Launching the “Five Minutes More” campaign, Pets at Home, the UK’s leading pet retailer, has partnered with dog enthusiast and broadcaster Clare Balding. Their collective goal is to inspire pet owners across the nation to prolong their dog walks this winter, thereby addressing the issue of overweight dogs in the UK.

Recent research conducted by the retailer highlights a concerning statistic: over one million dogs in the UK are currently overweight, with 10 percent of owners openly acknowledging this fact. According to the findings, owners attribute weight gain in dogs predominantly to overfeeding (59 percent) and insufficient exercise or inadequately long walks (34 percent).

The study also reveals that a significant portion of dog owners curtail their walks due to cold weather concerns. Approximately 47 percent worry that it may be too chilly for their dogs to be outdoors. Following closely, the second most common reason is the owner’s aversion to walking in the dark (30 percent), trailed by a reluctance to venture out when it’s wet and muddy (29 percent). Handling dogs on a lead in icy conditions poses a challenge for 27 percent of respondents, while 24 percent find the cold weather uncomfortable for their own walks.

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