Why is your pet's weight so important?
Research has shown that around 41% of dogs and 32% of cats are overweight to some degree. An overweight pet is at risk from a whole range of problems including diabetes, heart disease, skin complaints, breathing difficulties and arthritis.
Weight gain in pets is normally the result of an increase in body fat. This is most commonly caused by a pet eating too much, especially when combined with a lack of exercise. If more energy is being gained from food than is being used, the surplus will be stored in the body as fat.
By maintaining a healthy weight you can help to reduce the risks associated with obesity and help your pet lead a longer more energetic life.
How do you know if your pet is overweight?
Weight gain can gradually occur over a long period of time which is why it can often go unnoticed. Signs that your pet may be overweight include:
- Their ribs can't be felt without applying a fair amount of pressure
- Loss of an obvious waist (and you may even notice belly wobble when walking or running)
- You have had to loosen your pet's collar several times over the past year
You can also assess your pet using a body score chart. Click here to see how your pet compares or click here for a list of ideal weight ranges for dogs by breed.
I think my pet is overweight - what should I do?
Recognising that your pet is overweight is the first important step in helping them to achieve weight loss.
As with humans, before your pet commences a weight loss program it is important that they have a full check-up with a veterinarian to ensure that they do not have any underlying medical conditions which may be contributing to their weight gain. If your pet has not had a check-up within the last three months, we will make an appointment with your veterinarian for a consultation.
Once your pet has been assessed by a veterinarian, they will be ready to start their weight loss journey through our Weight Loss Clinic program.
What is the Weight Loss Clinic?
Our weight loss clinic is a free service, designed to provide you with a structured weight loss program for your pet, which clearly outlines the diet and exercise requirements to help you achieve your pet's weight loss goal.
One of our fully trained veterinary nurses will take you through an initial consultation to assess your pet and set an achievable weight loss target. You will also receive a personalised diet and exercise plan tailored to your pet’s needs and your lifestyle.
Your pet’s progress will then be tracked through free fortnightly weigh in consultations with your weight clinic nurse. As your pet progresses towards their target weight, their diet and exercise plan will be reassessed to suit their changing needs. Throughout the program, your pet’s weight clinic nurse will be available to discuss any queries that you may have.
What happens when my pet reaches their goal?
Congratulations! Once your pet has reached their target weight they will be happier, healthier and have greatly reduced their risk of developing weight related health problems. The challenge now will be to keep the excess weight off and your weight clinic nurse will devise a maintenance diet and exercise plan for your pet, to help them stay trim and healthy for the long run.