So you’ve made that annual visit to the vets for your dog’s vaccination. Oscar the bouncy Labrador is welcomed at the practice and promptly taken to the dreaded weigh scales. He has put on 1kg since the last visit! This is not uncommon and a lot of owners are unaware that their pet is getting a bit portly. We love our pets and the temptation is to shower them with treats and tidbits under the table. This creates a cycle of overfeeding as our pets began to greed off us and we feel unable to resist those sad eyes!
Clearly, obesity is a growing problem in both humans and pets, and responsible owners must keep on top of managing their pet’s weight. Obesity is defined as an excess of body fat and can cause serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Having excess weight can also make conditions like arthritis worse as it causes more stress on joints. Some studies also show that having an obese pet will reduce its lifespan by roughly 2 years.
How can you tell if your pet is overweight? Weighing your animal regularly is a great way to detect changes and most vet practices will welcome you to pop in and do this. As a general check at home when you are grooming your dog, gently feel over the ribs. You should just be able to feel them without pushing in too hard. If you can’t feel ribs then it is likely your pet will need to lose weight. There are breed variations so be aware of what’s correct for your dog. For example, Lurchers are naturally leaner and may show more rib, without being unhealthy.
If you are unsure of this please ask your vet and they would be happy to show you. Looking at your pet from above you should see a nice hourglass shape, with the waist being tucked in. If there is more of a square shape, again it is likely that your pet needs to lose weight. Body condition score charts are helpful to look at. Talk to your vet if you are concerned you pet is overweight and they can help with a weight loss plan.
Here at simply pets we are developing an interactive food bowl to help with making food/ diet food more interesting and to slow down ingestion of food. The food bowl is dishwasher friendly and made of robust bamboo fiber but still fully biodegradable.
An image of an Interactive or so called Slow Feed Bowl we call ours A Maze In™ A Bowl for Dogs as it is Amazing 😉
A Video of the bowl in action with a very enthusiastic Barney trying to loose weight!!!!!
by Lisa Paterson BVM&S MRCVS