Is your canine companion a couch potato or your feline friend a bit flabby? Your pet is not alone as more than 50% of our pets are overweight and many owners don’t even realise it!
Carrying a few extra kilos puts our pets at risk of heart disease, respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis and diabetes.
What to watch out for:
• When you look down from above, your pet will have lost definition of his waist. Instead of an hourglass figure he might look more like an egg, or even a barrel on legs!
• You can no longer ‘easily’ feel his ribs when you run your hands over his sides
• A very obese pet may have neck fat, a pendulous tummy as well as fat over the hips
As owners, it is our responsibility to feed our pets correctly, however many owners give in to the “puppy eyes” our pets throw at us when wanting our food, which is easily done.
It might be tempting to feed your pet human scraps as a treat but you may be doing them harm and causing excessive weight gain.
Keep this calorie translator in mind when you are having trouble saying ‘no’ to those adorable eyes!
For a 10kg dog:
• One biscuit = 1 hamburger for a human
• 30g piece of cheese = 1.5 hamburgers for a human
• One hot dog = 2.5 hamburgers for a human
For a 5kg cat:
• One potato chip = ½ a hamburger for a human
• 30g piece cheese = 2.5 hamburgers for a human
• A glass of milk = 3 hamburgers for a human!
CUTTING THE KILOS
A visit to your vet will help you determine the best course of action for your pet. Your vet should be able to give your pet’s body condition a score and assist you in starting a weight management plan.
Getting your pet to lose weight is easier than you think! Physical exercise will help but it is crucial you are feeding your pet the correct diet and the right amount. There are diets available that will actually help your pet lose weight - including one to increase your pet’s metabolic rate.