Obesity in our pets

By Anita, Ansell, Veterinary Nurse

(Article featured in Summer 2009/2010 Newsletter)


Nutrition plays an important part in your pet's health and well-being, so having a nutritious balanced diet is essential for your pet to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Overeating can lead to being overweight and your pet will have a greater risk of developing health problems such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and breathing problems. Being obese can also make your pet an increased surgical and anaesthetic risk, their coat and skin could be of poor quality and have lowered immunity.

Every pet has an ideal weight for their size and breed. Some signs that your pet may be overweight include - loss of a waist, their collar needs loosening, difficulty walking, shortness of breath, sleeping more than usual or their ribs cannot be easily felt.

If you think your pet may be overweight (and approximately 60% of your cats and dogs are in this category), your veterinarian can recommend a prescription food specially formulated for weight loss. All of these foods will provide a complete and balanced meal for your pet and ensure they are kept satisfied while losing weight. The success of your pet's diet relies on the whole families motivation, your pet's diet and exercise. Your own involvement is so important, as at the end of the day you are responsible for controlling their diet and level of exercise.

Hills PetfitTM programme is a great way to keep on track to improve your overweight pets quality of life. Check out their website www.hillspet.co.nz/. This online programme is specifically designed to help you. It is full of tools and information you can use, helpful exercise tips for cats and dogs to keep them moving. Once registered you can access your pets record from home, enter information into the progress tracker, not to mention the rewards and competitions to keep you motivated. Remember you can pop into the clinic at anytime for a weight check!

If you are interested in registering your pet for PetfitTM online, just let one of our Veterinary Nurse's know and they can set your pet up with a feeding programme, how long it will take for your pet to reach their target weight, and how much weight you would expect your pet to lose per week. 

Click here to read more about weight management

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