An increasing number of our furry friends are struggling to keep the pounds off. A recent survey revealed that 45% of dogs and 40% of cats are overweight1! This is a serious problem, as just like us, overweight or obese pets are likely to have a reduced lifespan and are vulnerable to developing serious health problems, including:
So, it’s time for us pet owners to take control and help our pets to ‘fight the fat’ and get back to a healthy weight. To assist you on this journey, I have come up with some helpful tips and guidance on how to transform your porky pooch or fat cat back into a healthy hound or fit feline.
As a general rule, cats and dog are considered to be overweight if they are more than 15% heavier than their ideal weight and obese if they are 30% above their ideal weight. To find out how your pet is doing, it’s worth popping them down to the vets to be accurately weighed, they will also be able to advise you on what your pet’s ideal and healthy weight should be.
At home, you can also use a Body Condition Scoring (BCS) chart to evaluate how your pet is doing along the way. This is easy to do, and uses your pet’s visual appearance and feel to help you assess whether they are underweight, overweight or at their ideal weight. You can download a BCS chart for your pet for free by following this link:
Remember, it’s much easier to prevent obesity than to treat it, so keeping a close eye on your pet’s weight is really important.
A good place to start is to take a look at your pet’s lifestyle and be honest with yourself. Does their calorie intake (e.g. food and treats) exceed their calorie output (e.g. play and exercise)? If yes, then your pet will be at risk of storing those extra calories as fat.
However this is not the only cause and your pet’s weight problems could be a combination of factors, including:
The answer is yes. Your pet’s genes will influence their propensity to gain weight and extra vigilance over the amount of food and treats that we feed to the breeds listed below is therefore vital:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Our feline friends are no exception and Domestic Short Haired cats are also more at risk of being overweight.
PART 2: How to help your pet shed the pounds
Get started now and check out our range of healthy low-fat and reduced calorie foods and treats on Dogtor.vet www.dogtor.vet.