Get your pet's paws moving to help keep slim and healthy this January
This January we have launched our SlimPals campaign, which is entirely focused on supporting you in getting your pet to their ideal weight and body condition score so that they can live healthier lives for longer.
What better time to help our pets reach their target weight than when lots of us are reaching for the scales post Christmas. We know how difficult it can be; these things are best done together, so that you are fully in the know and have that extra bit of support to keep the motivation going.
During the campaign, the practice is running FREE weight clinics, during which our qualified nurses will check your pet's weight and carry out a body condition score. Sometimes it can come as quite a surprise to find out your pet is overweight, so by using these tools and measurements we can show you where the
problems are hiding. They can then work with you on developing a diet and exercise plan, with realistic, safe and appropriate goals and invite you back for regular monitoring. During the campaign we also have great discounts on the Royal Canin diets that help promote weight loss and satiety.
Obesity in cats, dogs and rabbits is a growing problem and has become a serious welfare issue. Around half of the pets we see are overweight and this is extremely worrying because obesity can shorten an animal’s life. This also makes it difficult to identify those pets that are overweight as you may look at pets around you and think they are the same as yours, and are a healthy weight, where as in reality neither are their ideal weight.
Being the right weight can help improve the quality of a pet’s life because they will have more energy, find it easier to move around and be at a lower risk of conditions connected to obesity.
Being overweight, on the other hand, puts extra strain on muscles, joints and internal organs such as the heart and it may increase the risk of serious issues such as osteoarthritis and diabetes and lead to reduced mobility.
Putting weight on is much easier than losing it, but with the right support and advice it can be achievable, which is where we can help.
Here are 8 tips to get you started, but please phone the practice on 01608 661232 to get your pet booked in for their FREE weight clinic appointment.
1. Avoid feeding pets human leftovers. As well as providing extra calories, it’s too rich for them to digest properly and some food items can even be poisonous.
2. Don’t feed too many treats as they are
often high in sugar or fat. If you want to treat, keep back a small amount of your pet’s daily food allowance to use instead. If you feed a dental treat or chew, be aware of how many calories they contain and adjust your pet’s daily ration accordingly. If you’re not sure about calories, ask your vet practice team.
3. Keep your pet active to burn off calories. Increase your cat’s daily step-count by playing games or using activity feeders and encourage dogs to be more active on walks – your vet practice can give you ideas based on your own dog’s individual needs.
4. Feel your pet’s body shape to see if they’re hiding fat underneath their fur. If you’re not sure how to body condition score them, ask your vet practice for help.
5. Having plenty of space, a companion and things to interact with keeps rabbits active. Grow herbs and salad leaves in the garden for them instead of giving them high-calorie shop-bought treats.
6. Avoid giving in to your dog and cat when they look at you with appealing eyes - play a game with them or go for a walk instead of reaching for the treats.
7. Make meal times more fun by using foraging and enrichment ideas such as hay stuffed in logs for rabbits and lickmats and snuffle feeders for cats and dogs. Be inventive and hide food around the house.
8. Write a food diary of everything you give to your pet, which will help you spot any extras they’ve been having.