How do you know if your pet is overweight?

Dog eating

Pet obesity is still a growing concern for vets and pet parents across the UK. It’s estimated that 65% of dogs and 39% of cats in the UK are either overweight or obese*. This indicates there is still some work to be done in raising awareness of a healthy body shape.

So how do you know if your pet is overweight?

Just like us, gaining weight is often a gradual process for pets, so it’s not always easy to spot a few pounds creeping on, however there are some easy steps you can do to monitor your pet’s weight:

  • On a regular basis, feel around your pet’s middle when they’re standing up. It should be easy to feel their ribs and spine. You should also be able to feel a slight waist dip.
  • If you can’t find a tucked in shape and their middle is more tubular shape, then your pet may be overweight. Talk to your vet about a weight loss plan.

If you need some help assessing your pet’s condition, Body condition charts show the differences between underweight and overweight animals. Take a look at the charts from leading brand Royal Canin here

What you can do to prevent weight gain

If you believe that your pet is overweight, you should consult your vet as soon as possible to ensure that there are no medical reasons for the weight gain. They will be able to offer you advice on how to gently reduce their weight.

Along with any advice from your vet, you can also:

  • Reduce their calories Once you’ve consulted your vet, they’re likely to recommend a lower calorie diet food to help get your pet’s weight down.
  • Increase their exercise It’s reported that 44% of owners walk their dog for less than 30 minutes at a time and 13% of dogs are not walked every day**. If you’ve noticed your dog gaining weight, simply extending your dog’s walk by an extra ten minutes or taking them out for another short walk during the day will help them to burn fat.
  • Give treats with care Only give your pet treats designed for animals. Commercial treats do offer variety but give them sparingly, or use lower calorie/specific treats if giving a higher number, when training for example. Understand that treats are contributing to your pet’s daily calorific intake and will have an impact on their overall weight. Avoid giving your pet leftovers from your meal, 15% of owners feed scraps as one their dog’s main types of food**. Our food has a higher calorie level, so weight can quickly pile on if we give pets scraps off our plates.
  • Weigh out your pet’s food Either as directed by your vet (if on a weight loss program) or appropriate to your pet’s current weight.  DO NOT guess the amount of food you’re giving them. Just a small amount of additional food at mealtimes on a daily basis can quickly have a negative effect on your pet’s weight.

Popular weight loss products from Animed Direct

We offer a huge range of high quality dog food and cat food from leading manufacturers in the market, including weight control foods for cats and weight control for dogs , dog treats and cat treats (with choice of occasional tasty treats, training treat, dental and low calorie treats).

Royal Canin‘s Veterinary Health Nutrition complete diets are intended to assist in the nutritional management of cats and dogs with weight issues.

Hills’ Science Plan Light is a great choice for those looking for diets for their cats and dogs that help keep them at a healthy weight.

EUKANUBA have a wide range of dry dog foods, including Veterinary diets for weight loss.

You can also find restricted calorie foods for dogs and cats as part of our Purina Pro Plan range.

Always double check with your vet before starting your pet on a new diet, new diets can really help improve your pet’s life but you don’t want to pick the wrong one!

*Source: Royal Canin

**Source: PDSA 2019 Paw Report

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