WHAT IS OBESITY?
Any animal whose body weight is 15% or more than it should be, suffers from obesity.
Obesity is not cute. Just like in humans, obesity in pets carries health risks. In pets, however, the risks of obesity are concentrated into a much shorter life span.
Cat weighing 33lbs
Obesity is a disease and it predisposes your pet to so many other diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Heat intolerance
- Fatty liver
- Increased surgical/ anaesthetic risk
- Decreased resistance to common diseases
- Slower recovery from illness.
You are harming your pet when you overfeed. Every extra calorie is shortening your pet’s life.
The whole family, including children and domestic helpers need to be aware of
the importance of your pet’s diet.
- It is better to feed 2 to 3 small meals a day. This increases the metabolic rate, and so increases the rate of weight loss.
- ONLY give water to drink. It is a common misconception that cats need milk; in fact dairy products cause gastro-intestinal disease in many cats.
- Provide non-food related attention – more exercise and more games. Cut down the number of treats.
- Ask your vet for a target weight and monitor your pet’s weight weekly. This will give you an idea of progress, and the motivation to keep going. It will also provide the basis for your vet to give further advice. Be committed to the weight loss program.
- Your vet can advise you which diet is most suitable for your pet. This might be a commercially available diet, or in more severe cases, a prescription weight reduction diet which your vet can provide.
- A prescription weight reduction diet contains reduced calories, but proper or raised concentrations of essential proteins and fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. If you attempt to treat obesity by feeding reduced amounts of a normal diet, you may cause deficiency diseases in your pet.
Poster courtesy of Hill's. Used with permission.Score your pet's body condition by downloading the Hill's Body Condition Guide:
Download SPCA's Obesity information sheet