1 in 3 dogs and 1 in 4 cats in the UK are overweight (PDSA 2014).
The most common reasons for this are:
- Too many treats.
- A lack of exercise.
Obesity can lead to health issues such as heart disease and diabetes as well as putting excess strain on joints.
How Can I Manage My Pet’s Weight?
- Activity feeders are a great way of encouraging exercise and movement and will slow down pets who eat too quickly.
- If you struggle for time to walk your dog why not look into local dog walking agencies? On a short walk a dog can get plenty of exercise if you take a ball and encourage them to chase after it.
- Hydrotherapy is a great way of encouraging gentle exercise in very overweight pets or those with joint issues. It puts less strain on the joints whilst allowing the pet to exercise.
- Cats can easily get bored of their toys if they see them all the time. It is much better to have a box of toys and rotate them every few days to keep a cat interested.
- Putting a cat’s food up higher encourages them to climb to get the food. You could also scatter the food on the floor or on the stairs as this will also encourage exercise.
- Encouraging your cat to play for a couple of minutes at a time. Any longer and cats tend to lose interest. Shorter bursts of play several times a day will help improve their mobility.
- Weighing out food daily ensures the correct amount of food being fed and eliminates overfeeding. This can occur if you use a cup or a scoop to feed your pet and are feeding above the recommended amount.
- Special diet foods are available which help your pet to lose weight safely. We can advise you on the best one for your individual pet to get the best results.
- The Pet Slimmer Club at Pride Veterinary Centre is available to help your pet shed those excess pounds with the support of our qualified staff.