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Pet obesity – diet tips

It’s not only us who binge at Christmas, our pets are the beneficiaries of lots of leftover treats and it does them no good at all.

pet health

Pet obesity – If you fear your hound is too round then you aren’t alone – it is thought more than half of dogs and cats in the UK are overweight. Pooch and Tiddles have neither the inclination nor the willpower to tackle this heavyweight problem, so here are some diet tips to help pet owners take action.

Pet obesity is not an issue to be taken lightly. Whether your pet is obese or slightly overweight – it matters. A weight problem can affect a pet’s quality of life and lead to straining of the joints, causing arthritis, as well as internal illnesses like diabetes, liver disease and heart disease.

Liver function can also be impaired by fatty deposits. Heat tolerance is reduced, which can cause problems in summer. Skin problems increase, particularly in folds of skin. Fatty tumours are more common.

In surgery and anaesthesia, obese animals require more anaesthetic, which cannot be easily removed from their systems if liver and kidney function is impaired, plus there’s increased risk of respiratory or cardiac problems, and of wound infection, wounds splitting open and blood clots. Obesity seems to increase an animal’s chance of developing the condition diabetes mellitus.

obese cat
Take note of whether your cat has become more sedentary, or spends all day sleeping

Signs your cat is obese 

1. If you feel behind your cat’s front legs, you should easily be able to feel his/her ribs.

2, Look at your cat from above – if s/he is the correct weight, you should be able to see a clearly defined waist.

3, If your cat has a pendulous stomach which swings when they walk or even touches the ground, they are probably overweight.

4 Another sign of excess pounds is if your cat has an accumulation of fat around his/her face.

5 Another cause or a consequence of weight gain in cats is a change in character. Take note of whether your cat has become more sedentary, or spends all day sleeping.

obese dog
Fat beagle yawns as he waits for his next snack.

Signs your dog is overweight

1 You should easily be able to feel your dog’s ribs. If you can’t, it may be overweight.

2. When looking at your dog from above, you should be able to see a clearly defined waist.

3. Look along your dog’s back – it should be nice and curved. If it looks more like a tabletop, your pet might need to go on a diet

4. Have a look at the base of the tail. If your pet is the correct weight, it ought to be dearly defined and you should be able to feel the bones inside.

5. Think about your dog’s character. Is he slower than he used to be? Can’t jump out the car as well as he once could? This could be an indication that he is overweight.

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Last modified: February 18, 2021

Written by 8:22 pm Pets