Management Plans of Overweight Pets

Recent studies have shown that up to a third of Australian cats and dogs are now considered overweight. Dogs are more likely than cats to have weight problems, and pets that are older, neutered or live in single-pet households are also more at risk. Unfortunately, certain breeds are more prone to obesity but this doesn’t mean it can’t be avoided.

Here’s some information on diagnosing and treating obesity in your pets.

Is My Pet Overweight?

To check if your pet is overweight, start by feeling around their ribcage and spine. In a healthy animal, you should be able to feel their bone structure through only a thin layer of fat. If you can’t find the ribcage at all then you definitely have an overweight pet.

 

If you know the optimal weight for your pet’s age and breed, then you can weigh them at home. Step on a scale to read your own weight and then step back on while holding your pet – their weight will be the difference between the two sums. As a general rule, if your pet is up to 15% over their optimal weight they are considered overweight. Above 15% is categorised as obese.

 

What Are the Risks?

An overweight pet has a shorter life expectancy and a poorer quality of life overall than a pet of a healthy weight. The health risks to an overweight animal include arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and respiratory problems. In addition to these, carrying that extra weight around will cause excessive wear on your pet’s joints and ligaments. Not only will your pet be less happy but it could leave you with huge costs in surgical bills and additional veterinary visits.

 

Step One – Diet

 The first step in managing your pet’s weight is to get everyone in the household on board with the diet plan. Make sure no one is going to feel sorry for your overweight pet and sneak it extra treats or supplementary food as this will make it harder to achieve weight loss goals. Get advice from your vet on how much energy your furry friend needs from food and make sure they are still getting the nutrition they need while on their new diet. Portion control is an easy way to lower calorie intake so try cutting daily food intake by 20-30% as a first step. For help and guidance, sign up for Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital’s free weight loss clinics for pets.

 

Step Two – Exercise

The second part of the weight management plan is to increase exercise. For dogs, this is a simple matter of taking longer and more frequent walks, but for cats, it’s a little trickier. Try adding height to your cat’s play area with vertical scratching posts and playing areas. Invest in a few more toys and encourage the whole family to play with the cat as much as possible. Bring out its natural instinct to hunt using lights, wands and other moving objects. Make meal times into an aerobic adventure by dividing food into smaller portions and hiding them around the house.

 

Maintaining Healthy Weight

Once you begin to achieve success in your pet’s weight management plan, it’s crucial to maintain this new routine. Continue to keep treats to a minimum and get as much exercise as possible. Getting the whole family into the habit of looking after your pet’s health is essential for maintaining weight loss.

If you’re interested in discussing a diet plan for your pet, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital providing veterinary services to Port Kennedy and surrounding Perth suburbs now or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Keep Your Pet Warm This Winter

Your pet may have a furry coat to keep warm, but for most breeds, this isn’t enough to ensure they stay comfortable throughout the winter.

Read on for our top tips on keeping your pets safe and warm this winter.

  • Bedding

For optimum comfort, your pet’s bed (whether inside or outside) should be raised off the ground. This prevents the bed from coming into direct contact with cold concrete, timber or tiles. Add extra blankets or bedding into their sleeping area for warmth over winter. If your pet is elderly, particularly if they’re thin or they suffer from arthritis, then they may need extra heating to remain comfortable. Consider purchasing a snuggle pad, which is heated in a microwave and can then be placed under bedding to keep your pet warm all night.

  • Clothing

Puppies and older dogs find it harder to control their body temperature. When it gets really cold, a canine sweater or coat can provide extra protection against cold or wet weather. Make sure your dog feels comfortable in whatever they wear and is still able to run and play freely.

  • Grooming

Make sure you keep up a good grooming regime through the winter. Avoid shaving or trimming your dog’s hair as their long fur keeps them warm. Whenever they need bathing, this should be done inside in warm water. Your pet’s coat will need to be brushed or combed regularly in the colder, wetter months to avoid it becoming matted as fur in bad condition provides less insulation.

  • Time Outside

On a particularly cold day, don’t be afraid to take a shorter walk than usual. As long as your dog is still getting daily exercise there’s no point risking you and your dog becoming too cold. If you have space inside, then encourage your pet to enjoy some indoor play time to keep them warm and maintain fitness.

  • Car Travel

You wouldn’t leave your pet alone in a hot car and the same goes for cold weather. Once the car heating is turned off, the temperature can drop quickly so avoid leaving pets alone for long periods.

  • Food

If your pet spends a lot of time outside they may need more food in the winter as they will be using up calories trying to stay warm. However, for many indoor animals, this is not necessary and overfeeding can cause them to become overweight. Talk to your vet about your pet’s individual energy needs. Make sure your cat or dog has access to unfrozen water outdoors throughout the year.

  • Outside Shelter

If you have an outdoor pet, then it’s important to provide them with adequate shelter. A kennel should have a sloped roof and dry bedding and offer protection against the rain. If possible, it’s better for your pet to move inside for the coldest months in order to ensure their health and happiness.

For more information or to make a veterinary appointment, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

The Importance of Pet Nutrition

Good nutrition is just as important for your pets as it is for the rest of your family. Nutritional requirements for your pet depending on their age, breed, size and health and will change over time. To keep your pets as happy and healthy as possible, follow our guidelines below.

 

Commercial vs Home Made Foods

Commercial foods are designed to meet all of your pet’s needs. Most include a mixture of meat, grains, vegetables and vitamins. If you prefer to feed your pet raw food then that’s fine too – just make sure it provides the right combination of energy, proteins, healthy fats and other necessary nutrients for your pet’s stage of life. Dry foods are good for the teeth while wet foods provide additional moisture to prevent dehydration.

 

Speak to your vet about the best feeding option, but in general, the choice of food is down to the personal preferences of you and your pet.

 

Does My Pet Need to Diet?

In Australia, one in three cats and dogs is overweight. Pets in this situation live shorter and less active lives than their fitter counterparts. Heavy pets tend to be less playful and energetic and will physically interact with their families less, spending more time lying around. Carrying extra weight also puts extra pressure on their limbs, joints and the heart.

 

If you suspect your pet is overweight then it’s important to do something about it now. Carrying just a few extra kilos can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and joint problems, among other complications. You can do a basic check for obesity at home by seeing how easily you can feel your pet’s ribs – if they are difficult to feel then it’s time for a visit to the vet.

 

How Do I Put My Pet On a Diet?

Weight loss for your pet shouldn’t be too tricky. The keys to success include the right advice from your veterinary healthcare team and a commitment from you and your family.

 

The ideal weight for your cat or dog will be calculated based on its size, age and breed. Just like for humans, it’s important not to cause any extreme weight loss – a safe amount would be around 3-5% body weight loss per month. Once you know what you’re aiming for, you can start to feed your pet smaller portions of its normal food or use special lower-calorie pet food. You should also increase the amount of exercise your furry friend is getting every day. Sign up for the free weight loss clinic at Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital for help every step of the way.

 

Treats

Dogs and cats love treats just as much as we do! There’s no reason that treats can’t be part of a healthy diet for your pet. Just make sure you pay attention to what they’re eating and make sure treats don’t make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake. Instead of buying snacks at the supermarket, try treating your pet to fresh vegetables or fruit snacks such as green beans or banana slices, or bigger snacks like baby carrots, watermelon or apples for dogs. Just make sure you avoid anything that’s high in fat or sugar and skip anything that could damage your pet’s teeth.

 

If you’re interested in discussing a diet plan for your pet, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Is Micro chipping compulsory for cats and dogs in WA?

Did you know that in Western Australia it is compulsory for all cats and dogs to be microchipped?

Let’s look closer at microchipping for Western Australian pets so you can understand more about your responsibilities and what the process entails.  If you own a cat or dog in Western Australia. it’s compulsory as per Australian law to have your pet microchipped in most states and territories in Australia. The only states that do not require microchips are South Australia and the Northern Territory. Visit RSPCA website here and find more about regulations in your state as age limits and registration of your pet vary for each state.

 

What is Microchipping?

 Microchipping can be completed quickly and easily by your vet at the clinic. With no more fuss or pain than a vaccination, a small microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, will be implanted just under the skin at the back of your pet’s neck.

Once the chip has been implanted, it is able to be scanned, with details such as your pet’s name, your contact address and your phone number existing on a national database. This way, if your cat or dog ever wanders and gets lost, loses their collar, or is even stolen, their microchip can be read by vets, animal shelters and local councils who can then easily get in touch with you. You must remember to update your details with the database if you move house or change the phone number.

At What Age Must Cats and Dogs Be Microchipped?

Under Cat Act 2011, Sections 14 & 23 all cats over the age of 6 months and Dog Act 1976 dogs over 3 months must be microchipped.

While microchipping is not compulsory when the dog comes into your ownership, but recent changes to the Dog Act require microchipping for all dogs in Perth and WAby November 1, 2015.  It’s best to arrange their microchipping while your kitten or puppy is still young, for their security and your peace of mind.

Do You Need to Microchip Your Pet if They Are Unwell?

If your pet is unwell, your vet may not think microchipping is a good idea for them at the time. If microchipping could adversely affect the health and welfare of your pet, your vet may issue you with an exemption certificate that you can take to your local government.

 

Microchipping Your Cat or Dog in Port Kennedy

At Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital, microchipping is included in our range of popular and affordable wellness packages for your pet. With specifically tailored packages for cats, dogs, puppies or kittens, these packages provide regular preventative care for the health of your pet. As well as being kept safe and secure by their microchip, your pet will be able to receive regular check-ups to ensure ongoing good health, preventing the risks of illness and disease.

If your cat or dog not microchipped, it’s time to see a vet. Do you need to have your kitten or puppy microchipped? To protect your furry friend or to learn more about the process, simply book an appointment with Port Kennedy Vet Hospital veterinarian today.

Do you need to have your kitten or puppy microchipped? To protect your furry friend or to learn more about the process, simply book an appointment with Port Kennedy Vet Hospital veterinarian today and learn about our full range of microchipping services.

The Benefits of Pet Insurance

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital Puppy Preschool

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital Puppy PreschoolWhen you become the owner of a cat or dog, you become responsible for the health and wellbeing of your companion for life.

With no “Medicare” available in the pet world, pet owners are responsible for paying the full costs of medical care for their furry family members. Pet insurance helps takes away the financial stress when serious injury or illness occur, especially when bills can range into the thousands of dollars.

Read on for more information about pet insurance and the benefits it can bring to you and your pet.

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance has become increasingly popular in Australia in recent years, providing many owners with much-needed peace of mind for their pet’s wellbeing – as well as their own wallets.

Accidents, illnesses and other medical emergencies are an all too common occurrence for cats and dogs and can lead to some very expensive vet bills. When an animal emergency arises entirely unexpected, it can really take a hit on a pet owner’s bank account.

With pet insurance, you’ll always know that the quality of healthcare your pet receives isn’t limited by finances.

The Importance of Preventative Vet Care

Preventative healthcare is a veterinary approach that promotes regular health checks, vaccinations, dental care and nutrition as a way to keep your pets as healthy as possible. This can significantly reduce the need for emergency treatments or surgeries, including dental – which can be very expensive for pet owners.

By making sure your pet has regular visits to the veterinarian, you’ll be aware of any changes to your pet’s health and detect any potential problems. This allows cats and dogs to be treated sooner rather than later, increasing their comfort and overall health and saving you money further down the track.

 

Protect Your Pet Insurance with Port Kennedy 

At Port Kennedy Veterinary animal Hospital, we strongly encourage all cat and dog owners to take out pet insurance. We offer affordable pet insurance for cats, dogs, kittens and puppies – specifically tailored for your pet’s needs.

With PetPlan insurance, you’ll take advantage of full coverage, no hassle claims, coverage of chronic conditions, specialised treatment and complementary therapies.

Vets near me?

Book an appointment to talk to our veterinarian in Port Kennedy, Rockingham about pet insurance. Your local vet clinic providing quality care for your pets and dedicated to providing high-quality wellness packages for your cat or dog, ensuring ongoing regular preventative care.