The number of overweight pets is unfortunately growing in the UK. If left unchecked, what started as a bit of excess weight can lead to obesity which brings with it some very serious health issues for your pet including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
It is therefore important to keep an eye on your pet’s weight and if you think they may be overweight, address it straight away. This will help ensure that your pet enjoys a long, happy and healthy life.
How Can I Tell If My Pet is Overweight?
There are a number of checks you can use to establish whether your pet is overweight.
1. You should be able to see and feel the outline of your pet’s ribs and be able to feel your cat and rabbit’s spine and hip bones too. They should feel rounded though, not sharp which would indicate an underweight animal.
2. Your dog or cat’s waist should be clearly visible from above although if it’s a long haired breed, this may be more difficult.
3. A dog’s belly should be tucked up when viewed from the side and a cat’s shouldn’t be sagging down.
I Think My Pet is Overweight, What Can I Do?
Measure portions – Check that you are feeding your pet the correct portion size. Follow advice on the food packaging regarding size, age and lifestyle. If your pet is on the chubby side, give them slightly less until they are looking slimmer.
Get them moving more – Increase the length of your dogs walk or add another walk to your usual routine. Even a few more minutes playing in the park can help burn calories. It’s not just kittens that are playful, older cats can be encouraged to play and a couple of 10-15 minute play sessions with your cat can help with weight issues.
Manage treats – Keep an eye on the type of treats your pet is given. Human food given as treats can cause your pet to pile on the pounds so it’s better to stick to those specifically designed for animals, remembering to limit the number given.
Don’t assume they are hungry – Just because they look as though they are begging for your food, it doesn’t necessarily mean they want it. They may be after your attention so try a pat on the belly or scratch behind the ear instead of giving tidbits.
If you have concerns over whether your pet is a healthy weight, please get in touch. We can carry out a health check and recommend a weight reduction programme if necessary.
St Kitts Veterinary Centre: 01252 844044
Basingstoke Veterinary Centre: 01256 844944
Crookham Park Veterinary Centre: 01252 913990
Firgrove Veterinary Centre: 01252 877799
We are running a free, educational evening for our clients on Thursday 30th January 2020 at our Firgrove Veterinary Practice in Yateley. Come and join us for an evening of simple, powerful advice on weight management for your pet, delivered by people who care and aren’t going to pass judgement. We look forward to seeing you there!