Obesity in pets is becoming a common problem. We love our pets that much that we can’t help ourselves and indulge them on good food and treats. It’s easy to give in to those cute faces with a few treats now and again when they’re sat next to you whilst you devour your takeaway or delicious hooman food.
As much as many individuals like to see a well fed, cuddly pet, obesity can be extremely serious in dogs. Recent studies have found that one in three dogs in the UK are overweight and there’s no sign of this slowing down. Many owners are unaware that they are feeding their pets too much and obesity in dogs can cause serious health problems, which in turn can make existing health problems worth and even reduce the length of your dog’s life.
The RSPC has some handy advice in how to check if your dog is overweight:
- You should be able to see and feel the outline of your dog’s ribs without excess fat showing.
- You should be able to see and feel your dog’s waist. The waist should also be clearly visible when viewed from above.
- Your dog’s belly should be tucked up when viewed from the side.
If you struggle to see or feel the above on your dog, then they could well be overweight. We recommend that you take your dog to your vet, who can run further health checks and can recommend specific weight loss programmes to your pet depending on their age and other health conditions.
There are some great ways to keep your dog, healthy and help them trim off some of that podge:
- Portion control: Give your dog a slightly smaller portion to reduce calorie intake.
- Don’t give in to begging: No matter how many times they paw you or give you those eyes, do not succumb to their cuteness.
- Give them water: Just like humans, sometimes we’re hungry rather than thirsty, so make sure you keep your pups dog bowl full of water.
- Get moving together: Walks are an obvious way to give your pet exercise every day. If you can try upping your walks or try other activities such as jogging, frisbee and even swimming to get them moving.
- Tell family and friends to not spoil your pooch with treats: Make sure everyone is aware that you’re trying to get your pet to trim down. You don’t want any other family or friends ruining your hard work and sneaking some treats on the side!
- Keep treats healthy: consider less processed treats and give them high protein such as little bits of chicken or turkey.
- All in moderation: We’re not saying ban all treats but keep food in moderation.