Weight management for your pet
This month, we are focusing on weight management as it’s not just humans that sometimes need to refresh their lifestyles in the New Year!
Along with a balanced diet, walking for 30 minutes a day will reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, certain cancers and type-2 diabetes in humans; and if you do this every day with your dog, it will be hugely benefiting them too. In terms of physical health, there will be improvements in their weight and body condition, joint health and digestive health. Regular, varied walks also create a stronger bond between pet and owner and increase their interest, so it’s great for their mental wellbeing too.
It can sometimes be difficult to know how much your pet should weigh; this is why veterinary professionals use a body condition score rather than count the kilograms! Below is an example of a body condition chart and we consider a score of 5 to be a healthy body condition that will avoid any weight-related health issues.
If your pet is not of the canine variety there are still some simple things that you can try at home to encourage your pet to become more active. For cats, especially if they are kept indoors, encouraging play with toys, scatter feeding, puzzle feeders and providing a cat tree can all help to increase your feline friend’s activity levels and help them to maintain a healthy body condition.
For rabbits, try to enrich their environment to encourage more movement, such as scatter feeding, providing toys, tunnels and new areas/objects to explore. These will all help your rabbit to stay active and alongside a balanced diet of pellets or nuggets, good quality hay and leafy greens will ensure they maintain an ideal body condition that should result in a happy and healthy bunny.
So why not team up with your four legged friends this January and get active! If you’d like any further advice on managing your pet’s weight, please contact our staff at your nearest The Pet Vet surgery.