Weight loss can be hard for anyone, whether you are two or four legged. But losing weight and getting into shape can immensely improve your pet’s quality of life.
How Do Pets Become Overweight?
There are numerous factors that can increase the likelihood of weight gain within pets but, as with people, weight gain usually happens because the amount of calories consumed by the pet is greater than the amount of calories burned/used by the body.
Why Should My Pet Lose Weight?
Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue. Being overweight can seriously affect your pet’s long-term health and well-being because it can put your pet at risk of developing some serious medical conditions. When an animal is overweight it is no longer a question of “if” your pet will develop a condition secondary to the excess weight but “how soon and how serious” Some of the most common disorders associated with excess weight include;
- Arthritis, Joint/mobility issues
- Anal gland problems
- Breathing difficulties
- High blood pressure
- Incontinence (bitches)
- Skin/Coat Issues
- Ulcers / Pressure sores
Is Your Pet Overweight?
It is hard to identify if your pet is overweight and sometimes as an owner we can fail to notice gradual weight gain, it is often only during visits to the vets that obesity gets identified. But here are some top tips to identify if your dog or cat are carrying a little extra timber.
- No matter the breed, you should be able to feel all of your animal’s ribs without a thick layer of fat over them.
- An overweight pet will generally have no waist and no distinction between chest and stomach.
- They may pant when walking, walk a bit slower than before, or nap more than usual.
There are many factors which affect canine and feline weight management, it may not be just as simple as reducing the amount you feed them; diet type, activity level and age can all be key elements. Thankfully we are here to help – book in a free weight clinic and let our experts advise you on the best course of action.
Weight Clinics – What to expect?
Many pets are referred to this clinic by a vet, however, if you feel that your pet is overweight and would like some advice, please contact us and we will be happy to make an appointment for you. These clinics are provided free of charge to our clients.
Our Weight Clinics are managed by our registered veterinary nurses who will begin by using industry standard charts to identify the body condition score of your animal. Then you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your pet’s food intake and eating habits. We then ask you to keep a food diary for your pet over a week or so, which will enable our nurses to make a weight loss plan that is based on your pet’s lifestyle and individual requirements on your next visit. They will then be able to advise you on the best way for you to help your pet lose his or her excess weight and how to ensure they keep it off.
How Often and How Long?
Regular monitoring and weight checks are essential to ensure that your pet is losing weight at a safe rate and so that we can make any adjustments to your pet’s diet as necessary. Initially you will be asked to bring your pet to the surgery every 2 weeks, but once weight loss is steady these can be less frequent at every 3-4 weeks. Each session can take up to 30 minutes.
Helping your pet lose weight will require a commitment to the weight loss and overall fitness of your pet from the whole family, but is well worth the effort and is easier than you think.
Make An Appointment.
If you think your pet may be overweight please make an appointment for our free Weight Clinic by contacting us at any of our branches.