Did you know that nearly 60% of dogs and 40% of cats in the UK are currently overweight or obese?
Being a little overweight can lower your pet’s quality of life and can affect their ability to perform natural behaviours such as grooming or playing. Like humans they can also suffer from many other associated diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, certain cancers, respiratory disease and many more.
Small everyday changes to your pet’s behaviour may also be noticeable at home, some of these include:
- Not wanting to jump on the sofa or bed anymore
- Difficulty using high sided litter trays
- Difficulty climbing the stairs
- Difficulty breathing
- Heavier snoring.
Your vet can help
Your vets can offer advice if you suspect your pet may be carrying a little extra weight. There are many different reasons our cats and dogs can become overweight so please don’t feel embarrassed or guilty. Your veterinary practice is there to help, so book a complimentary appointment with your clinic nurse today and they can show you how to recognise a healthy shape for your pet.
The type of advice your vets can offer varies and can include:
- Education on giving treats and using low calorie options
- Advice on the most suitable diet for your cat and dog, depending on their size and age
- Recommending interactive feeders or slow down bowls which encourage your cat and dog to work harder for their food. They also help to offer mental and physical stimulation.
Change in diet
A change in diet may be advised to assist with a safe weight loss; this could be based on your current regime or involve switching to a specially formulated diet. Prescription diet foods are high in fibre to help your pet feel fuller for longer. This helps to reduce begging behaviours and will also be lower in calories whilst still providing everything your pet needs from its food. Don’t worry though, just because it’s a diet food it doesn’t mean you necessarily feed less, sometimes the amounts are greater and the food is just as tasty for your pet.
If your pet is advised to go on a weight loss program then your veterinary practice is here to support you every step of the way. Weight clinics with a nurse include regular follow up appointments to monitor your pet’s progress. Even once your pet has reached an ideal shape and weight they will continue to advise you on the most appropriate diet and plan long term so the weight doesn’t sneak back up!
Just losing 6% of the excess bodyweight will help make your cat or dog feel brighter, more energetic and improve their mobility.
We all want to live longer and healthier lives so let’s take the first step in helping our pets do the same. Call your veterinary practice today and make your pet’s weight appointment to have their body condition and weight assessed. Within a few weeks you can start to see the difference.