Managing your pet’s weight is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. Much of their health and wellbeing comes back to diet, and as pet owners, we are responsible for maintaining a healthy diet.

However, did you know that over a third of Australian pets are overweight or obese? This makes Australian pets some of the most overweight in the world!

The good news is that to maintain a healthy weight for your pet is not a difficult task! Read on for some helpful hints on how to keep your pet’s weight in check.

The facts
• Desexing an animal slows down its metabolism
• Female dogs and male cats are the most at risk of developing weight issues
• Overweight/obese pets tend to have a shorter life span
• Excess weight and obesity are associated with many health problems

Weight management
The majority of obesity cases in pets are a result of poor diet and lack of exercise. This causes an imbalance where the intake of energy exceeds the energy that is used. Very few cases are attributed to medical conditions (less than 5%).

The following advice should be considered, in consultation with your vet, in order to better manage your pet’s weight:
• Don’t dramatically reduce your pets caloric intake
• Weigh your pet regularly and keep track of their weight
• Read the labels and understand what is being put into your pet’s body
• Monitor treats and small amounts of food you may be giving your pet
• Increase your pet’s exercise
• Consult your vet and educate yourself on the risk and effects of pet obesity

It is important to remember that you are responsible for your pet’s health and wellbeing. If you believe your pet has a weight problem, consulting your vet is the first step to recovery.