Time to lose weight?

Obesity has recently been identified in a study by the Royal Veterinary College as a  ‘priority area for welfare improvement in the UK dog population.’ ¹ But it’s not just our canine friends who are at risk; obesity can affect all types of pet, reducing the length and quality of an animal’s life, not to mention potentially causing a host of serious health conditions, or exacerbating existing problems.

Pet obesity can cause:

  • Diabetes

  • Heart disease

  • Respiratory disease

  • High blood pressure

  • Musculoskeletal problems

Is my pet obese?

In July 2019, the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association released new data from their Obesity Report stating that from research conducted among 8000 households in February 2019, an alarming 51% of dogs, 44% of cats and 29% of small mammals were overweight or obese. Furthermore, 68% of pet owners thought their pet was exactly the right size whilst 67% admitted they were not concerned about pet obesity.²

There are some simple checks you can do to identify whether your pet is overweight or obese:

To check your dog:

  • Can you see and feel the outline of your dog’s ribs without excess fat covering?

  • Can you see and feel your dog’s waist? Is it clearly visible when viewed from above?

  • Is your dog’s belly tucked up when viewed from the side?

To check your cat:

  • Can you see and feel your cat’s ribs, spine and hip bones?

  • Can you clearly see your cat’s waist when viewed from above?

  • Does your cat’s belly sag underneath? There should only be a small amount of belly fat.

If your pet does not pass these checks, it’s time to speak to your vet, who will be able to perform a health check and if necessary, recommend a weight loss programme.

The good news…

If your pet needs to lose weight, our fantastic nursing team offer a host of free clinics – and weight checks are one of them. Our Registered Veterinary Nurses have a wealth of experience and knowledge, not to mention higher qualifications in pet nutrition. Make an appointment to see one of our friendly team, who will weigh your pet and discuss a tailor-made weight loss plan with you – including regular opportunities to catch up and track progress, and endless support and advice throughout your pet’s dieting journey. Get in touch with your local Charter Vets surgery to find out more.

Success story : Wilson

Wilson’s weight loss story began earlier this year, when he was re-homed as his owners’ circumstances changed and they could no longer give him the exercise he needed. He embarked upon a calculated weight loss plan, which coupled with a steadily increasing exercise programme, tonnes of support from our nurses and a healthy dose of perseverance, has resulted in a fantastic weight loss achievement. Wilson is now looking and feeling fantastic and has a new lease of life!