Who doesn’t love food? We all do! But this doesn’t mean it refers to just us Pet Parents but also our fur kids. Pet Obesity, a topic where many pet owners shrivel as one of their pets is either already at that stage or heading there. I am also guilty as I love to see my cats a little chubby with a round rum when they sit but in the long run, it’s a high price to pay in health and quality of life.
Obesity has consequences on the animal’s health. It also raises the following:
Risk of Diabetes
The list is endless.
Recognizing if your pet is overweight is half the challenge. Cats and Dogs come in various shapes and sizes and it is difficult to determine the exact individual weight therefore, not practical. The Body Condition Scoring (courtesy of Hill’s Pet Nutrition) shows you areas of Ribs – Easily felt with little fat cover, Tail Base – Bones are raised with slight fat cover, Side View – Abdominal tuck and lastly Overhead View – Marked hourglass shape. The minute you discover that fur kid has an “extra layer”, it’s time for a Weight Management Regime.
A successful weight loss program addresses two major components:
The amount of food fed
during meal times
Treats for training fed sparingly
Work with your veterinarian to work out the amount to feed by using a measuring cup, and activity level. When going through such a program, it is ideal to stop all treats except for those that are meant for losing weight and even so, follow the instructions on the pack for the required amount to be given. As Pet Parents, soft hearts we are and there is always that action of giving table scraps or giving more of a portion than usual. That has to completely stop!
Helping pudgy pup or chubby cat lose weight can be challenging but at the same time very rewarding when your pet’s pain decreases, energy increases, and fitness level improves.