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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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Obesity in Rabbits

When our rabbits become older they lead a slower pace of life, unless we monitor and adjust feeding patterns accordingly, there is a higher risk of pets gaining weight and becoming obese.

Obesity can be a contributing factor in the case of other conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and pododermatiitis.

It can also be dangerous in cases of anorexia as they will metabolise fat which can be lead to hepatic lipidosis.

Rabbits should have a diet of high fibre pellets, add lib grass, hay and greens to prevent obesity and to lose weight.
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How can I help my cat lose weight?

If you feel your cat is overweight, or would like to discuss their diet, we run SHAPE clinics at Walnut Tree or Stony Stratford surgeries with a Registered Veterinary Nurse. Call us to find out regarding the availability.

In the meantime there are ways to help your cat at home, such as weighing out their recommended daily food to control their portion sizes. However, these allowances may need to be adjusted due to factors such as age, gender, and breed. Unfortunately the recommended daily food allowance is not a one guide fits all, and each brand will have their own suggestions.

If you like to give your cat treats then these need to be taken into consideration with their daily food allowance. Treats are fine in moderation, but you will need to reduce the amount of normal food to allow for how many you have given.

Cats should never have a big change to their diet, a slow and steady weight loss is ideal as sudden weight loss can cause further medical issues. You may not see weight change every day so regular weighing is a useful way to monitor progress. In most cases it can take up to a year for an obese cat to achieve its ideal weight.

The same as humans, exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight. Typically an indoor cat will be a higher risk of being obese as their exercise levels will be lower than outdoor cats. Ways to get cats to be more active can include feedings balls, which encourage them to work to get their food, again making sure this is within their normal daily allowance. Playing with your cat will also encourages them to exercise, as well as providing bonding time with them.
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Should I worry about my pet’s weight?

Did you know that 1 in 3 dogs and 1 in 4 cats are considered overweight or obese in the UK?

If you pet is carrying extra weight, it can reduce their quality of life. Our previous blog discussed how to assess your pet to see if they are under or over weight and give you an indication if there is something to be concerned about.

To help your pet stay in the best shape possible, you will need to make sure they get plenty of exercise, have access to good quality food and don’t over indulge. There are lots of ways you can help your pet lose a little weight if they need to, but obviously it is better to avoid their weight becoming an issue in the first place by putting them on a good routine from the day you bring them home.

Overweight pets are usually classed as being over 15% over their recommended ideal weight and obese pets more than 30% over their recommended ideal weight.
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