Our pets are our world, and spoiling them with delicious treats is enjoyable for both our fur babies and us as pet parents - because let’s face it, they deserve it!
When learning new tricks, edible rewards are considered a necessity but as with people, too many treats or even the wrong kind of treats can be really harmful for our pet’s health. From diabetes and heart disease to cancers and respiratory issues, our pets can experience some really serious and long term effects if they’re carrying even a little extra load.
With National Pet Obesity Awareness Day coming up this October, we’ve gathered our top tips to help you recognise what’s normal for you and your pets…
Accepting the issue!
Obesity in pets is a really serious issue, however the biggest problem of all seems to be the first and hardest step to a healthier life for your pet - admitting there’s an issue!
According to PDSA’s 2019 wellbeing report, “veterinary professionals estimated that 46% of dogs they saw in practice each week are overweight or obsese. However, only 15% of owners described their dogs in this way.”
With pet parents considerably underestimating their pet’s unhealthy waistline, it’s crucial that we clue ourselves up, so as not to neglect our loved one’s well being.
Watching their figure.
There are some really simple ways to measure your pet’s health, and physical appearance is the most obvious and easy way to do this. By keeping a close eye on the following tick list your companion will be on their way to a full bill of health...
Stomach - their stomach should only have a small amount of belly fat (but it’s important to note that some adult cats develop a primordial pouch which acts as a protective layer around their abdomen, so consider the next two points as well as this one when assessing your furry).
Waist - this should be visible from above, with no excess fat.
Back - whilst cuddling your kitty, make sure you can feel their spine, ribs and hips quite easily.
Stomach - this should sit high up when viewing from the side.
Waist - your furries’ waist should be easily felt and clearly visible when viewing from above.
Back - you should be able to see and feel their ribs without excess fat.
Stomach - if your bunny, hamster or other small animal looks wider than they are long then this is a good indicator that their weight is a serious issue.
Back/Shoulders - obese rabbits, specifically, can often have fat pockets on their shoulders (and occasionally in the legs and groin area too).
Waist - when petting your small furry, you should be able to feel their ribs (with bunnies this will be under a firm layer of muscle).
Did someone say walkies?
As simple as it may seem, ensuring that your podgy pup or fat cat has a healthy, balanced diet, with routine and thorough exercise in their day to day life, you could prevent them suffering from chronic pain and the wider health issues associated with obesity.
Daily walks for our dogs are an absolute must, our furry felines need energetic play and/or outdoor time, whilst rabbits and Guinea pigs need daily access to a lawn, patio or living room floor - within a safe, enclosed environment of course, or better still a large, permanent run. Keeping to these rituals will be wholly beneficial to your little loved one’s health (and happiness!)
How can we help?
Feeding pets leftovers from our plate or treating them throughout the day should be avoided at all costs, and measured meal times encouraged! Using advanced feeding technology, our Rosewood Smart Slow Feeders can help you keep an eye on what your pet is really consuming, ensuring they get the perfect portion each mealtime. Easy peasy!
With rabbits and Guinea pigs, preventing obesity is always best and much simpler than curing it, which means ensuring your furry gets a low(ish) calorie, fibre-rich diet from the outset. The key to this is focussing on hay (which should be over 70% of their diet by weight) rather than prepared diets (which should only account for around 15 to 20% of their diet - and ideally pellets rather than a muesli type). Our Hay Cookies and Meadow Menu are both fantastic - and tasty - choices for your small animal.
Whilst our felines are some of the most independent creatures out there, you may find they enjoy the cat walk too. Our Rosewood Cat Harness & Lead Sets are the perfect edition to any feline’s wardrobe, and a great way to safely ensure your kitty is getting their exercise.
If you are concerned about your beloved pet’s weight and health, we would always recommend a trip to the vets, where you can receive routine advice, support and treatments if necessary.
How do you keep your furry companions fit, healthy and happy? We’d love to hear your top tips for diet and exercise over on our social channels @rosewoodpet.
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