Is your pet’s weight a growing concern?

Our animals can move quickly from being “just a little bit overweight” to then become ‘obese’ and unfortunately just as with humans this comes with associated health risks.

What is obesity?

Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder seen in our cats and dog population. In Australia, it’s estimated that over 40% of our much loved pets are overweight.

Causes of obesity

Just as with humans some things are not within our control e.g. breed, sex, and age. However, there are others things which we as humans are responsible for with our pets – primarily how much food we feed our pet and how much we exercise it. Most obesity is caused simply because a pet eats more calories than they need in a day. This, in combination with a lack of exercise means the excess calories are stored as body fat – sound like a familiar story?

Sadly overweight pets are likely to:

  • Live a less active and shorter life
  • Become prone to joint and mobility problems
  • Develop skin problems and a lower resistance to infection
  • Be at greater risk of an adverse outcome during surgery
  • Be disinterested in normal exercise and play which can effect your pets general wellbeing.
How to identify if your pet has a weight problem?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, it would be a good idea to make a consultation with your vet at MVH to discuss your pet’s weight and a weight management program tailored to your pet.

Pet Weight Quiz Questions (Y or N)

  • Do you have difficulty feeling your pet’s ribs?
  • Is there little or no ‘waist’ line?
  • Is your pet reluctant to exercise?
  • Does your pet seem to tire easily with activity?
  • Does your pet keep eating so long as there is food in the bowl?
  • Have you been told your pet is overweight?

Identifying if your pet has a weight problem is essential for their health and well-being and the key to preventing significant health risks associated with obesity.
Health risks associated with overweight pets:

  • Earlier onset of joint problems e.g. arthritis
  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Increased surgical & anaesthetic risk
  • Neurological disorders
  • Respiratory problems
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Skin problems
  • Reproductive disorders

Mildura Veterinary Hospital offers weight management advice tailored specifically to your individual pets needs, to help them achieve thier optimal body weight.