The answer to this question is unfortunately yes. Cats and dogs in Australia are more overweight than ever, with up to one third of pets needing help with weight management in order to remain healthy. The ideal weight of your animal will depend on its breed, age and lifestyle but as an owner, it’s usually easy to tell if your pet is over the weight it should be.
Why is my Pet Overweight?
As a pet owner, you have a responsibility to monitor your animal’s health, but this doesn’t always mean that it’s your fault your pet is overweight. Dogs are more likely than cats to have weight problems, and certain breeds are more likely to become obese than others. After your pet is neutered it is common for it to put on some additional weight, and older animals are more likely to struggle than younger ones. Animals in single-pet households also tend to be heavier – it seems a little competition between pets is healthy!
Why Does It Matter if My Pet is Overweight?
Carrying extra weight around can unfortunately affect many aspects of its health. The strain of the additional pounds puts extra pressure on joints and ligaments which causes extra wear and can make fractures and damage more likely. The risk of your pet developing a range of conditions including diabetes, heart disease and respiratory issues is significantly increased and their life expectancy will inevitably be shortened.
Take Action – Diet and Exercise
Your first step towards having a healthier pet is reassessing its diet. Speak to your vet and calculate how much energy your pet actually needs per day based on its breed, size, age, weight and usual amount of exercise. You might be surprised at how much you can safely cut down on your dog or cat’s food intake! When considering portion control, make sure your pet is still getting all of the nutrients it needs with a well-balanced meal programme. Once meals are under control – it’s time to get outside! Take your dog for longer walks and encourage it to run around as much as possible by throwing toys and balls, or playing with other friendly dogs. If you’re trying to help your cat lose weight, then it’s time to get the whole family involved by playing lots of games and turning meal times into a treasure hunt!
Get Some Specialist Help
If you want to manage your pet’s weight in the healthiest and most efficient way possible then you should come to one of Port Kennedy Vet’s free weight loss clinics. At these sessions, our vets can provide you with professional advice on sensible weight loss targets and how to achieve them. Our priority is the health of your pet which is why we offer our clients this service for free, whether your pet is already obese or simply showing signs of becoming overweight.
To arrange a visit to one of our free weight loss clinics, call the Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital team today on 08 6555 5149 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.