According to a 2005 study quoted by the Australian Veterinary Association, as many as 33% of dogs in Australia are overweight, with a similar level in cats. One of the main causes of overweight pets is too much or inappropriate food. Whilst your pet is always keen to finish off leftovers from family meals it may be doing them more harm than good if they are overweight.
Having an overweight dog or cat can cause early onset of disorders and also potentially shorten your pet’s life. Common disorders brought on by obesity are;
- Cardiovascular disease
- Reduced exercise tolerance
- Heat intolerance
- Breathing difficulties
- Skin disease
- Liver disease
- Skeleton and joint problem
You can check out our dog insurance breed page to see if your breed of dog may be susceptible to the disorders above. It is important your pet receives correct nutrition to live a happy and healthy life.
Regular exercise such as daily walks in conjunction with a good diet can help your pet maintain or lose weight. Appropriate exercise also has the potential to improve your pets behaviour as quite often bad behaviour is the result of boredom and excess energy.
If you are unsure about your pet’s ideal weight, you are best to speak to your local vet. As each pet is different, there is no one size fits all solution. A qualified vet can review your pet and discuss personalised advice on what you should feed your pet and how much daily exercise is required.
Further information on overweight pets can be found at: Pet Food Industry Association of Australian Weight Management.