Just like us, carrying extra weight can be dangerous for our pets and there are many health consequences associated with being overweight. Here’s a few recommendations from our experts to help to keep your pet’s weight in check!

What causes weight gain?

It might sound like a simple question, but there is more to it than just eating more calories than are burned. In fact, there are lots of other factors that can contribute to weight gain, including:

  • Breed
  • Age
  • Reproductive status (neutered/sprayed)
  • Pre-existing diseases (diabetes, hypothyroidism ect)
  • Inactivity or low-level exercise
  • Overfeeding

For some species, there are certain breeds that are more prone to being overweight – particularly in dogs. Age is also a huge factor as many senior pets find it hard to keep active.

How much should I feed my pet?

Keeping track of your pets meal and treats is important and will help to give you a good picture of the calories that they are digesting. You can monitor this by checking the nutritional values provided on packaging. All pet food manufactured in the UK must comply with EU Regulations and be labelled correctly, listing the species or breed and instructions for proper use, including amount per day or percentage of daily ration.

It’s worth keeping in mind that treats are often not nutritionally balanced and can contain a lot of calories so should be fed sparingly. Even treats with names that suggest they are healthy and nutritional can be misleading so it’s always worth checking the back of the pack!

By monitoring what your pet is eating each day it will be easier for you to understand what needs to be changed if your pet needs to shed a few pounds. Before making any changes to your pets diet, you should always check with your vet as this can lead to other health problems.

How do I Choose the right food for my pet?

It’s essential to find the right type of food for your pet and there are several factors to consider when deciding what food to buy, such as:

  • Species
  • Age
  • Size

This is really important as the nutritional values differ depending on the above. For example, feed for puppies and kittens contains ingredients that promotes growth which will have adverse effects if fed to an adult pet. We’d recommend choosing trusted brands as their products contain highly quality ingredients and are tailored specifically to each group’s requirements.

If your vet has recommended changing your pet’s diet to help them lose weight, we have a selection of weight management feeds including The Royal Canin obesity management dry dog food, which is low in fat to help you maintain and manage weight loss in obese dogs when used in conjunction with exercise. If you are unsure of what food is best suited to your pet, ask your local veterinary for advice on what products offer the right nutritional mix.

How often should my pet exercise?

Its time to say yes to exercise! To keep your pet at a healthy happy weight it is important to give them plenty of opportunities for regular exercise. Depending on your pet’s species, they should be given plenty of space to move around at all times and should be provided with additional space for a energetic amount of exercise each day. Dogs for example will benefit greatly from a daily walk and other pets such as cats can be encouraged to get moving by playing with fun toys such as the Ancol Y-shaped play tunnel.