It is estimated that more than 40% of Australia’s pets are overweight. Don’t let obesity affect your pet’s health!

There are many contributing factors that lead to overweight pets but the main one is overfeeding.

We all know how easy it is to spoil our pets with treats and extra food. If you have noticed that your pet has adopted a few extra Christmas kilos or is a little tubby in general, then now is the time to set your pet off on the right paw and incorporate the support of a professional weight loss program. There is a very high percentage of slightly overweight pets that very quickly become ‘obese’ and unfortunately there are many health risks associated with obese pets.

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Overweight pets are likely to:

• Live a shorter, less-active life
• Become prone to joint and mobility problems
• Develop skin problems and a lower resistance to infection
• Be at greater risk during surgery
• Be disinterested in exercise and play.

How to identify if your pet has weight problem?

The quick quiz below is designed to determine if your pet is at a healthy weight, or if there is cause for concern. If you answer yes to any of the questions, or if you think your pet is not at its optimum body condition, you may want to talk to your local Greencross Vets team about a professional weight management program that can be tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

Weighty Quiz Questions

• Do you have difficulty feeling your pet’s ribs?
• Does your pet have little or no waist?
• Do you give your pet table scraps or leftovers?
• Is your pet reluctant to exercise?
• Does your pet tire easily with activity?
• Does your pet waddle when it walks?
• Does your pet keep eating so long as there is food in the bowl?
• Has your pet been desexed?
• Have you been told your pet is overweight?

Identifying if your pet has a weight problem is essential for their health and wellbeing, and key to preventing health risks that can be associated with excess body weight.

Health risks associated with overweight pets:

• Heart disease
• Susceptibility to infections
• Diabetes mellitus
• Neurological disorders
• Increased risk during surgery and anaesthetic procedures
• Respiratory problems
• Cancer
• Earlier onset of joint problems such as arthritis
• Skin problems
• Reproductive disorders.

If your pet has a weight problem (including being underweight, which also poses health problems) then seek assistance from your local Greencross Vets. Greencross Vets clinics offer weight management programs tailored specifically to your pets needs, to help them maintain their optimal body weight.

Written By: Dr. Nick Taylor, Greencross Vets
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