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Is your rabbit at a healthy weight?

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
Do you ever wonder if your rabbit is at a healthy weight? Your pet’s weight can depend on their breed, sex and age and therefore it will be individual to each animal.

We can assess whether our smaller pets are over or under weight by first looking at their overall size, look at your pet from the side and from above. You should be able to see a waist, if the waist is pronounced your pet may need to put on a few pounds or if the waist is not defined your pet may need to lose a few pounds.

You can also assess by feeling under your pet’s tummy, their tummy should go in and not bulge out.

By running your hands over the side of your pet, you can assess if the skin moves freely over their ribs and should be easy to feel under a thin fat layer.

You can also run your hands along their back, you should be able to feel their hips and spine easily under a thin fat later. For rabbits, check the area of the base of the tail also where the tail joins the spine, there should not be any build-up of fat here.
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How can I help my dog lose weight?

Weight issues in dogs are not just down to feeding too much food at meal times, this is just part of it. There are plenty of other factors to consider.

Feeding suggestions
  • Make sure you know your dog’s weight so you can accurately calculate the amount of food they will need.
  • Weigh out their recommended daily food to control their portion sizes. However, recommended daily food allowances may need to be altered due to factors such as age, gender, and reed. Unfortunately the recommended daily food allowance is not a one guide fits all, and each brand will have their own suggestions.
  • If you want to continue treating your dog, make sure your factor this into their daily food allowance and reduce their normal food.
  • Consider avoiding commercial treats – carrots make excellent treats and most dogs like them as an alternative option.
  • Consider a Senior or Light brand diet if your dog is becoming less active or requires a lower calorie food to reduce weight. These may not always be suitable for younger animals, or with pets who have an existing medical condition, so it is best to check with your veterinary practice before purchasing.
Exercise Suggestions
  • Any exercise is better than no exercise, even a quick walk to the corner shop and back on a rainy day. Exercise stimulates metabolism as well as being a mental stimulus for your dog.
  • Chasing toys and balls is a great way to bond with your pet and provide them with the exercise they need.
  • With older dogs, they may not be as willing to go out for a walk so consider splitting their exercise into three smaller sessions throughout the day.
  • Food activity balls are also a great idea to get them to work for their food and provide mental stimulation.
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