We are currently seeing a growing increase in the number of overweight and obese dogs and cats. Obesity in dogs and cats can result in various medical conditions as well as the risk of reducing the dog’s lifespan. Some of the serious health problems associated with obesity are-
- Respiratory problems
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Osteoarthritis and joint problems
The very first step in dealing with obesity in dogs and cats is to recognize and acknowledge that there is a problem. It seems that many of us are starting to see an overweight dog as “Normal” instead of recognizing that they need to lose some weight.
So how do you know if your dog’s overweight? The RSPCA report that you should be able to see and feel the outline of your dog or cats ribs without excess fat covering. If you are still unsure then contact your local vets and they will advise accordingly.
So how do we get our pets to lose weight? Well it’s rather simple! Reduce their calorie content and increase their exercise requirements. You can also swap to a calorie controlled diet or a low calorie diet. Cut down on their treats and replace high calorie treats with healthier treats like carrots or other veg. Many people don’t realize the calorie content of the treats they give their dogs. When you put it into perspective one chew can be as much as us having two chocolate biscuits.
Many vets will also offer free weighing clinics to enable you to monitor your pet’s weight. If you find that after cutting down the food by up to a third and increasing walks that your pooch is still not losing weight then it may be beneficial to pop to your vets so they can run some bloods.