Just like people, pets require a healthy diet and plenty of exercise to keep them fit and healthy. If your veterinarian suggests your pet is overweight, the most important thing you can do is listen to their advice.
If this happens, there is no need to feel insulted or ashamed – unfortunately pet obesity is becoming more common, according to the PDSA one in three dogs and one in four cats are overweight. The team at The Vet are here to help you and advise you on keeping your pet healthy.
Feeding your pet quality, healthy, well-balanced food, in portions advised by your vet, will provide them with all of the nutrients, calories and goodness they need to be happy and active. Pets do not benefit from scraps from the table or extra dinner just because they are begging, it will only damage their health in the long run because, just like people, if they are overweight, they are more susceptible to health complications such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and much more.
Keeping food constantly available for your pet may make your life easier and may seem like you are giving them the kind choice to eat whenever they are hungry, but imagine if you had a plate of food in front of you all day which was constantly being refilled – you would feel a lot more inclined to snack throughout the day even if you weren’t hungry. Pets will do the same and it is much harder for you to monitor their food intake if you aren’t feeding them measured portions, your pets will more than likely get into the habit of eating when they aren’t even hungry if food is there for them all the time.
As we all know, it isn’t just food which can affect weight, exercise has an important part to play in your pet’s health. Although we may sometimes find going to the gym a chore and an inconvenience, most dogs enjoy nothing more than going for an energetic walk and cats love to chase things, so keep your pets occupied, get yourself out into the open air too and get yourself some exercise whilst you are at it! There are many cat chaser toys which your feline friend will love, and playing catch is a fantastic training exercise for your dog and is loads of fun too.
If you are worried about the weight of your pet, pop into The Vet at a time convenient for you during our consultation hours. Our veterinary team will give your pet a free nutritional health check and can make a customised diet plan and exercise regime especially for them, just follow the plan and your pet will be fit in no time – just in time to get them off to a good, healthy start for 2017!