How to beat the bulge on your pet!

We are becoming increasingly aware that our sedentary life style is having an impact on our health. Obesity rates and illnesses caused by obesity including diabetes are on the rise. A variety of factors can influence why people gain weight, including medical, emotional and economic conditions.  Of course in simple terms obesity is the result of caloric intake exceeding energy output.

Obesity can be complex when it comes to people but in the case of pets, according to research undertaken by the University of Sydney, only 5% of weight gain in dogs and cats is medically related, the rest is caused by simply too much food.

In this study that was undertaken by the Sydney University school of veterinary science and utilised data from some 2661 dogs it was found that:

  • Approximately 41% of dogs were either classed as overweight or obese.
  • Weight gain increased with age up to about 10 years old before declining
  • Dogs living in rural and semi-rural areas were of greater risk of obesity than dogs living in urban areas.

There are several factors that are more likely to put your pet risk of becoming obese.

  • Female dogs are more likely to be overweight than male dogs
  • Desexed dogs are more likely to become overweight
  • Dogs living in only pet households
  • Dogs with owners who are overweight or less active

Often we hear pet owners say “I can’t resist those eyes” or “my dog look’s happy when I give it a treat.”  Unfortunately what they are doing is potentially shortening the life of their pet and in the long term giving it a poorer quality of life as it will be more prone to joint issues and heart issues amongst other potential problems.

How can you tell if your pets overweight?

Aside from consulting with your vet, an easy way of working out if your pet is overweight is that you should be able to the last rib on your dog’s rib cage and the body should then taper towards the hind area of the dog.

Check that your pet is in the correct weight range!

What can you do if your pet is overweight?

As mentioned earlier in 95% of cases, excessive weight is simple to much food and too little energy expended. 

Here are so simple tips:

Weigh your pet
That way you know the starting weight and regularly visit the vet or a store like We Know Pets that has scales so you can monitor the weight loss.
Look for low calorie options
Switch to a lower calorie food, look food foods that are 6.5% or less in fat, or alternatively look for foods that work on the metabolism of the pet like Hills Science Diet perfect Weight.  Measure the food you are feeding out to make sure your using the right amount.
Keep the treats light
Switch to low calorie treats such as dried chicken, duck or roo and avoid human foods.  Toast and other table scraps such as pasta and rice add to weight gain, even in small amounts.
Get your pet exercising
If your pet is massively overweight, take small slow walks to start with and gradually build up the pace and the distance over several weeks.  Both you and your pet will feel better and get healthier. 

Finally love you pet with pats and praise not treats. Interaction and recognition will make your pet love you just as much as tasty treats.

 For further information, call in & see us in the store, or email us:

4/72-76 Station St Bowral NSW 2576
PH: 024862 1175
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