Did you know that obesity occurs in nearly half of our dog and cat populations in Ireland?
It is a serious health risk causing exercise problems, breathing difficulties, heart issues, joint problems, diabetes mellitus and many other diseases.
But how do you know if your pet is overweight?
You should be able to feel the bones of the spine when stroking down the back. You should be able to feel the ribs easily, but they should not be easily visible. When looking down onto your pet, your pet’s shape should be like that of an hourglass: wide chest, narrow waist, wide pelvis. And when you are looking from the side, it should look triangular with the deepest part being the chest and narrowing to the back end of your pet. If you don’t find these landmarks on your dog or cat, then the chances are high that your pet is overweight.
What are the reasons for being overweight?
Overfeeding is the most common cause. This can be either by giving too much food, too many treats and leftovers or due to relative overfeeding – when the pet is not exercising as much as before, but the amount of food is not adjusted accordingly. The problem is that our pets get lazier the more overweight they are getting and therefore don’t burn off their energy intake appropriately.
Rarely, metabolic diseases such as hypothyroidism can be blamed for obesity.
Why do I need to let my overweight pet lose weight?
Because if you don’t, your pet will suffer! It is proven that obesity causes the above-mentioned conditions, it has a massive impact on your pet’s quality of life and will shorten your pet’s life expectancy.
What can you do?
An easy way of starting your pet’s weight reduction is by stopping the giving of treats and titbits. However, most pets will need special low-calorie pet food and an exercise plan.
Besides these dietary changes, it is important to re-train your pet. Many pets have learned to beg for food, making it sometimes very difficult to resist, and it is vital to stop your pet’s begging if you want to be successful. Be tough and don’t cave in!
As much as it sounds like a straightforward thing, it is not. In fact, many clients give up and just accept that their pet is overweight. Please don’t do this. Yes, it can take months to get to the ideal weight, but obesity is seriously affecting your pet’s quality of life and life expectancy, so please commit to your pet’s dietary plan. The good news is that it will get easier the more your pet loses weight as their energy level will pick up and it will be easier to lose weight!
Call us for a FREE appointment with our nurse to assess your pet’s weight and to give you advice and guidance throughout the course of the diet. Most successful clients are the ones who come to see us for monthly weight checks and advice from our nurse.
Call now for your appointment on 071 963 1043.