Pets, like people, are becoming increasingly overweight – and for many of the same reasons!
According to the PDSA, who recently released a report estimating that one in three dogs, one in four cats and one in four rabbits in the UK are overweight or obese, the pet obesity epidemic is something that all veterinary professionals are increasingly concerned about.
As in humans, pet obesity can reduce both life expectancy and quality of life, bringing with it the risk of diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and certain types of cancer, as well as added wear and tear on joints.
As with people, the causes of pet obesity are fairly straightforward: pets are being fed too much and exercised too little – the same PDSA report estimates that in the UK, six million dogs go for a daily walk shorter than an hour long and a quarter of a million dogs don’t get walked at all.
Foodwise, some people are giving their pets a good quality diet, but just too much of it. Rather than following feeding guidelines they are guessing how much to give or feeding on demand, when they think their pet is hungry.
Others are feeding their pets treats in the form of ‘human food’ throughout the day: takeaways, cheese, chips, crisps, etc. These foods are usually only given in small amounts, but apart from the fact that they are not meant to be part of an animal’s diet, pets really struggle to burn off those extra calories.
Most owners simply don’t realise that their pet is overweight, but when they do, they can take simple steps to help their animal live a longer, happier life.
An appointment with a veterinary nurse at Clockhouse Vets is a good starting point for a general health check and weigh-in. If there is a weight problem,
we can work with you to resolve it. For more information on dietary care for pets, please call Clockhouse on 01453 752555.