Videos celebrating overweight dogs have been viewed over 90MILLION times on TikTok, research by VetChef reveals.
The study by the fresh pet food platform, highlights how widespread the worrying content is across all major social media platforms.
On Facebook, Instagram and Reddit alone, VetChef has discovered there are ONE MILLION members or followers of groups devoted to overweight dogs.
Fat breeds getting the wrong sort of attention
Breeds which feature most in these groups are some of the UK’s most popular including pitbulls, frenchies, pugs, terriers and beagles.
On TikTok, videos are shared using hashtags including: #chonkydogs, #fatdog, and #chubbypuppy.
The term “chonky” has come to be used by many social media users to show their approval of overweight dogs. It first came into use in 2016 in a Twitter group called ‘Chonky Animals’.
VetChef founder and pet nutrition expert Dr Joe Inglis comments:
“While it is always a delight to see the joy pets bring, it is worrying that the trend of normalising and glorifying pets that are actually clinically overweight is on the rise.
“The scale of content celebrating overweight dogs on social media is simply breathtaking – with clips hailing so-called ‘chonky’ canines viewed over 90million times on TikTok.
“The breeds that seem to be most commonly featured across social media also already have a number of hereditary health problems, which are likely to only be exacerbated by being overweight.
Joe adds: “In the UK, obesity is one of the leading, ongoing health issues we face with our pets, with 50% of pets now being classed as overweight.
“We can all be guilty of ‘fat blindness’ when it comes to our pets, especially over the past year when a lot of us have spent more time at home with our canine companions.
“But our pets rely solely on us as their owners to keep them as fit, healthy and happy as possible, so it is our responsibility to ensure they are getting the right amount of daily exercise, fed a fresh diet that caters to their individual needs and to recognise when they are actually at an unhealthy weight.
“At VetChef we are committed to helping pet parents do the very best for their animals by helping to feed them a diet of all-fresh, natural produce through a bespoke recipe plan.
“These meals are all tailored to each individual animal’s needs, and are even designed to help with weight management, as they include the right amount of calories the pet needs based on their weight and body condition, which can then help them lose weight if necessary. The taste and texture of homemade recipes are also better than processed foods, so will help make a diet regime much more enjoyable for the dog.
“As part of our mission for healthier, natural diets for our pets, we’re now calling on all pet owners to avoid celebrating their overweight animals – and instead celebrate them looking fit and healthy.”
On Facebook one of the most popular groups celebrating overweight dogs is named The Galactic Empire Of Chonky Woofers. Only a year old it already has over 16,000 members.
On Instagram there are over 40,000 posts with the hashtag #chonkyboi.
#fatdog is the most popular TikTok hashtag with 72million views, followed by #chubbydog (10m) with #fatdogs (4.4m) in third.
VetChef is the brainchild of veterinary surgeon Joe Inglis who is a familiar face on the nation’s TV screens thanks to his appearances on The One Show and This Morning.
The free VetChef recipe app plans your dog’s recipes, and Buddy, the new VetChef pet food maker does all the hard work. The site also offers a variety of supplements, including an obesity supplement, K905, which contains L-carnitine that helps promote the conversion of fat into muscle.
The platform can also help with tackling pet obesity, as it allows owners to feed exactly the right level of calories their dog needs to achieve their ideal weight, as well as helping manage many chronic health conditions such as skin and digestive problems.
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