We all love food, and so do our pets. So what better way to show our pets that we love them than to give them yummy food? Unfortunately, this “love” often makes our pets overweight. Remember the difference between pets and people: one bite of steak for a 5kg cat is like a whole steak for an 80kg person! To help avoid potential health problems keeping your pet at a healthy weight should be high on your priority list.
Overweight pets are at a very high risk of developing the following medical problems:
- Early onset arthritis
- Breathing disorders
- Heart disease
Unfortunately, loving our pets with food may shorten their lifespan. But what can we do instead?
Feed a specially formulated pet food. Anexa Vets sell pet foods specifically designed with the overweight or hungry pet in mind. They have a balance of fibres that helps your pet feel full and also helps with better digestion. And this formula is rich in the highest quality proteins to ensure they maintain muscle mass. It also contains Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA for their antiinflammatory qualities to help support your dog’s joints.
Encourage regular exercise. Regular walks for your dog are important for their mobility and stimulation – they also to keep the weight off, if you can’t get out because the weather is bad consider teaching your cat or dog a new trick.
Have your pet checked by a vet – particularly cats. Hyperthyroidism and diabetes can cause your pets to be hungrier than they should be.
Avoid feeding pets your human meal leftovers or scraps. While it can be tempting this is not a good idea, not only can it affect their waistline there can be other complications.
Use a portion of your pet’s daily food as treats. Measure out the amount of kibble that your pet gets for the day then set a small portion of the daily food aside to use as treats and feed the rest as a meal.
Feed low-calorie treats. Vegetables are good treats! Avoid meat, fat, dairy, bread and other carbohydrates. Of course not all animals like veggies, but you can also often purchase low-calorie treats at your vet clinic.
Challenge your pet. If your pet loves food, consider popping into one of our clinics and picking up a maze bowl or Kong – the food is put inside the bowl/toy and your pet needs to work to get it out – it is a great way to keep your pet entertained and make meal times last longer.
Anexa vets can provide support and more information on weight management, loss, and setting targets. Talk with your vet or vet nurse about our healthy weight programmes.