Is your pet’s weight a growing concern?
Like humans, excess fat in animals can pose serious health risks. We know it’s tempting to treat your best friend every time they give you puppy eyes, but it’s better for them long-term to limit their food-related luxuries.
If you have noticed that your pet is getting a bit soft around the middle, speak with your local Greencross Vet about a tailored weight loss program.
What is pet obesity?
Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder seen in cats and dogs. It’s estimated that over 40% of Australia’s pets are overweight.
Causes of pet obesity
Certain breeds of animals are predisposed to becoming heavier-set as they grow and age. However, there are ways that we can control weight gain and ensure our pets are as fit, energetic and happy as possible.
Most obesity in pets is caused simply because they are fed more calories than they need. This, in combination with a lack of exercise, means the excess calories are stored as fat.
Overweight pets are likely to:
- live a less active and shorter life
- develop joint and mobility problems
- develop skin problems and a lower resistance to infection
- be at greater risk during surgery
- be disinterested in exercise and play
How do I know if my pet has a weight problem?
If you answer yes to any of the ‘Weight Quiz’ questions below, or if you think your pet is not at its optimum body condition, you may want to talk to your local Greencross Vets team. Greencross Vets can assist with a professional weight management program that can be tailored to your pet’s specific needs.
Weight Quiz Questions
- Do you have difficulty feeling your pet’s ribs?
- Is there little or no ‘waist’?
- Do you give your pet table scraps or leftovers?
- Is your pet reluctant to exercise?
- Does your pet seem to tire easily with activity?
- Does your pet waddle when it walks?
- Does your pet keep eating so long as there is food in the bowl?
- Has your pet been desexed?
- Have you been told your pet is overweight?
Identifying if your pet has a weight problem is essential for their health and wellbeing and the key to preventing health risks associated with excess weight.
Health risks associated with overweight pets:
- heart disease
- susceptibility to infections
- diabetes mellitus
- neurological disorders
- increased surgical and anaesthetic risk
- respiratory problems
- earlier onset of joint problems e.g. arthritis
- skin problems
- reproductive disorders
If your pet has a weight problem, (including being underweight), seek help from your local Greencross Vets team. We offer weight loss and management programs tailored specifically to your pet’s needs. Together, we can help them reach and maintain their optimal body weight.