It suddenly seems that adverts for holidays are everywhere (or is it just me?) and it begins to dawn on all of us that jumpers will soon be shed and waistlines might need some attention! With the dark evenings, cold weather and even darker mornings our pets tend to suffer too from a decrease in exercise and hence an increase in waistlines. We all know that obesity is not good for us but did you know that overweight pets on average have a shorter life expectancy by upto 2 years?
Certain diseases are more prevalent in overweight pets. Overweight cats are 30% more likely to have lameness issues. 69% of overweight dogs are more likely to have arthritis and 48% dogs are more likely to suffer from diabetes mellitus.
Signs of an overweight dog include them often appearing tired and lazy, needing help getting in or out of the car, lagging behind on walks, reluctance to play games and constant panting. If you feel your dog and find a bit of a tummy, a broad back with no obvious waist and the ribs are hard to feel, then a free checkup with Karen our qualified Vet Nurse would be a good idea where she can advise you if your dog has a weight problem or not.
With overweight cats it can be harder to tell as they are often quite lazy and seem to sleep alot - especially in the winter! If he/she has started to hesitate when jumping onto the furniture or is starting to develop dandruff and a matted coat on their back or tail area then a free appointment at our weight clinic is probably a good idea. It doesn't take much extra for a cat to begin to suffer. An extra 1kg in body weight for a cat is the same as an extra 17kgs in an adult human being!!
At a Weight Check Karen can advise you if there is possible a problem and can give some excellent advice on how to correct weight gain. Hills make a range of diets to help with dieting depending on your pets eating habits. For 'gobblers', pets that eat very quickly and always seem to be hungry (ie most Labradors!) there is a high fibre diet called RD which is specifically designed to fill them up and decrease those hunger pangs. For 'grazers' who want to eat all the time, a problem often found with overweight cats, there is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet called MD (a bit like the Atkins diet). The best news of all is that we have money off vouchers for both these diets which allows you to save upto £29 until the 30th April 2012.
The beauty of these foods is that they are designed specifically to keep your pets happy whilst encoraging them to loose weight. RD is clinically proven to reduce fat by 22% in just two months in dogs and by 20% in just three months for cats. Cleverly these foods have L-Carnitine (an amino acid) added to stimulate the body to burn fat and L-lysene to preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss. This means these foods are more effective at weight loss that just feeding a 'light' diet or reducing your pets normal food intake. Wouldn't it be great if they made them for people too?!