Did you know obesity in the UK is now as much of a problem among our pets as in people? Sadly canine obesity is by far the most common nutritional disorder seen in dogs – caused simply by more energy being taken in than used, leading to persistent and potentially life-threatening energy surplus. This excess is stored mainly as fat, but other important contributing factors including age, sex, reproductive status, inactivity, genetics, food intake, highly palatable diet, treats, environment, lifestyle, and underlying diseases can all help increase to weight gain.

 

Signs of pet obesity

Signs of pet obesity can include struggling to feel/see your pet’s ribs, spine or waist line, to abdominal sagging or perhaps a bigger, rounder face. Fat pets commonly reluctant to exercise with overweight dogs often lagging behind, panting, appearing both tired, and even ‘lazy’.

 

How can I prevent my dog from becoming overweight?

As responsible pet owners, we must always prevent pet obesity by feeding a healthy diet as well as avoiding scraps or leftovers, always checking feeding guides, weighing out recommended amounts, and ensuring every family member has clear pet-feeding instructions too.

Remember when introducing a new food to always do it slowly over a few days. It’s vital cats and dogs maintain a healthy weight, as obesity can commonly lead to diabetes, heart disease, depression, and joint problems e.g. arthritis. Obese cats are typically harder to slim down being less likely to be taken for a walk, etc, so feed them Meowing Heads and encourage appropriate exercise.

 

What do I do if my pet is overweight?

If you suspect your pet is overweight, please make an appointment with your vet ASAP as there are several things you can do to help.

  1. Gradually changing feeding habits
  2. Increasing exercise
  3. Assessing food type/intake
  4. Developing a sensible feeding plan and food diary
  5. Regular vet visits for free weight checks recording your pet’s progress

High-protein, high-fibre but low-fat diets are typically recommended for weight loss, giving dogs or cat the feeling of being full with more energy. We recommend Barking Heads Fat Dog Slim for dogs or Fat Cat Slim for cats! You’ll soon notice that when your pet loses weight, they’ll be much happier and keener to exercise. Why not start right away by replacing fatty dog treats with healthier, low fat treat alternatives or raw carrot sticks? Or even planning some agility sessions? For more advice about canine or feline obesity and how to safely help your pet lose weight, call your vets and make an appointment before it’s too late – your pet will love you even more and live a longer and happier life because of it!

 

Is my dog overweight? Read our blog by Vet Dr Scott Miller and Barking Heads to find out more!

 

*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health*