Owners put their pets’ health at the heart of 2019

27 Dec, 2018

27 Dec 2018 When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, pets and their human counterparts have the same goals for the New Year. Health-related commitments top the list for both UK adults and their four-legged companions in 2019, according to new research from Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance.

A third of pet owners (35%) say their pet will have a New Year’s resolution in 2019, while over half (55%) of UK adults will also have at least one.

Dog and cat owners and those planning to buy these pets are even more likely to have a New Year’s resolution. For example, almost two thirds of dog owners (64%) have made a New Year’s resolution, 9% more than the national average.

According to dog and cat owners, the most popular resolutions  for pets are to do more exercise (14%), followed by eating more healthily (11%) and losing weight (10%).

The most common New Year’s resolutions for pets and UK adults(1)

Pets’ New Year’s resolutions UK adults’ New Year’s resolutions
Do more exercise (14%) Exercise more (26%)
Eating more healthily (11%) Lose weight (24%)
Losing weight (10%) Eat more healthily (22%)

Worryingly, the research also showed that a fifth (20%) of dog and cat owners say they either could not identify if their pet had become overweight or were uncertain about it. However once they establish their pet is overweight, owners are most likely to put them on a diet or feed them less (65%), take them for more walks (42%) or give them specialist pet food (38%).

Karen Hogg, head of Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance, said: “It’s great to see that many pet owners are responsible when it comes to the health of their dogs and cats. The New Year is a good time not only for people to hit the reset button on their own health, but also to ensure a good quality of life for their four-legged friends.

“Being aware of the healthy weight range for a cat or dog, monitoring their own pet and adjusting their diets accordingly can help owners protect their pets from developing health complications such as diabetes. Pet owners should also ensure they have suitable Pet Insurance in case of accidents or health conditions that are not pre-existing.”

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance is currently offering 12 months for 9, available to new Pet Insurance customers who buy online. New customers with a Nectar card can receive up to a 12.5% discount as well as double Nectar points on Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel.

Five tips for keeping your pet healthy:

  • Nutritional diet:  While you may be tempted to indulge your pet with leftovers from the festive season, remember if it’s not good for you, then it’s not good for your furry friend either. Some foods that are suitable for humans could also potentially be poisonous to cats and dogs. In general, make sure you familiarise yourself with your pet’s dietary requirements and portion sizes, as this may differ depending on the breed and their age.
  • Get into a routine: Try to schedule activities for the same time each day, such as meal times, or taking your dog for a walk, or playtime with your cat. This will help establish good habits.
  • Social exercise isn’t just for humans:  Regular exercise is important to keep your pet healthy. If you have a dog, why not join a dog walking group – that way both you and your pet will have friends to socialise with, and you will forget you’re doing exercise at all! If you have a cat, make sure you schedule time to play with them to get them moving, or set some fun challenges for them around the house, such as a treasure hunt for their favourite treats.
  • Check in on vaccinations: The New Year is a good time to get your house in order, and that includes checking if your pet is due for any vaccinations. You can keep ailments at bay by having your pet regularly checked out.
  • Emotional intelligence: Your pet can’t tell you if they feel unwell, so make sure you look out for any warning signs, such as aggression, loss of appetite, restlessness or anything else that is out of character.