60% of Dogs are Over-weight

fluffy white dog outside wearing an orange collar

60% of Dogs are Over-weight

Petmania Launches Operation TransPAWmation as survey reveals worrying statistics

[Thursday 6th February, 2020] Today, Petmania Ireland has launched its annual Operation TransPAWmation campaign in association with Royal Canin. The campaign runs throughout February and March in Petmania stores nationwide. It aims to reduce obesity in pets, encourage healthier habits and transform pet’s lives.

According to Royal Canin experts, obesity in dogs is a growing epidemic with three in five dogs now overweight1. Likewise 40 per cent of cats are overweight2. Obesity can lead to devastating health complications like arthritis, cardio respiratory problems and ligament rupture. It significantly reduces a pet’s life expectancy and their wellbeing. These troubling figures prompted Petmania to conduct its own survey into the health and lifestyle habits of Irish pet owners.

Petmania Ireland’s Pet Health & Lifestyle Survey, held throughout December and January, looked at four elements of pet care including body conditioning, weight and diet, exercise and play plus wellbeing and lifestyle.

Petmania Ireland’s Pet Health & Lifestyle Survey revealed 

  1. 43 per cent have not weighed their dog in the last three months, 53 per cent of cat owners have not weighed their cat in the same period. 30 per cent are unsure when their cat was last weighed, if at all. A further eight per cent said they have never checked their dog’s weight.
  2. Less than half (46 per cent) of the respondents knew what an ideal ‘Body Condition Score’ for their pet should be.
  3. 28 per cent do not measure their dog’s meals and choose to free pour / 63 per cent free pour their cat’s food.
  4. 36 per cent give treats because their cat begged /  39per cent give dog treats two or more times each day.
  5. 18 per cent of respondents said their dog gets less than 30 minutes of exercise each day whilst pet owners observed that their cat spent most of their day sleeping and four per cent of dog-owners admit that their dog gets no exercise.

What of pets lifestyle and wellbeing? The survey shows:

  1. 58 per cent of dogs spend three-plus hours alone each day, while for cats this figure is 91 per cent
  2. 28 per cent of dogs and 17per cent of cats share their owner’s bed
  3. Encouragingly, 75% of dogs and 91% of cats have been neutered

Spokesperson for Operation TransPAWmation, Professor Alex German from University of Liverpool and Royal Canin Reader in Small Animal Medicine has pioneered developments in diagnosis and treatment of obesity-related disorders in companion animals. His research has led to obesity being classed as a disease in cats and dogs. Speaking at the launch of Operation TransPAWmation, he said,

 “Two key findings of the research were that many owners do not weigh their pet regularly and were unaware whether they were at a healthy weight. The simple act of regularly weighing your cat or dog, will enable an owner to identify unwanted weight gain quickly, and ensure that they can introduce corrective measures, for example, reducing food intake.  I would recommend that owners ideally weigh their pet at least once every three months, and consult their veterinary surgeon if they have any concerns.”

Throughout February and March, Petmania are inviting pet owners to take part in Operation TransPAWmation in one of its 12 stores nationwide. Pet owners can bring their dog or cat to Petmania for a free weight and body condition score (BSC) check. The BSC is a visual examination of the pet’s body ranked on a scale from one to nine.  As part of the campaign dog and cat owners can pick up a booklet containing a food diary, exercise hints and tips, suggested #HealthierHabits and exclusive discounts. Each animal that takes part will automatically go into a draw to win a three month’s supply of food from Royal Canin.

Emily Miller of Petmania Ireland said,

“We are delighted to launch Operation TransPAWmation for the fourth year and we welcome Royal Canin expert Professor Alex German’s input and expertise. Petmania is committed to helping pet owners to manage their pet’s diet throughout their life stages. Last year 1,149 cats and dogs took part in the campaign and it is hugely satisfying to have helped to put so many pets back on the road to good health. 

Our own research has shown that less than half of Ireland’s pet owners know what their pet’s Body Condition Score is. The BCS is a vital visual-check of your pet’s body which will give an immediate indication of their health. Our team of pet care advisors are on-hand in-store to help pet owners calculate and interpret their pet’s Body Condition Score. We encourage all pet owners to join Operation TransPAWmation and gain #HealthierHabits.”

As part of the campaign a national dog-walk will take place across the country on March 14th and 15th. To participate in the free programme ‘Operation TransPAWmation’, visit any of the 12 Petmania stores nationwide. For full survey results and more information visit: petmania.ie |  #Petmania­OT | #HealthierHabits | royalcanin.co.uk


  1. German, A.J., Woods, G.T., Holden, S.L., Brennan, L. Burke, C. (2018). Dangerous trends in pet obesity.Veterinary Record; 182 (1).
  2. Courcier, E.A., O’ Higgins, R., Mellor, D.J., Yam, P.S. (2010). ‘’Prevalence and risk factors for feline obesity in a first opinion practice in Glasgow, Scotland.’ Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 12 (10), pp. 746-753.
  3. Petmania Pet Health & Lifestyle Survey Results 2020 https://spark.adobe.com/page/mNzjYfBL51qT2/

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