Obesity in cats and dogs: simple things you can do

Lindsay Calcraft
Friday, July 2, 2021

Obesity in cats and dogs, is a complex and incurable (but treatable) disease which negatively affects quality and longevity of life. The rising trend is concerning for both pet owners and the veterinary profession. This disease can feel an overwhelming one to tackle at times but there are some simple steps that can be implemented to make a difference. Talking openly about pet obesity, without judgement can improve trust with pet owners, making conversations about cats and dogs with obesity easier. Weighing and body condition scoring pets regularly, from early on in life and recording these values allows trends to be spotted more easily. This means any reactive nutritional recommendations and/or feeding behaviour changes can be made and implemented earlier. Recommending a diet appropriate to the pet's caloric needs, while ensuring meal satisfaction and limiting food seeking behaviour, can go some way towards achieving or maintaining a healthy weight and owner compliance. Combining these nutritional recommendations with daily weighing of the recommended diet on digital scales can also be beneficial. If we all implement some small changes in the way we approach cats and dogs with obesity or indeed those at risk of having obesity, we can make a difference.

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