Pet Illnesses

Obesity

Obesity is the most common nutritional disease of dogs and cats.

Is your pet overweight?

You may have thought to yourself that your pet is overweight or been told by a veterinary surgeon or nurse in the surgery. If your pet weighs over 15% more than it did as a young healthy adult, it is overweight. As a guide, if you have difficulty in feeling the ribs, then your pet has a problem. You should be just able to feel the ribs with a small amount of pressure. 

Why obesity is dangerous

Overweight pets suffer more physical ailments and do not live as long as animals of average weight. Obesity often reduces a pet's enjoyment of life, its performance and the owner's enjoyment of the pet.

Health risks associated with weight gain

The reason for obesity

You must admit to yourself that the animal is overweight and realise that although there are some slight aggravating causes, the only way an animal becomes and stays overweight is because it is having TOO MUCH TO EAT ! In other words, the total daily intake of calories is more than it needs.

Many owners will not face this fact and try to persuade themselves and us that the animal is not being overfed. We often hear the same answers to our suggestions that a pet is overweight:

All of these show that the owners are trying to persuade themselves that they are not over feeding the animal concerned. If your pet is fat, it is having too much to eat!

Exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle: Exercise tips

Just the odd tidbit can add
up to a huge number of
calories for your pet

Hills slim cartoon 2 trans small

The solution

Together with the veterinarian set a specific goal for weight reduction and estimate the time required to reach that goal. Allow 8-12 weeks to reach this "target weight". We will want to see your pet at regular intervals during and after the weight-reduction program.

Management of an overweight pet should include:

Fun and games for dogs

Recommended exercises for your cat

Cats, particularly those with an indoor lifestyle, may not be getting sufficient exercise. Here are some ideas to boost the activity level of your cat.

Rewarding your pet

We all like to reward our pets. There are alternative ways to giving a reward without giving food.

Dietary management

Successful weight-reduction is rare if your pet is fed its regular diet. Decreasing the amount of regular food enough to produce weight loss may cause nutritional deficiencies and begging. Feed your pet a diet specifically formulated for weight reduction. There are two types of diet to choose from:

1) A Home Made Low Calorie Diet

This is a special high volume,low calorie diet you can cook and store in the freezer.
Feed approx. 200gm per 10 kg target weight

  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 500 gm lean meat
  • 1 or 2 beef Oxo cubes
  • 2 pints water
  • 4 tablespoons gelatine
  • Mix, then boil to cook
  • Stand to set
  • Freeze to keep

2) A Commercial Low Calorie Food

Hills r/d
diet (dry or tin) and Royal Canin Obesity are very tasty foods that can be fed in quite large amounts to cats and dogs. The dogs we have had on these diets feel satisfied by it and have certainly lost weight very quickly. It contains everything your dog or cat needs in the way of vitamins and minerals etc. Hills r/d and Royal Canin Obesity are prescription diets and are only available from Veterinary Surgeons. They can be brought either by the can or by the bag.

3) Snacks

If possible, avoid giving snacks, but if your pet is used to receiving them, use limited amounts of healthy snacks like carrots or rice cakes.

Table scraps are inappropriate for pets -especially those on a weight loss programme.

Low calorie snacks