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Thursday 2 October 2014

World's first dog pedometer goes on sale to tackle pet obesity

Published 29/11/2012 | 13:30

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A pedometer measuring the number of daily steps taken by dogs has gone on sale in Japan to tackle rising rates of pet obesity.

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The Fujitsu Wandant, which uses the same sensory technology made popular by sleep and exercise apps for humans on smartphones, keeps owners updated on their pets' daily exercise routines.

As diets have become more meat-based and fatty in the East Asian country, so too have the eating habits of their pets, where in a recent survey of dog owners by a pet food manufacturer, 21.3pc of dog owners believed their dogs were "somewhat chubby" and 28pc said their dogs were "fat".

The Japanese are so worried for the health of their animals that a new Bill aiming to ensure the safety of pet foods for dogs and cats has been drafted by MPs.

According to Fujitsu, the Wandant tag aims to tackle the growing problem by measuring dogs' steps, shivering, and temperature changes. Data is then stored on the pedomoeter and stored on a website for owners.

A spokesman for Fujitsu commented: "Once online, the data are presented graphically on a custom website that makes trends in the dog's activities easy to understand at a glance. Owners can add additional information, such as food volume, stool conditions, and current weight using a diary feature on the website."

The percentage of Japanese households with dogs stands at 17.7pc and the average dog now lives for 13.3 years, according to government statistics.

More than half of US dogs and cats now overweight or obese, and a third of UK pets face the same problems of breathlessness, diabetes risk and strain injuries associated with being overweight.

Jennifer O’Mahoney Telegraph.co.uk

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