Our four-legged friends are as prone as us to adding a few extra pounds over Christmas. The extra treats and left-overs are too much to resist! Unfortunately, the additional weight can dramatically increase the number of health problems that can develop in cats and dogs and make that all-important exercise painful.
Nicky, vet nurse from the Vet Centre, Maids Moreton, says, “Many of the dogs that are overweight develop arthritis at a much earlier age, making walking uncomfortable and really impacting on their quality of life. We can manage the pain once they have it but ideally we would try and avoid getting into this situation.”
There are many other conditions that overweight pets are prone to, such as diabetes, respiratory problems and urinary issues.
Hannah, a vet from the Vet Centre, Cherry Lane, says, “Treats have a very high-calorie count (that’s why they’re so tasty!) and are one of the main culprits for causing weight gain. It is so hard to resist those big eyes pleading for a treat! A good solution is to either use low-fat treats or to measure out all their food for the day in the morning, and from that take a few biscuits to use as treats. They still get the reward of having a treat but none of the extra calories.”
The other great way to help shed a few pounds is to increase exercise levels. For dogs, this means longer walks and retrieving. It can be a bit more challenging for cats but playing games with them can help – Good luck and avoid health problems for all in for 2020!
For more details:
The Vet Centre, Cherry Lane Garden Centre NN12 7QN
01280 812057 or 01908 542155