It is now officially the New Year – and with a New Year, comes New Year’s resolutions! It is essential that we consider the well-being of our furry companions at this time of year too. There’s no doubt that they would have taken any opportunity to make a grab for festive foods left too willingly in their reach over the Christmas holiday. Many animals will even be voluntarily fed naughty snacks by their owners, meaning that stealing won’t even be necessary! So how much damage can obesity actually have on your pet?
A study conducted by VetCompass shows that within their sample, 6.1% of dogs were obese, making it a common problem affecting our canine companions. Don’t forget that cats are just as prone to obesity as dogs.
This is again, likely due to them being given fatty foods and snacks that aren’t good for them and can even cause serious health issues.
Obesity will inevitably reduce your pet’s quality of life. They will be less keen to exercise and play, and this can even lead to more serious health issues, such as:
You can keep an eye on those extra inches that creep their way around your pet’s waistline by learning how to recognise the symptoms of obesity. One option is to weigh them regularly, monitoring and logging figures that may increase or decrease.
Another way of checking your pet’s body condition is to see how easy it is to feel the ribs. You should be able to slightly see the ribs and feel them when applying gentle pressure. You will know when your animal has become too plump for their own good when you can’t feel the ribs because of excess fat. For cats, alarm bells should also ring if you notice that they have a sagging abdominal fat pad.
You should also watch out for changes in your pet’s behaviour. Signs like constant panting, a lack of energy or frequent breaks during exercise could be a warning that your pet is carrying too much extra weight.
So when you’re at home lounging in your favourite fluffy slippers after the mayhem of Christmas, remember that a daily walk for your dog is just as important as it is any other time of year. Or if you’re still finding yourself busy with friends and family, a few moments of playtime and interaction with your cat would do them the world of good.
If you have any further questions related to your pet’s weight, please speak to a member of staff who will be able to give you information regarding Medivet’s weight clinics. By arranging regular weigh-ins, your vet will be able to analyse and monitor your pet’s current condition making sure that they are at their ideal weight.
For more information and advice regarding pet weight loss, please visit:
Posted January 1, 2016 in Pet Care Advice