VetVits January 03, 2017

Worried about your pet’s weight? Even if you think you have no cause for concern, Canine Nutritionist Kristina Johansen thinks you might need to take another look…

Pets are family members and enjoy all the benefits of a great comfy home life. Sadly, they are also falling victim to a completely preventable health issue - obesity.

One of the key problems is that many pet owners have a lack of understanding around what constitutes a healthy size and think a pet at its proper weight is too skinny. According to PFMA, UK vets estimate that up to 45% of our dogs are overweight, yet 63% of pet owners believe their pet is the correct weight.

Excess weight puts your pet’s overall health in jeopardy, could shorten their life, puts extra stress on their joints, forces their heart to work harder and increases the chances of many forms of cancer.

Tips for Managing Your Pets Weight:

Don’t overfeed

Check your pet’s food package guidelines but remember guidelines are just that. You may need to tweak food and exercise routines. Have one designated feeder in the family and feed a few small meals instead of one large meal.

Treat responsibly

Weigh out your pet’s treats at the start of each day and ensure they make up no more than 10% of daily kcal intake.

Exercise your pet

The amount of exercise required will depend on your pet’s age, breed and health status. Consult with your veterinarian before beginning an exercise program.

Ensure adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids

If you are feeding less of your pet’s regular food, your pet is receiving fewer nutrients. A vitamin supplement may be helpful to guarantee your pet’s body has what it needs to stay healthy and active.

Author info: Kristina Johansen is a qualified canine dietary consultant. She advises on general canine nutrition and home-prepared diets working closely with a wide variety of vets. In 2013 she set up Elmo's Kitchen, a specialist canine consultancy who provide nutritional advice to dog owners.

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Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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