Obesity is one of the most common nutritional disorders seen in both cats and dogs. Animals that are overweight are predisposed to a range of health problems, including:
- Cardiovascular disease (heart disease).
- Degenerative joint and orthopedic disease (including arthritis).
- Joint stress or musculoskeletal pain.
- Respiratory problems.
- Cancer and tumours.
- Skin problems.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Reproductive disorders.
- Decreased quality of life.
- Shorter life expectancy.
So, what causes obesity?
We love our pets a lot, but sometimes we can love them too much. By giving in to those adorable begging eyes and giving them extra treats, we are potentially causing them harm. Overeating and lack of exercise are the leading causes of obesity and ones that we luckily have control over.
There can also be medical factors that could contribute to your furry friend weight issues; it is therefore important to talk to one of our vets before you embark on your pet’s weight loss journey.
How do I know if my pet is overweight?
There are a few signs that your pet might be overweight, these can include:
- Difficulty feeling your pet’s ribs.
- Little to no waist.
- A reluctance to exercise.
- A waddle to their walk.
Oh no! I think my pet is overweight. What do I do now?
If you have been a client of the clinic you will know that one of the first things we do at each visit it take a weight – its recorded on your pets file. We can look back at this weight profile and make some informed decisions about whether weight is an issue.
There are also significant medical issues that can directly cause weight gain in dogs. Blood tests to rule out these conditions are an important part of the weight loss journey. Medications may be able to be used to speed up weight loss.
Finally, the staff have experience with a range of specifically tailored diets to help make the weight loss journey easier.