It seems common these days to hear stories and see statistics about the growing level of obesity in our population, especially our children. What we don’t hear about as much, is the same thing happening to our pet population.
Obesity is becoming a major problem in our pets and is leading to an insurgence of disease conditions such as; Heart Disease, Pancreatitis and Diabetes.
Most obesity is caused by over eating. About 5% of overweight animals are overweight due to a medical condition, but the rest are simply eating too many calories and not getting enough exercise.
The best approach to this problem is to avoid it by controlling an animal’s intake when they are young. There are no hard and fast rules about this, but remember, a dog over 12 months old does not require more than one meal a day. Due to different metabolic rates dogs and cats are adequately fed on what seems to us to be a very small amount of food. To determine the amount suitable for your pet simply watch their body condition and cut back if they are gaining weight.
If your pet is already too heavy, then it is very important you bring them back to a normal weight. Here are a few tips to help:
This is an excellent time of year to increase your pets exercise levels as the weather is cooler and the rain has abated. Simply start off slowly and increase the time and intensity of exercise each week.
When thinking about diet, think low fat dog foods. Many commercial preparations are made in low calorie and low fat formulations specifically designed to control your pets weight.
Watch the bones. Bones contain large amounts of fat and considerable calorie counts so if you do give your dog a bone remember this, it is almost a meal on its own so don’t double up with dinner as well.
Weigh your dog regularly. It is very hard to judge your pet’s weight when you see them all the time. Regular weighing helps you to easily plot your pet’s weight loss progress. Just drop into the surgery and we can weigh your pet and record the weight to help you keep track.
If this is all a bit daunting we can help! We can determine what your pet’s target weight should be, and work out a plan on how to get there.
So what are you waiting for? Become your pets’ personal trainer!