Obesity can lead to many serious health conditions to your pets including heart disease, diabetes, joint inflammation, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, liver disease, difficulty in breathing and even skin problems.
Seriously overweight dogs and cats who undergo surgery are also more vulnerable to side effects from the anaesthetics used in the operation.
So, how to control your pet’s weight?
Make a start by reducing the quantity of high-calorie food it eats and simultaneously increase the high-fibre, low-fat content of its diet.
Feed them small portions three or four times a day during this slimming-down period.
Resist the urge to give your pet titbits; the best approach is to put it outside for the duration.
Walk your dog regularly and encourage it to exert itself by running or playing with other dogs.
Cats, being a lot less tractable, are a more difficult proposition in this regard. Exercise options include playing chase-the-feather or other improvised games and buying toys that encourage physical activity.
Weigh your pet regularly and keep a record to monitor the effectiveness of the new diet-and-exercise regime.
Check the list of ingredients on shop-bought dog and cat foods and stop buying those with a high fat content.
Best of all: Consult your vet for advice on nutritious types of food which will satisfy your pet but allow it to gradually shed those unnecessary, and potentially harmful, kilogrammes.