Obesity is the one of the fastest growing medical conditions in companion animals and has a number of health and wellness implications for both pets and their owners.
Even if you notice your pet is carrying a few extra pounds, you may not be aware how much it can affect its health. Being as little as 20% overweight can greatly increase the risk of your pet developing serious health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and certain forms of cancer.
Plus, excess weight can not only have a negative impact on your dog’s general wellbeing, happiness and overall quality of life, it can also significantly shorten its life expectancy compared to a healthy-weight pet.
Here are 5 tips for healthy feeding of your pet:
- Clean, fresh water should always be available.
- Use the feeding guidelines on the pet food packaging as a starting point to the correct amount of food your pet requires.
- Monitor your pet’s weight and body condition regularly – use the Pet conditioning guide to check your pet’s size and condition. * See attached.
- Be cautious when feeding pet treats; these can be high in extra calories and may mean you will need to reduce your pet’s normal food intake.
- Treating with human food should be avoided – they are often high in calories, salt, flavourants, colourants, fats and sugars.
Did you know?
* cookie for a medium size breed of dog provides similar calorie levels as a burger for a person!
* small chunk of cheese for a cat has similar calorie levels to 2.5 burgers for a person!
So, maintaining a healthy body weight for your pet can offer significant benefits to its overall quality of life. Should your pet have weight issues or you would like more information on obesity in pets, please contact your local Veterinary clinic or AACL-JHB on 011 435 0672 or firstname.lastname@example.org