiness, an increase in energy levels and a reduction of stress. This has a scientific explanation – stroking a dog releases serotonin and dopamine in the brain, giving us feelings of reward and pleasure. This, in turn, reduces stress and helps us to relax. Staring into the eyes of a dog also releases oxytocin. This is the very same hormone that helps to bond a mother with her baby.

Dogs need mental stimulation

If you are working in an office, it might not be a good idea to have your dog with you all day if you are constantly busy, or have very little break time. Having your dog sitting under your desk for 8 hours isn’t really mentally stimulating enough for them and they could become frustrated, noisy and destructive. If however your work is varied and your dog is allowed to wander around the office freely, then they might be sufficiently entertained and enjoy the new sights and smells. They may even make some new friends. If you take your dog to the office, you could also pack a bag for them containing a couple of dog toys and maybe a feeding puzzle box, or a Kong to keep them amused.

Dogs need exercise

If you are taking your dog to the office, you need to bear in mind that they will need to go out for walkies regularly and may need to go to the toilet. This may not always be convenient to your work schedule, however, no one wants to end up clearing up dog poo from next to the photocopier. Many dog-friendly offices organise walks every lunchtime, for instance, the Anthony Nolan Trust Headquarters in London has allowed staff to bring in their pets for the last couple of years. Ten members of staff bring their canine companions to work and they have group walks every lunch on Hampstead Heath.

As long as other staff members don’t mind, then having a dog in the office can have a calming effect. It will also get you out for some fresh air at lunchtime, which is better for everyone.

What Makes A Black German Shepherd Unique?

What Makes A Black German Shepherd Unique?

Post contributed by Kat Chambers

All types of German Shepherds are a great breed of dog, whether they’re tan, red, sable or black. However, Black German Shepherds are fairly rare due to the genetic variation that results in their colour. When it comes to their personality there’s really no difference between a Black German Shepherd and other coloured ones. Overall, they’re a highly intelligent dog that are people-pleasers, which makes them easy to train and loveable pets right from when they’re a puppy.

What makes them black?

A Black German Shepherd’s coat is caused by a genetic mutation that is the result of a recessive gene. This is contrary to the common misconception that they’re the result of a German Shepherd mating with a different breed of dog. Black German Shepherds will always have two German Shepherd parents, and they can be black or typically coloured. This is because all dogs receive one copy of all their genes from their mother and one copy from their father, but their physical traits are determined by whether the genes are recessive or dominant. The recessive gene is in all German Shepherds, but it takes two to make a Black German Shepherd, which is why they’re not very common.

Is anything else different about Black German Shepherds?

The same recessive gene that results in their black coat is also responsible for some other minor differences in Black German Shepherds. The first being that they will have a different body shape and size. They can grow 2.5 to 5 cm taller than typically coloured German Shepherds, which also means they’re often 10 to 20 pounds heavier. German Shepherds will also have a curved back that is distinctive, but Black German Shepherds have a straight back, the same as most other breeds. The only other main difference is that a Black German Shepherds coat is usually noticeable straighter and smoother looking. Their black, straight coat can make it particularly difficult to see fleas and other pests, which makes preventative treatments even more essential to keep their fur and skin healthy and happy.

Do Black German Shepherds need to be trained differently?

All dogs should receive basic training at the very least and this should start from a puppy, where possible. The only difference that there is with training a Black German Shepherd is that owners need to be aware of how big and strong they will grow, which makes it essential for them to be obedient and for owners to have good control over them. The good news is that they’re a highly intelligent breed that loves to please their owners, which makes them relatively easy to train. House training should be taught as a pup, followed by obedience training a few weeks later. A professional trainer can help if owners are unsure of how to train this big breed, which should ideally be done from an early age for the best results.

Overall, Black German Shepherds make great pets. They’re easy to train, even for first time owners, and they’ll strive to please their humans. The only differences between them and their typically coloured counterparts is that they’ll grow slightly bigger, have a different shaped back and a beautiful, smooth coat.

How to Deal with Your Dog’s Paw Infections

It is normal for your dog to lick its paws because this is a cleaning ritual, as long as it is not done in an excessive manner or the dog doesn’t appear to be in pain while doing it. Also, it is not an issue if you notice small cracks on the surface of the paws, as you inspect them. Minor scratches usually heal by themselves and do not create any kind of problems to your dog.

However, there are situations in which paws do get infected, irritated, itchy, and red, causing your dog physical discomfort and even pain. If you notice your dog munching on its paws and whining while doing so, you should immediately take a look at its paws. There are quite a few factors that can lead to paw infections.

Also, believe it or not, there are some dog breeds that are more prone to developing certain types of paw infections than others. Due to the fact that a paw infection can appear at any time during the year, when you are home, or traveling with your pet, you should learn all about it and know how to deal with such episodes in an effective manner. A paw infection can prevent the dog from walking right, not to mention that is quite uncomfortable, especially if we are talking about constant itchiness.

Factors that can trigger a paw infection

  • Yeast or fungi

Although it may seem hard to believe, yeast can grow in an exaggerated manner on your dog’s paws, causing discomfort. When it comes to yeast-related infections, the problem may be more serious than your dog’s paws. According to PetMD, a dog may show fungal infections on its paws, but you may actually have to deal with an overall skin problem. So, it would be recommended to check the dog’s skin in various parts of its body, to see if you notice any issues.

An infection with fungi will make the dog lick its paws rather often. Thus, your companion’s constant interest in licking its paws should ring a bell for you. Red nail beds are another sign of this kind of infection when you closely inspect the paws. Itchiness, redness, and even discharges can be seen in some cases. The reason yeast develops uncontrollably can be due to a food allergy, an allergy triggered by an environmental factor, or skin problem like atopic dermatitis.

  • Infections caused by bacteria

It is worth knowing that both bacteria and yeast are organisms that naturally live on the dog’s paws. But, when they multiply too much, problems emerge. When do bacteria develop beyond control? This usually happens when the dog’s immune system is compromised by a health problem, which makes it unable to keep the bacteria population in control. So, when paw infections are caused by bacteria, there could be a secondary health issue bothering your dog as well.

This type of paw infection manifests through redness, itchiness or pain, swelling, and, in more severe cases, abscess. The dog will also lick and bite its paws more frequent than it is normal. If you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms, you should seek treatment as soon as it is possible, as this condition creates quite a lot of discomfort.

  • Tears or cuts on the paws

Just like in the case of humans, when skin is cut or torn, a breach for bacteria to enter the organism is created. This is why a cut or torn paw should be treated immediately before it turns into a breeding pool for germs and bacteria.

Dogs can be quite diplomatic when it comes to their injury, so it would be a good idea to inspect the dog’s paws after each walk or adventure in the outdoors. A sharp rock, a thorn, or debris found on the ground can injure the dog’s paws. So, not seeing blood on the floor doesn’t mean that there isn’t any cut to look after. Your dog may lick its paws and clean the blood, but the injury is still there and it can accumulate dust and harmful particles.

The wound should be properly cleaned and disinfected. Using a diluted antiseptic, such as Betadine, the kind everyone has lying around the house, is a good way to do this. Once the wound is cleaned, you will have to apply a sterile bandage over the wound. Make sure it is tight enough so that it won’t fall off as your dog moves and walks. Of course, don’t exaggerate when tightening it, as you still want blood running through your dog’s paws.

  • Grass seeds puncturing the paws

While there’s nothing better than running with your dog through the grass, the tiny seeds produced by plants from the grass family can cause more trouble than you think. Long grass or barley grass, in particular, produce seeds that can be very uncomfortable for your dog. Also, if the seeds are not removed from your dog’s paws, they can easily lead to an infection, due to their sharp ends.

Again, take a good look at your dog’s paws after each walk. This is something a dog owner should do on a daily basis, regardless of the season. Inspecting and cleaning the dog’s paws after each outdoor adventure can save you from a lot of trouble.

Recipes for baths that can soothe your pet’s paws

If your dog has itchy, inflamed, or irritated skin, you can use several natural ingredients to come up with a soothing bath for the dog’s paws. These baths are especially useful for dogs that are prone to food allergies, as they can offer a quick solution when your dog is having trouble with its diet. However, even if we are talking about natural ingredients, it is not recommended to bathe your dog’s paws if they present cuts, thorn nails, or open wounds.

  • One or two tablespoons of baking soda added to a gallon of lukewarm water can be very soothing for itchiness and inflammation. You can soak your pet’s paws in this water for a few minutes after each walk. It will reduce the dog’s need to lick and chew on its paws.
  • Add a few cups of ground, natural, and unsweetened oats to warm water in the bathtub and dissolve them a little. The level of the water should allow only for the paws to soak in, so you don’t need to fill the tub. Put the dog inside the bathtub and allow it to stand or even lie in this water for about 10 minutes. The natural oils contained by the oats will soothe cracked, dry, or inflamed paws.
  • One cup of Epsom salts for every gallon of water can help you come up with a bath that will restore your dog’s natural pH in the paws. This solution will kill harmful bacteria and will help restore the level of good bacteria. 10 minutes spent in this bath will help with itchiness and inflammation.

When it’s time to see the veterinarian

While it is true that many paw issues can be managed at home, you need to know when it’s time to seek the assistance of a veterinarian. For example, in the case of bacterial or yeast infections, the vet may need to take a sample from the dog’s paws in order to recommend the best treatment. So, there are a couple of signs that tell you it’s time to take your companion to be seen by the vet.

  • The paw presents bleeding that doesn’t seem to stop or oozing is noticeable;
  • Sores on the surface of the paws are also not a good sign;
  • When the base of the nails present a sort of crust-like formation;
  • When the paws present calluses of significant sizes. These calluses can make the toes of the paw to move in the wrong direction, causing tenderness and discomfort;
  • Cracks in the paws that are deep, causing bleeds and oozes.

It is not pleasant to see that your best friend is in pain or has to deal with constant itching, but it is worth knowing that most paw infection can be easily treated with a bit of care. However, the best way to avoid health problems when it comes to your companion is to get a puppy with a great genetic condition, from a reliable dog breeder. Charlotte Dog Club is dedicated to connecting future dog owner with the healthiest and happiest puppies, provided by responsible dog breeders only. Visit the website and find the ideal puppy for you and your family.

Top 13 Dog Breeds That Can Live Well With Your Cats

Top 13 Dog Breeds That Can Live Well With Your Cats

Along with being both a dog and cat enthusiast comes the dilemma of whether to pick just one to adopt and never really feel satisfied, or get a kitten and a puppy at the same time and just risk the possibility of their safeties being threatened.

Naturally, felines and canine have an innate conflict already hard-wired in their minds. One sees the other as prey, while another one as a predator.

However, this feud is so primordial and our pets have learned to keep up with the times! Yes, some dogs and cat can finally live together – thanks to domestication which enabled humans to train dogs in controlling behaviour and relying on them for basic needs such as food.

Pop culture’s perpetuation of cats and dogs being enemies in films and works of literature is to blame for the whole unending dispute. It’s time to call into question the idiom, “fighting like cats and dogs” because these adorable videos of cats and dogs playing with each other will make you think otherwise!

This article reveals a list of the top 13 dog breeds that can live well with your cat. However, the following are merely generalizations and different aspects of the dog can still affect its supposed-to-be good relationship with cats.


Historically a herding dog, this Scottish breed is unique for its sensitivity and smartness that makes it fit to deal with cats under a roof. This responsiveness will let Collies act friendlier towards cats, knowing how fond you are of them. That’s the type of loyalty they have!

Collies, like cats, are very energetic yet super gentle at the same time. Surely, they will possess an ideal friendship between different kinds!

Watch this video of Teddy the cat showing affection to Chico the Collie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnZK8S-Lbr8

Golden Retriever

Another well-known Scottish dog breed is the Golden Retriever. This type of pooch can be competitive and serious in its field of work which is hunting, but it can transform into a loving and obedient pet in just a jiffy!

As animals that are very much dedicated to their jobs, Golden Retrievers are great at tasks like guiding the visually impaired and even doing rescue work.

If you have a cat in your house, this breed will see it as its master’s friend, another family member or a companion of a different kind!

This video of a cat and a Golden Retriever tenderly playing with each other will make you feel golden!

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are among one of the best dogs when it comes to socializing. You will giggle at the thought of their history not having to do anything with violence such as hunting or herding because their main hobby was fishing!

Their charismatic personality is the reason why they are more available and favourite breeds of people! Introduce your Labrador to your cat at a young age so it can grow more tolerant of the kitty.

Take a peek at this Bengal cat licking a Labrador puppy in its dog bed! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktqCb8_JNBA

German Shepherd

German Shepherd dogs are the most common guard dogs because of how powerful their high energy and loyalty are, especially when combined! In most cases, German Shepherds are less prone to sickness as long as they fed and groomed right. This means that your cat is less exposed to the diseases that these dogs can catch.

Despite coming off as intimidating because of their large and muscular body, they are actually really friendly toward cats. Take Bleu and Beck as an example! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2XCepwaYDc

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds or Hush Puppies were initially trained to hunt smaller animals like rabbits. But as house pets, they surprisingly have the softest hearts for their fellow beings.

All it takes is a puppy toy and a playmate, and they can quickly establish a new friendship!

This dog breed is also very calm and obliging – making it more compatible with kittens. The only problem you may have to deal with is Basset Hounds’ obsession with sniffing people, animals, and things!

See how bravely your cat frolics with Hush Puppies! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0_hiWoTZJ4


A Beagle is always born cheerful and so full of spirit. Give it a new playmate and notice how easily it will acknowledge its presence!

Sure, Beagles can be stubborn and difficult to train, but they don’t have to be taught how to enjoy the company of others because that’s their inherent skill.

Since they also enjoy exercising, beagles would love to walk and run around with your feline.

Watch this cat and dog act like they’ve known each other since forever when in reality, they had just met! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ok8_Py5xOg


Oftentimes stereotyped as lazy and sleepy, Bulldogs actually just have that sweet and benign character. These four-legged friends are not aggressive, so expect them to be understanding of cats.

They might even have a lot of things in common! Both  Bulldogs and cats enjoy the quietness, nap times, and they both dislike bathing and grooming.

This is what it will look like having a cat and a Bulldog at home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8p5GlAhnmc 


Finally, a dog breed that’s just the size of your cat! With a pug, you’ll have no worries about your kitten being stepped on or blocked by a heavy buddy.

Pugs possess behavioural quirks that make them stand out among others in terms of being cat-friendly. For instance, they are very easy-going animals that love to follow people and animals around and seek attention from everyone.

They will do just about anything to please you; maybe even take care of your kittens just like how Peppa adopted these three baby furballs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVK6IvgFRsw

Boston Terrier

These small-statured dogs are known to be comedians and gentlemen with regards to companionship and family. You can count on them in being friends with your house cat as long as you introduce the two gradually (a tip recommended for all types of dogs). It will take time but everything will be worth it!

You can do this slow introduction by putting your Boston Terrier inside a crate with food and toys as the cat roams freely around the house in the same room. Soon, they will be affable with each other like friends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M44fLgjA-tw


This typical dog breed, which costs around $2000 according to Prince Of Price, is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. It also has various types, so choosing a poodle for your kitty to have a new friend might take a while. Despite the diversity, Poodles are known for being stylish, elegant, and competitive in shows. But deep inside, they are actually easy to train and their behaviours can be controlled quickly in order to adapt to an environment that has a cat.

Like felines, these canines are sensitive to noise – making them more compatible with silence-loving cats!

Here’s a video of a poodle and a cat having a good time together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsOQmje7zu0


Maltese are one of the smallest dog breeds out there with the most charming and inviting aura. Besides being energetic and having a really low prey drive, these dogs enjoy learning new tricks and are low maintenance in terms of training.

Furthermore, their petite build catches the attention of many playmates; including your cat! One similarity that the two animals have is their preference for being indoors most of the time.

Watch this clip of Sofie and Milo being adorable together! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jA8PKqxHVA

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are one of the most popular dog breeds in London, and we’re guessing it’s because of their attractiveness inside and out. Aside from their long and shiny coats, their ability to impress families with their stuffed joy makes them the most suitable selection for cat owners.

Even families with babies can be tolerated by the loving Cocker Spaniels. The only thing you’ll worry about is the possibility to hit the cat or the baby with their excessive tail-wagging!

Look how cute Beaux and Barney are while they playfully fight! ·         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iR1vFP-8qI


Boxers also fit the list of the family-friendly dogs! Although they may tend to be naughty, their silliness will never fail to amuse their audience.

The Boxers may sound a little scary, but in reality, they are the most innocent dogs around anyone. Their braveness only comes out in difficult circumstances.

Just like any other dogs, Boxers can live with cats as long as they went through proper training and socialization. And since they are known to become mischievous, untrained Boxers will enjoy chasing cats that may lead to harmful fights.

Still, well-taught dogs will automatically treat your kitty like best friends just like these two in the video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW48_c0K0WY

Author: Miranda LaSala

Website: purringpal.com