Are You Over Indulging Your Pet?By Morgan | August 13, 2019
Vets on Call is a veterinary service created by pet owners, for pet owners. So, we understand only too well the love that our clients have for their beloved pets and how we can all be guilty of succumbing to those big brown eyes looking up at us with a yearning for that extra treat. It can be hard to resist, and depending on your pet’s begging skills it can be heartbreaking at times to deny them the little treat every now and then, but how much harm can it do, right? Unfortunately, quite a lot. We want you to enjoy your pet’s company for as long as possible, and in order to do that, we need to make sure they’re as healthy as possible.
Your pet’s diet, much like your own, will play a huge role in their overall health and whilst it can be overwhelming standing in the food aisle at the pet store as to what you should be buying, we’re going to focus on caloric intake. You can treat a lot of ailments with diet but to we will cover that in another blog, for now let’s focus on what leads to pet’s becoming overweight or obese.
Put simply, there are two main contributors to a pet getting to an unhealthy weight:
- Lack of Exercise
Obviously, both of these combined increases the likelihood of your pet becoming overweight and if weight loss is required by your pet increasing exercise and decreasing portion sizes will have them on the fast track to a healthy waistline much quicker.
So, How Do I Know if My Pet is Overweight?
In terms of self-diagnosis, an easy way to determine if your pet is overweight or not is the “rib test”. Run your hands over their flanks and abdomen, you should be able to feel their ribs but not see them. If you’re unable to feel your pet’s ribs then a strict diet and exercise regime may be in order to bring them back to a healthy weight.
But Food Makes Him so Happy, is a Little Tubbiness Really that Bad?
Yes. The health effects of your pet being overweight are similar to those that affect humans. It can lead to heart problems, respiratory problems, diabetes, arthritis, joint complications and a reduction in their lifespan.
Ok, so He’s overweight. Now What?
The first place we would start is by having one of our skilled and knowledgeable vets come and assess your pet in the comfort of their own home. They’ll be able to advise on what food they should be eating as well as the portions size that will gradually help them get back to a healthy weight safely. They’ll also be able to advise on the best exercise regime for your pet, especially if they are elderly or mobility impaired.
We know how hard it can be to deny your pet that little extra treat, but remind yourself that it is in your pet’s best interest. At Vets on Call, we only want the best for your pet and we want you to be able to enjoy a long life with them. If you have any questions or concerns, then have one of our vets come see you for a stress-free in-home consultation.