You may never have thought about pet obesity, but this is a very real issue facing many pets in the
UK. Currently some 40-50% of pets in the UK are thought to be overweight with as many
as 20% being classed as dangerously obese! Pet obesity is one of the most common conditions we
Being overweight can affect your pet’s health and well-being, putting your pet at risk of developing
some serious health issues including:
Overweight pets also tend to interact less with their families. Obesity can also lead to physical and emotional distress and overall reduce the life expectancy of your pet.
- Arthritis, joint, mobility and spinal problems
- Heart disease, High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Skin and coat problems
- Incontinence (bitches)
- Breathing difficulties, exercise intolerance
- Ulcers / pressure sores
- Heat intolerance
- Increased surgical/anaesthetic risks
- Cancer development
Causes of pet obesity
Usually, obesity in pets is caused by a combination of both a poor diet regime and lack of exercise.
- Overfeeding, either through larger than needed meal portions, excessive treats or snacks
- Feeding pets the wrong type of food, such as human food, which can be very unhealthy for them or some commercial diets that are very high in fat and additives.
- Not enough exercise
Is my pet overweight?
There are three simple checks that you can do at home to get an idea of your pets’ body condition:
If you are concerned about your pets’ weight and would like some advice, book in for your free weight clinic with one of our experienced nurses.
- With your pet standing (if possible), run your hands flat gently up and down the sides and back of their body. You should be able to feel the outline of your pet’s ribs, hips and spine without excess fat covering. If you are struggling or having to apply pressure, the chances are that your pet is above its ideal weight.
- With your pet standing (if possible), look from the side. You should see a distinct abdominal tuck – This is where the lower surface of your pet’s body, just behind the chest, should slope upwards.
If your pet has long hair, you might need to use a flat hand to feel for this.
- With your pet standing (if possible), look from directly above. You should see a distinct waistline like an ‘hour-glass’ figure.
Our weight clinics, which are free of charge to all our clients and their pets, include a body condition score, weight check, body measurements and advice on food, diets and exercise plans to help your pet lead a healthier lifestyle. We will be able to advise you on the best way for you to help your pet lose excess weight and keep it off.
Regular monitoring and weight checks are essential to ensure that your pet is losing weight at a safe rate and so that we can make any adjustments to your pet’s diet or exercise as necessary to keep your pet on track until they reach their ideal weight.
Helping your pet lose weight and improving their overall fitness does require a commitment from the whole family, it is easier than you think and well worth the effort.
Maintaining an ideal weight is one of the most important things you can do to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Please contact the practice to book your pet in for a free weight clinic appointment.