Obe­sity in pets

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS - By Alis­tair Chatto, VET­ERI­NAR­IAN

JUST like in the hu­man pop­u­la­tion, ob­se­ity is one of the most com­mon health prob­lems we see in our com­pan­ion an­i­mals.

How­ever, de­spite the large num­bers of obese an­i­mals in the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, pet own­ers are not of­ten aware that their pet has a weight is­sue.

This is due to the fact that many peo­ple may have a pre­con­ceived idea of what their dog or cat’s breed nor­mally looks like.

How­ever, this is fre­quently a mis­con­cep­tion as it does not align to their pet’s ideal body con­di­tion.

As with hu­mans, there is con­sid­er­able vari­a­tion in an an­i­mal’s body shape and size, even within the same breed, so it is dif­fi­cult to list an ideal weight for any in­di­vid­ual.

Your pet’s op­ti­mal body con­di­tion is de­ter­mined by ex­am­in­ing the ra­tio be­tween mus­cle and fat on their frame.

Gen­er­ally an ideal body con­di­tion in dogs and cats in­cludes be­ing able to see their waist, feel their ribs eas­ily with a lit­tle bit of fat cov­er­ing them, with the ab­domen tucked up un­der­neath the body and not sag­ging to­ward the ground.

Obe­sity in com­pan­ion an­i­mals is linked to many other diseases such as di­a­betes, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease and arthri­tis, so it is im­por­tant that obese an­i­mals have their weight man­aged.

The most com­mon rea­son for weight gain is due to an ex­ces­sive en­ergy in­take – ie feed­ing too much! Even very ac­tive dogs can be­come over­weight, if their meals are too large.

Hence feed­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate por­tion of a good qual­ity pet food is im­por­tant for your pets health and well­be­ing.

Feed­ing guides on packs of food are a good place to be­gin, but as stated, they are only a “guide”!

If you have an over­weight pet with other health is­sues, de­ter­min­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate food and por­tion size can be achieved with con­sul­ta­tion with your vet.

Re­mem­ber, if you want to keep track of your an­i­mal’s weight, you can pop in to your lo­cal vet clinic and use the scales any­time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.