The number of overweight and obese pets continues to rise in the UK.
Kellie Ceccarelli, the veterinary training manager for Eukanuba, shares her top tips on how you can advise pet owners to keep an eye on their dog’s waistline so they can live a long, happy and healthy life.
1. Keep your dog fit and healthy
Kellie says: “Make sure they keep their dog nice and trim. Regular exercise and a high quality diet will ensure their dog remains as close to an ideal weight and body condition as possible. Feed according to the pet’s optimal body weight and the manufacturers feeding guidelines, but keep in mind that these are just guidelines and their pet’s energy requirements are unique to him/her.
2. Speak to your Vet
Kellie says: “Whatever the dog’s age, if the owner thinks their canine companion may be overweight, speak to a vet or vet nurse as they will be able to identify the dog’s ideal body weight and provide them with a feeding plan to help the dog lose any extra lbs safely. They will also give the owner guidance on safe exercise suited to both the dog’s needs and the owners lifestyle.”
3. Review their food
Kellie says: “There are some times in a dog’s life when weight gain becomes more common, such as later in life or after neutering. Keep in mind that typically from the age of 7 years many dogs begin to show signs of middle age spread.
“Of course we mustn’t forget about genetics as they play an important role but I think it’s important to realise that pet owners really can make a huge difference with diet, exercise, appropriate care and good veterinary care.
Frank (owner Elizabeth Williams) has had incredible results. So far Frank has lost 15 percent bodyweight (between February to April 2016) and still continues to lose weight to reach a healthy body condition.
Patient: Frank, 5 year old, Parsons Jack Russell Terrier
Owner: Mrs Elizabeth Williams
Weight pre-treatment: 13.1kg (January)
Weight post-treatment: 10.8kg (April)
Owner Elizabeth said: “Since going onto the diet the change in Frank has been terrific; he’s slim, energetic, happy and his digestion is the best it’s been in years. We can’t believe what has been achieved and we’re so pleased we took the steps to give Frank a happier and healthier life.”