Chihuahua or Great Dane: Unleash your dog's inner wolf & avoid cheap comfort food this winter

Woman Dog Golden Retiever Food

Don't let your pet become the next "Bopper the Wopper".

Your dog may not be the size of viral sensation "Bopper the Wopper" but obesity in pets is still a considerable risk, especially at a time when we are prone to over-indulging as well.  Christmas, and the colder weather, means we can all be guilty of wanting to stay inside and indulge in all the winter treats available but this shouldn't affect our pet's health.

"There are groups of ailments that stand out as frequent types of claims, often associated with overweight dogs: skin disorder, digestive tract problems and bowel diseases. They are not only expensive to treat, but cause great discomfort to pets. And, ultimately, frequent claims drive up the cost of pet insurance," said Mark Effenberg, founder of cat insurance and dog insurance.

"We estimate that around 20% of claims could be avoided through better diet. We conducted some research amongst vets, and the common comment among those asked about skin, digestion or bowel problems was that in the majority of cases it was down to poor diets: saving a few pence on the cost and quality of pet food is not just a false economy, it could also be very dangerous for your cat or dog. The difference is that a cat will get round it by going out hunting, and ensuring it gets the correct balance."

Vet Richard Allport of the Natural Medicine Centre in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, and the Bayswater Referral Centre in London, said: "Dogs with skin, digestive tract and bowel problems - often overweight too - are very frequent visitors to my two surgeries. In around half of the cases I treat, a simple change of diet has a massively positive impact. 

"Their owners may consider their dogs at one end of the scale to be garbage disposal units, or at the other end of the scale to be pampered pets. But leftovers and fine dining can be equally bad for dogs - with some breeds being particularly susceptible to poor quality or rich, fatty diets. 

"Modern pet foods have only really been around for perhaps a century - but dogs digestive systems are designed to deal with eating prey and scavenging - chomping away on raw meat, bones, feathers, fur. That may seem a bit gory to some of us humans, but dogs' digestive systems haven't changed significantly through the ages - especially not to deal with the wheat and carbohydrates used in some cheaper processed pet foods. Dogs need a protein-rich diet, and their health suffers if they don't get it."  

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Our cover can be offered for pets from five weeks old and can include vet fees for illness and injury up to £7,500, as well as ongoing cover for eligible new illnesses.

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Healthy Pet Insurance, now part of The Ardonagh Group, is a specialist pet insurance company. Healthy Pets can cover a range of policies from Accident Only, Maximum Benefit, and Lifetime to help customers find a policy to suit them and their pet.

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