Chubby is not cute!
You may think your dog has a little ‘puppy fat’ or that your cuddly cat is just the cutest thing, but for pets, even carrying a little extra weight can have huge health implications.
Keeping your pet at the right weight will prevent many disease conditions associated with obesity, extend their lives, make them happier and most certainly result in long term savings on veterinary bills.
Worldwide, obesity is a massive health problem for humans
According to the World Health Organisation, 39% of adults are overweight. In South Africa some studies indicate that almost 70% of women and 39% of men are overweight or obese. Sadly this trend extends to our pets too – South African vets say that more than half of pets they treat are overweight or obese.
Love is blind
9 out of 10 pet parents of overweight pets mistakenly identify their pet’s weight as normal. This is widely referred to as the “Fat Gap” and is a key factor in the pet obesity epidemic. Pet obesity is a serious health risk and sadly pet parents don’t see it.
Pet obesity is the number one health risk pets face
Excess weight in pets can decrease their life expectancy by up to two-and-a-half-years, putting them at a higher risk of disease. Pet obesity has been linked to more than 20 ailments, including arthritis, urinary conditions, skin problems, heart disease and cancer. “If you think fat pets are happier, think again – overweight pets have been shown to be less happy,” says Dr Guy Fyvie, veterinary nutritional advisor for Hill’s Pet Nutrition.
Signs to look out for
Visible signs that your pet may be overweight include not being able to feel their ribs anymore; loss of a discernible waist; pads of fat around their neck and base of their tail; a ‘waddle’ rather than a ‘walk’; difficulty playing; lagging on walks, overheating; shortness of breath and bad temper.
Pet parents’ behaviour often plays a major role in their animals being overweight “Treating our loved ones with food is a way we can show them how much we love them. It’s part of our culture and tradition,” says Carla Bath, marketing manager at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “But that shared piece of toast reflects the emotional part that makes obesity a complex condition that’s tough to beat.”
The right food can help
Sticking to a diet is difficult; much like it is for humans. But cutting your pet’s portion sizes or restricting calories is simply old fashioned! Hill’s weight loss foods are the best selling foods for overweight pets. The scientific research means these foods work very differently. Based on the science of nutrigenomics, it ignites a pet’s metabolism from that of a fat storer to a fat burner, allowing pet’s to lose and maintain weight more effectively than restricting calories or portion sizes which often results in begging and the pet becoming even more calorie efficient. Similar to human diets that just results is a disappointing yoyo effect.
For better results try Hill’s Science Plan Perfect Weight
Created from years of expertise in therapeutic management, Science Plan Perfect Weight has a blend of natural ingredients which spark metabolism and help burn calories, preventing excess energy from being stored as fat. It’s an easier, more effective way to keep weight off. No deprivation and no guilt. Plus it’s made with no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours just like the rest of our range.
This food is ideal for neutered cats and dogs. Pets that are less active and breeds like Labradors, Beagles and Dachshunds prone to weight gain.