The New Year is upon us and as you may begin your new year’s resolution to get healthier, lose weight and get fit, how about your pet(s)?
Obesity is one of the most common nutritional problems in dogs and cats. Surplus of body fat is related with many health problems. About half of our dogs and cats are overweight to some degree. Overweight pets can suffer from physical illnesses and their life span is often reduced as well as their quality of life.
Some health risks associated with being overweight:
- Heart and respiratory disease
- Joint disease (e.g. arthritis)
- Ruptured ligaments (e.g. cranial cruciate ligament)
- Liver disease
- Reduced healing and response to infection
7 Tips for successful weight reduction and management:
- Start consistent exercise or increase existing exercise regime
- Hire someone to walk your dog or play with your cat if you work full time
- Do not feed anything extra other than the pet food prescribed
- Keep your pet out of the room when preparing and eating food
- Nominate one person in charge of feeding to eliminate overfeeding
- Treats should be kept to a sensible level, offer low-calorie treats such as raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, peas, cucumbers, watermelon).
- Try and make sure that your pet doesn’t steal any food from children’s hands!
We will explore dogs and cats exercise suggestions in Part 2 – Happy New Year and to a Healthy & Happy Pet!
Jones, E. M. (2007). BSAVA Manual of Practical Veterinary Nursing (2007 ed.). Quedgeley, p21-22 Gloucester, UK: British Small Animal Veterinary Association.
Disclaimer: This Individual article is based upon the opinion of the respective author, who retains full copyright. This information is not intended as medical advice. There are several veterinary practices specialising in Diet & Nutrition including Weight Loss, we would encourage you to make your own pet health care decisions based upon your research and in corporation with a qualified pet health care professional.