Obesity in dogs and cats: Diseases and Risks - Heene Road Vets

Obesity in dogs and cats: A whole range of health problems

Unfortunately, being overweight is fast becoming the ‘norm’ for dogs and cats. So much so, that when we see a healthy lean dog or cat, our instant reaction is too think that he/she is too thin. Obesity is not an incurable disease, animals don’t want to be overweight, don’t we owe it to them to do something about it, NOW!

According to the PDSA’s Annual Welfare (PAW) report, 81% of vets and nurses have seen an increase in pet obesity over the last two years and in increasingly younger animals. Obesity is fast becoming one of the most serious health problems affecting our pets with currently one in three cats and one in four dogs considered to be overweight and the problem can only get worse.

Unless, you as owners act now!

Heene Road Vets - Obesity

Obesity in dogs can result in a whole range of health problems including:

Obesity in dogs can result in a whole range of health problems including:

  • Joint disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Higher general anaesthetic risk
  • Cancer

And more alarmingly, it can shorten a dog’s lifespan by as much as two years.

So, if you want to have your canine best friend around for as long as possible, now is the time to do something positive about getting him/her back into shape.

Heene Road Vets - Obesity

At Heene Road Vets, we run regular Weight Watchers clinics to support owners on their journey towards achieving a slimmer and healthier pet. Our aim is not to ‘name and shame’ but to support owners as we all appreciate dieting is never an easy task particularly with those big puppy dog eyes staring you in the face. We will start by weighing your pet and carrying out a body score examination, which will include bodily measurements, taking photographs (with your permission), so that we can have before and after comparisons when your pet has achieved their target weight. A full dietary and exercise history will be carried out (and we expect absolutely honesty!) remember we are here to help not to criticise. From here, we can work out your dog’s daily energy requirements, dependent on lifestyle, compile a dietary plan and set you up with a weight loss diary for regular entries until your next weigh-in appointment in 2-3 weeks. It’s as simple as that.

And to make life even simpler for owners and to guarantee the easiest and most effective way to help your dog lose weight, we recommend feeding them Specific weight reduction diet, which is formulated to provide all the necessary daily nutrients and at the same time stop them feeling hungry. We will tell you how much to feed, there is no need to add or take away anything, it is a complete and satisfying diet and if you comply 100%, you should see results.

Heene Road Vets - Obesity

Cats are obligate carnivores, in the wild, they would have caught their own prey, and rarely would you have seen an overweight feline. Now we provide them with such pampered lives that a lean toned cat is fast becoming the minority. It is estimated that between 39 and 52% of cats are overweight or obese in the UK (International Pet Care, 2017).

Obesity in cats is extremely detrimental to health and can result in serious health conditions, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Lower Urinary Tract Disease (cystitis)
  • Joint Disease
  • Fatty Liver Disease – Hepatic Lipidosis
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Respiratory disease
  • Increased anaesthetic risk

Weight loss in cats can be a slow process and often owners will become disillusioned when despite all their efforts, their cat doesn’t appear to be showing signs of becoming slimmer. At Heene Road Vets, we understand your frustration and can help to support you in our weight-watcher clinics. We will set you up with a realistic weight loss target within a realistic time frame (particularly so for very overweight cats). Losing 0.5kg a month may not seem like much to an owner but to an obese, inactive cat this is progress, we just ask that you are prepared for a long haul and regularly attend. In our clinics, we will look at your cat’s current feeding regime and how we can adjust their energy expenditure as a big problem for overweight cats is their reluctance to exercise. In our clinics, your cat will be measured, photographed (with your permission) for before and after comparisons and set-up with a weight loss diary for recording progress.

Heene Road Vets - Obesity

There are several commercial diets available to support overweight cats, but these tend to be more suited to weight maintenance rather than weight loss. At Heene Road Vets, we recommend Specific weight reduction diet for cats, it is high in protein for palatability and satiety (feeling satisfied) and lower in fat to aid weight loss. Your cat is fed a measured amount every day and if you stick to the rules, you will see results.

Please give us a call to book your free weight assessment on 01903 200187

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