If you suspect your dog is carrying extra weight, it's essential to consult with your local veterinarian. They will conduct a thorough examination to rule out any underlying health conditions that might be affecting your dog's weight. If no health issues are identified, your vet might recommend dietary and lifestyle adjustments tailored to your dog's breed and specific needs.
Many veterinary clinics offer complimentary weight management consultations, typically led by a veterinary nurse. They can assess if your dog is indeed overweight and guide you on the next steps. It's worth reaching out to your local clinic to inquire about such services.
Ensuring your dog maintains an ideal weight and body condition is crucial for their overall health. Proper nutrition can help prevent health issues and ensure your dog leads a happy, active life. Always monitor your dog's weight and adjust their food intake accordingly.
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UK Pet Food Pet Obesity Help Sheet
The UK Pet Food Association has curated resources to guide pet owners in managing their dog's weight effectively.
Understanding the Weight Issue: The rise in obesity isn't just a human concern. The World Health Organisation has noted a nearly threefold increase in human obesity since 1975, primarily due to factors like high-calorie food consumption, urbanisation, and sedentary lifestyles. Unfortunately, a similar trend is observed in pets, with many veterinary professionals noting an uptick in pet obesity.
Tools and Resources: Collaborating with human behaviour experts, the UK Pet Food association has developed tools to assist pet owners in ensuring their pets remain at a healthy weight. These resources include:
- Pet Size-O-Meters: A guide to help you assess your pet's size and weight.
- Calorie Calculators: Determine the right amount of food for your pet.
- Posters & Food Diaries: Visual aids and logs to track your pet's diet.
- Behavioural Factsheet: a factsheet that highlights challenges dog owners face. It provides insights into situations that might lead to overfeeding or offering inappropriate foods.
By understanding the challenges and being equipped with the right tools, you can ensure your dog enjoys a balanced diet and stays active, leading to a healthier and happier life.
If you would like to give it a go, then download the following factsheet, which describes some of the challenges that dog owners might encounter, including common situations that lead people to feed their dog too much or the wrong types of food:
You can also access additional resources and tools on the UK Pet Food Association's website.