Petcare Info

Obesity in pets

pet obesityThe increasing incidence of obesity in cats & dogs parallels the trend in people & especially in young puppies to overfeed their family pet. Overfeeding pups causes an increase in the number of fat cells which does not occur post maturity; when a high energy diet can only cause an increase in the size of the cells. It follows that it is vital not to overfeed pups & kittens. One study showed that obese dogs lived on average two years less than normal bodyweight dogs. Obesity is common precursor to diabetes, degenerative joint disease (DJD) (read more @ Arthritis and Cruciate Ligament Disease), cardiovascular disease, certain cancer types, pancreatitis and dermatitis.

At Erina Heights Vet Hospital we estimate that around 30% of the pets we see are overweight or obese; and we recognise the difficulty in maintaining a trim shape with our pets. The common theme being that daily feed quantities recommended on commercial food products are quite generous; & do not take into account each pets individual metabolic rates, exercise or lifestyle. Care also needs to be taken after your pet is desexed - a decrease in daily food intake is required compared to that given prior to surgery. Our nursing staff in reception or your vet in the course of a consultation will assign a body score to your pet on examination and we then give an individual recommendation for your family pet taking into account your wishes on food types, lifestyle & the rate of weight loss desired.

The solution to weight loss comes down to the basic mathematical equation: if an animal is overweight it is taking in more calories than it is expending. At Erina Heights Vet Hospital we also offer another dimension to help with your family pets’ weight reduction strategy - our indoor heated Aqua Paws Plus underwater treadmill. This technology allows for exercise in a controlled environment all year round, tones up muscle groups not used in ’normal’ land exercise, and increases the range of motion of all joints by an average of 30% compared to walking on dry land. We are able to adjust temperature, water depth (and therefore buoyancy) & treadmill speed to suit individual pet needs. Under veterinary supervision your family dog is monitored to ensure their exercise regime is optimal & they are not just going along for a ride, by floating or swimming to reduce the work load.

Hydrotherapy is great for general conditioning of all dogs - those that just need a little toning up and elderly dogs that need a little more spark injected into their lives. Read more @ Aqua Paws Plus Underwater Treadmill Next time you visit us - ask our staff about our Aqua Paws Plus Underwater Treadmill & Weight Loss Club!