More than 10 million pets in the UK are being overfed by owners who share their own ‘treats’, including take-aways, biscuits, chips and even alcohol, in a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to make them happy.
Around 2.5 million dogs (one in three) and over two million cats (one in four) are currently overweight and could not only have their lives cut short, but in some cases obesity could mean they also have a drastically reduced quality of life.
Pet obesity is defined as an excess of body fat that is enough to impair health, welfare and quality of life: it can cause unnecessary suffering, be extremely disabling and affect animals for long periods. The good news is it is both preventable and reversable.
For dogs and some other animals, certain breeds have a higher risk and the risk increases with age. Neutered dogs are more at risk and, apart from older dogs, obesity is reported to be more common in females. Some serious medical conditions associated with obesity are: • diabetes • heart disease • respiratory distress • high blood pressure • cancers
For dogs and cats, unless they have an extremely fluffy coat, there are a few simple checks you can do:
• You should be able to see and feel the outline of your pet’s ribs without excess fat covering.
• You should be able to see and feel your pet’s waist and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above.
• Your pet’s belly should be tucked up when viewed from the side.
If your pet does not pass these checks, or if you are in any doubt, consult your vet for a health check and, if necessary, a weight reduction programme. For further advice, call Clockhouse on 01453 752555.