What is Obesity in Pets?
Obesity is an excess of body fat and is the most common nutritional disease in cats and dogs. An animal is considered obese when their body weight exceeds their optimum bodyweight by 15% or more. Obesity in the pet population is quite literally a growing problem! Obesity is simply caused by the intake of too much many calories energy compared to the amount of calories burned energy expended by an animal. Pets are not to blame; after all they don’t feed themselves! Owners consider pets as part of the family quite rightly, and have a tendency to use food to express affection for their pet.
Is my Pet Overweight & Does it Matter?
Overweight and obese pets will generally have more ailments and a shorter lifespan than those of optimal weight. Being overweight often reduces your pet’s enjoyment of life as it leads to a reduction of the pet’s physical abilities. It can cause or worsen the following conditions:
-Arthritis, hip dysplasia, spinal disc disease
-Rupture of ligaments
-Decreased exercise tolerance
-Lowered resistance to infectious diseases
-Gastrointestinal problems including flatulence & pancreatitis
-Increased surgical & anaesthetic risk
Keeping your pet at its ideal weight helps lessen the chances of these problems but how do you do this?
If my pet is overweight, what do I do?
The most important aspect of a successful weight reduction programme is to get all the family on board. Anything short of complete commitment from all the family will result in frustration and is a waste of time, effort and money.
Following the steps below will make it a lot easier to achieve the required weight loss:
-Begin by joining up to City Vet’s weight clinic
-Keep your pet out of the room when preparing food and when eating
-Weigh out their daily ration and split it into at least 3 meals to keep them satisfied
-Do not feed anything other than the daily ration
-If it difficult to stop your pet from begging for treats, hand feed them some of the nuts from their daily ration
-Take your dog for two 10-15 minute walks daily. Gradually increase the distance covered in the same length of time. Ensure your dog does not become unduly stresses or out of breath
-Weigh your pet on the weighing scales at City Vet every 2 weeks to monitor their weight loss
Phone City Vet on 061-419760 for more information on our weight clinic or to make an appointment to see how your pet measures up.