Pet Obesity is on the Rise

Pet Obesity Awareness & Why it’s Important.

Obesity is a massive global problem and is the number one health problem faced our four-legged friends today.

Overweight dogs and cats are unhappy pets and live shorter lives. Even as little as 20% extra body weight can increase the risk of serious disease conditions such as:

Arthritis

Heart disease

Urinary conditions

Breathing problems

Skin problems

Cancer

 

What shape is your pet?

Very thin

Ribs highly prominent. Acute lumber waist. Sharp abdominal tuck. No fat cover.

Your dog is very thin. We'd recommend making an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible to rule out possible diseases and help your dog get back to a healthy weight.

Underweight

 

Ribs prominent. Defined lumber waist. Clear abdominal tuck.

It seems like your dog is not carrying enough weight. This could be due to incorrect feeding amounts, but we'd recommend you take your dog for a check-up at the vet so that they can help get your dog back to a healthy weight.

Ideal weight

 

Ribs visible and easily felt. Well-proportioned lumber waist. Abdominal tuck present.

Well, done! Your dog seems to be in perfect shape and is at low risk of pet obesity

Overweight

Ribs not visible. Loss of lumber waist. Flat square look to abdomen

Your dog is at a serious risk
of obesity and we recommend you take your dog to the vet for a weight check.

Obese

Ribs difficult to feel. Broadened back. Severe abdominal bulge. Fat deposits around neck
and tail base.

Your dog is at severe risk
and you could be shortening
the time you get to spend together. Research clearly demonstrates that overweight pets have shorter lives and are
at higher risk of a range of diseases.

 

Factors that can lead to weight gain.

Environment

 

Overfeeding – Feeding more than the pet will expend in exercise. Contributing dietary factors include table scraps, high-fat foods, number of meals, number of treats and frequent variation in diet.

Lack of exercise – Indoor-only pets are at higher risk of obesity.

Misconception of the canine body condition – Owner does not recognize obesity as being present.

Physiology

 

Age – Dogs over five years of age decrease voluntary activity and burn fewer calories daily.

Genetic predisposition - Some breeds are predisposed to obesity, including terrier breeds, spaniels, dachshunds, beagles, and Labrador retrievers.

Surgery

 

Neutering/spaying – Decrease in production of sex hormones decreases energy expenditure and can cause changes in satiety (increased hunger).

Medications

 

Phenobarbital (anticonvulsant) can decrease satiety leading to overeating.

Glucocorticoids can lead to abnormal fat deposition and weight gain.

Diseases

Hypothyroidism can contribute to weight gain.

Insulinoma can contribute to weight gain.

Hyperadrenocorticism can contribute to weight gain.

 

What can you do to treat Pet Obesity?

Treatment of obesity in pets focuses on weight loss followed by maintenance of a healthy weight for life.

Ask your Vet

Get recommendations on portion sizes, feeding times, treat frequency, proper foods, and exercise options

High-protein, Low-fat Foods

produce optimal weight loss as protein and fibre stimulate metabolism and increase satiety. Eliminating table scraps and treats is important.

There are a wide variety of commercial dog foods available in both canned and kibble that are formulated for weight loss and maintenance.

Exercise

Aim for 30 minutes per day to maintain a healthy body weight.

Include walking, outdoor games and swimming.

Taking your pet for an afternoon at a dog day can increase playtime and exercise.

Eating Speed

If you dog eats too fast, get a special bowl that requires the pet to work to get each piece of food.

A treat ball that dispenses treats only if your dog rolls it around (increasing exercise).

Dog training is a fun way for both owner and pet to get exercise but remember to reward your pet with low calorie treats.

 

How Do You Change Your Pets Diet?

Changes must be made gradually to avoid upsetting the gastrointestinal tract.

Unless your vet instructs otherwise, once a new food is purchased, mix half of the new food with half of the old food, and feed this mixture for 10 days. Thereafter, you can safely feed the new food only.

How to Manage Obesity Correctly.

Once your pet begins a weight management diet, you must be sure to check their body weight monthly to confirm that the diet is working.

Adjustments to the exercise and diet protocol may be needed as weight changes occur.

Be sure that dietary changes are explained to family and friends clearly to keep the pet free from exposure to table scraps or disposed food.

A weight management protocol that is carefully followed is effective and safe. Once a healthy weight is achieved, a maintenance diet and exercise schedule should be followed for the life of the pet.

What’s the best Weight Management Diet?

There are several great Weight Management products out there for both dogs & cats, our team is ready to give you the best option that will get results but leave your wallet looking fat. Contact us at Hello@thepetscirclesa.co.za or head over to our Store.

 

 

 

Leave a comment