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While we all love a pet with character, a chubby dog or cat isn’t always something to smile at. What some pet owners might think of as ‘rounded’ may actually be animal obesity… and it’s something that could be a sign of, or lead to, serious health issues.
We know that your pets mean the world to you. As an owner, it’s up to you to play your part and look after them as best you can. So here’s our guide to animal obesity and the four key facts you should know.
It’s surprisingly common for pets to suffer from weight gain and obesity, so much so that many pet owners aren’t even aware their pets are obese.
If you’re unsure, one way to check is to take a good look at their shape. With dogs for instance, in most cases you should be able to see their waist when viewed from above, feel their ribs if you push gently along their ribcage (they should have some fat covering this area), and their abdomen should be taught and not hanging down.
We would also recommend you talk to our mobile vet who can give you the recommended healthy weight range for your animal’s age and breed. It’s the best way to confirm if your dog, cat, bunny or any other pet is at their optimum weight.
There are quite a few factors that might lead to weight gain in your pet.
In some cases, it could be a symptom related to an underlying health issue. Some breeds including dachshunds, beagles and basset hounds may be more prone to weight gain. Desexing can contribute to weight gain in pets because once a pet is desexed they need less food day-to-day. However, the health benefits of desexing are substantial for many pets. Each case is different so ask us for advice if you’re unsure how this applies to your pet.
Hands down the most common cause of animal obesity is overfeeding. It’s very easy to forget how small their tummies are and how little food your pet really needs. That’s why it’s very important to read the instructions on pet food carefully, or to speak to our home visit vet to get a tailored feeding plan that best suits your furry friend.
Animal obesity isn’t just about appearance. It can have a flow on affect, and that’s where the problems really lie. To start with, excess weight will make it harder for your pet to exercise, which only makes the issue worse.
Crucially, excess weight in dogs, cats and other family pets may lead to serious issues including heart failure and diabetes. It can contribute to issues including arthritis, urinary tract problems, skin conditions, poor general health and lethargy. Obese pets are also at greater risks of side effects associated with anaesthesia and surgery should they need an operation.
Above all, overweight animals aren’t going to feel their best. We all want our pets to be healthy and happy, so it is important to stay on top of weight management.
Fortunately, animal obesity is something that we may be able to help you with. Our home visit vet can provide nutritional advice, tailor a weight control program, recommend products and assess and monitor your pet at their next consultation or annual health check. If your dog or cat needs to lose weight, our program gives you a step by step guide for weight loss.
Our at-home vet services in Sydney will help your pet reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Please contact us to book in our home visit vet and help keep your pet happy and in great shape.