Dogs and cats that are heavier than their ideal body weight will have a shortened life span and a poorer quality of life. Many pet owners mistakenly overfeed their pets as a show of love and affection, instead they are causing harm. There are better ways to show your pet that you love them. Reducing the amount of calories you feed your pet will result in weight loss and minimise the unwanted problems of weight gain and pet obesity.
To asses a dog or cats body condition, you should run your hand along the ribs, the ribs should be felt like you can feel the bones on the back of your hand. If you cannot feel the ribs, the pet is overweight. You should also be able to see a waist when the pet is viewed from above and from the side at the flank area.
Overweight animals are more likely to suffer from metabolic diseases like diabetes , heart disease and pancreatitis, they are more likely to show signs of arthritis and spinal pain, they may develop breathing problems or certain cancers. Generally, if your pet is overweight, its lifespan is impacted and it will have a worse quality of life.
54% of pet owners will give their pet food if it is begs and 22% of pet owners overfeed their pet to keep it happy. This is a mistake, food does not equal love, instead there are many other ways to show your affection and support the bond with the animal, like exercising or playing ball with the pet and grooming the pet.
To maintain a healthy weight, the correct daily calorie allowance should be fed with no or minimal treats. To get your pet to lose weight, a reduced calorie diet should be fed, with no treats. To give a reduced calorie diet without any nutrient deficiencies, commercial weight loss diets for dogs and cats have been developed.