Pet obesity is on the rise, with one in three dogs and one in four cats now registered as obese in the UK.
Excess weight can lead to numerous health complications including osteoarthritis, diabetes and even high blood pressure not to mention the rising cost of insurance premiums. In fact, yesterday pet insurers revealed that they are cracking down on pet obesity and rejecting some claims from owners who are not flagging the health condition at the time of application.
The good news is keeping your dog’s weight in check at home is easy when you know how.
Kellie Ceccarelli, Veterinary Training Manager at Eukanuba, comments, “Keeping an eye on your pet’s weight is quick and easy to do on a weekly basis using something called a body condition score – simply stroke both hands along the side of your dog’s rib cage. If you can gently feel your dog’s ribs (though they mustn’t protrude), you can see your dog’s waist line behind the ribs and the abdomen appears tucked up when viewed from the side then your dog is a healthy weight. If you can’t feel their ribs easily and their waistline seems to have disappeared, then you’ll need to review their diet and take steps to increase exercise levels.”
Thankfully, there are a few easy changes you can make to help your beloved pet get back into shape.
1. Choose a diet which is tailored to help control weight such as Eukanuba Weight Control
2. While it can be hard to resist big brown eyes, avoid feeding your pet with too many naughty treats and human foods. Instead, opt for healthy lower calorie dog treats where possible
3. With the weather finally warming up, grab a ball and get outside to enjoy some fresh air together
If you’re worried that your dog could be very overweight or obese and you’re concerned about their health, we highly recommend consulting your vet for further professional advice to aid safe and effective weight loss.
Although it might seem like a lot of work, remember excess weight loss will help you share a long, healthy life with your dog.