Canada's Pet Wellness Report, a study sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), shows Canadian dog and cat owners aren't knowledgeable about what they need to do to help their pets live healthier, longer lives.
According to Dr. Jim Berry, a veterinarian and member of CVMA:
"Overall, the research suggests that addressing the exercise, nutritional and dental care needs of pets is key to enhancing pet health and wellness in the country."
"Pet owners need a better understanding of the health implications of inadequate exercise of their pets and the importance of basic decisions, such as what and how to feed them. Otherwise their pets might be at risk for a range of broader health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and mobility issues."
The study revealed Canadian pet owners spend much more time watching TV and surfing the Internet than exercising their pets on both weekdays and weekends.
Other findings from the Canadian study:
- Pet owners are twice as likely to buy pet food based on how well their dog or cat likes it rather than for its nutritional quality.
- Less than 20 percent of owners feed the recommended amount of pet food, which means over 80 percent are over feeding their dog or cat.
- Only 17 percent of owners read pet food ingredient labels.
- Over half of cat owners free-feed their pets, as well as over 30 percent of dog owners.
- Veterinarians surveyed believe the majority of dogs and cats don't get enough exercise; the majority also cited overfeeding as the most common mistake pet owners make.