Is your pet too fat?

By admin
13 April 2016

Here’s how to tell if you cat or dog could stand to lose a few – and how you can help them do it.

Is your pooch looking podgy? Tabby getting flabby? Here's how you can help them slim down.

Keeping your pets healthy is one of the most important things you can do for them.

South African vets say at least half their patients are overweight or obese, according to Dr Guy Fyvie, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s veterinary adviser, and this can lead to diabetes, liver disease, joint problems, cancer, a shorter lifespan and reduced quality of life.

pet shape

Read more: Doggie depression is real – is your pup suffering from it?

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight you’ll know it’s not easy. It’s no different for animals, so here are tips to help you get your portly pet in shape.

  • Assess Take a look at our handy chart and see which silhouette best represents your pets. If they’re not in ideal shape, make an  appointment with your vet to rule out any health issues that may be causing the excess weight, such as a phantom pregnancy (spay her!) or a hormonal problem.

  • Plan Your vet will recommend a slimming plan. Some vets even have slimming clinics or clubs. Petslimmer.co.za has tools to calculate ideal weight, loads of nutritional advice and a list of veterinary practices that run the Hill’s Pet Slimmer programme.

Read more: Microchip your pet

  • Food Choose the best quality food you can afford and follow the feeding instructions on the pack using a measuring cup – don’t guess! Add veggies such as green beans and pumpkin to bulk up the meal without adding too many kilojoules. Cut out as many treats as you can and replace them with a cuddle, game or quick walk.

  • Exercise Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for dogs. Walking during the cooler early morning or evening is great exercise for both of you. Get a laser light (or torch) and watch your cat pounce in pursuit!

  • Slow and steady It takes time to shed excess weight. Don’t rush the process – sudden weight loss isn’t recommended and can result in health issues.

Good luck ? take before and after photos and let us know how you do!

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