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Trackers to tackle puppy fat set to take off in 2017

Tuesday January 10th 2017

As New Year's resolutions prompt a surge in gym memberships, trackers measuring animal fitness are predicted to be the next big thing in pet gadgets, according to a market analyst firm.

CCS Insight is forecasting that major pet food chains will soon start giving away an animal-friendly version of the Fitbit to help owners keep on top of their dogs' and cats' fitness and control their weight.

Research by Pets at Home reveals the average UK dog is 22% overweight, and pets are suffering from not getting walked enough and lacking regular exercise because their owner is out at work every day.

Speaking to The Memo , CCS Insight's chief of research, Ben Wood, says the fitness gadget could also be used to gather information about a pets' weight and behaviours.

This is an opportunity not to be sniffed at, and Mars - the company that owns both Whiskas and Pedigree - is set to capitalise on the technology, buying pet fitness tracker group Whistle reportedly for more than $100m last year.

Mr Wood said: "A tracker could collect data on how active a dog is, how much it weighs and, for pet food companies, how much pet food needs to be provided for Pedigree to launch a monthly dog food subscription."

The pet food industry is worth billions in the UK and British dog owners spend an estimated £10.6 billion each year, according to data from American Express.

Copyright Press Association 2017