Signs of obesity include struggling to see your pets ribs, spine or waistline, abdominal sagging, a bigger rounder face, reluctant to go for walks, excessive panting, sleeping more.
If they are grossly overweight they may need assistant getting up and down and often to move or play games.
Problems associated with obesity
We see the following conditions all too often, with obese pets posing greater risks from anaesthetic and surgical complications, heat or exercise intolerance, complications from cardio-respiratory disorders, hormone issues, skin disease, cancer, urinary problems.
The most common problem is diabetes (where the pancreas fails to secrete enough insulin in order to regulate blood glucose levels), heart disease (caused by high cholesterol levels); as well as arthritis directly affecting mobility, making it even harder for your pet to lose weight.
Until fairly recently, fatty tissue was thought to be just a relatively lifeless energy store and insulator, but now we know it secretes hormones affecting appetite, inflammation, insulin sensitivity and bodily function, as well as influencing water balance and blood pressure leading to kidney disease and high blood pressure.
Ways to prevent obesity
If your pet is overweight then carefully start changing their feeding habits, increase exercise (e.g. more or longer walks, or purchase pet games that will encourage your cat to walk around more) Looking at the type of food and intake, creating a feeding plan.
Diets rich in protein and fibre but low in fat are typically recommended for weight loss, as it gives your pet the feeling of being full, but also provides them with more energy. Replacing traditional treats with carrot sticks or taking treats out of their daily food allowance is a great way to start. Remember, when introducing a new food, do it gradually over a seven-day period, mixing new food with the old.
Divide their daily amount into several meals and try not to feed them too late, as they won’t burn many calories when sleeping.
Ensure every family member is told to not give them extras, or treats.
We run weight clinics with our qualified Veterinary nurses who will be able to give your pet a target weight, advise you what food your pet will need. We can take a before and after photo so you can see the benefits and your hard work in helping them lose weight. If you would like to make an appointment then please contact any of four for surgeries today.