Pet obesity is no longer the exception to the rule, it has now reached epidemic proportions with an estimated 52% of dogs and 58% of cats now overweight.
Just one extra kilogram of weight in a cat and three extra kilograms in a medium-sized dog can start to put your pet at risk of a serious medical condition. For example, overweight pets are more prone to:
- Kidney disease
- ACL ligament injury
- A shorter life expectancy
So how can you course-correct on your pet’s health, diet and lifestyle?
- Seek advice from an expert. Consult a holistic vet who can help you make diet and lifestyle choices to get your pet back into shape.
- Delete processed foods from their diet Transition your pet back to wholesome, natural food over a one week period.
- Say goodbye to unhealthy treats - cut out very high fat treats such as pigs ears and be aware that SUGAR is being added to too many pet treats which only adds to the obesity problem.
- Say hello to healthy treats - instead of offering highly-processed treats, be discerning about the treats your buy. Look for all-natural, unprocessed treats, give your dog a carrot every day or whip up some homemade healthy dog treats yourself.
- Get them moving – getting at least 30 minutes a day of exercise is absolutely key so pull on those sneakers and take your dog for a walk around your neighbourhood or to a dog park for some playtime.
- Is doggy daycare an option? Many dogs are left at home every day while their pet parents are at work. Doggy daycare allows not only keeps them active and entertained but also healthy. Getting a student to help with dog walking is another lower-cost option.
As pet owners, the buck stops with us when it comes to the diet, lifestyle and ultimately the health and wellbeing of our fur babies. If your pet is missing a waistline then it’s time to take action.
Natural pet weight loss starts with adding in vegetables, fruit and some superfoods to your pet’s daily diet to help wake up their metabolism along with making movement a non-negotiable.
Finally, if you have any concerns about whether your pet is the right weight and/or you don’t know where to start, then a quick weigh-in and chat with your local holistic vet is a great place to start.
Dr Heidi Ward- McGrath BVSc
Veterinary Surgeon and Clinician
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