Products for overweight pets | Vets and Clinics

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Products for overweight pets

Owners first need to be made aware of their pet’s body condition. A poster in the consulting room with illustrations and a scale from 1 to 5 will help you show the owner where their pet is located on the scale, so they will accept that their animal is overweight. Another good tip is placing the body condition poster in a visible place in the waiting room, preferably near the scales, to increase owners’ awareness of the need to control the excess weight of their dogs and cats.

Nutrition and illnesses

Which tools can we use and recommend? Are there any products for overweight pets?

Body condition poster

Owners first need to be made aware of their pet’s body condition. A poster in the consulting room with illustrations and a scale from 1 to 5 will help you show the owner where their pet is located on the scale, so they will accept that their animal is overweight. Another good tip is placing the body condition poster in a visible place in the waiting room, preferably near the scales, to increase owners’ awareness of the need to control the excess weight of their dogs and cats. In the case of cats, we must make it clear that if sterilised, they have a tendency to become overweight.

Control the amount of food

Ad libitum feeding is unsuitable for overweight pets, especially when trying to lose weight. So, the first thing is to calculate the amount of food that the dog or cat should receive based on their weight and nutritional status.

You can use a manual scale or ruler to quickly calculate the animal’s daily requirements.

Food-dispensing toys: pet products are available to encourage activity while the pet tries to obtain the food. One of these is the Advance Activity Ball, an interactive feeding toy that allows cats to be fed while also exercising and enjoying themselves. Affinity Petcare’s research team have published a study showing that playing with the Activity Ball increased activity by 30%.

Limited energy diets

A controlled dietary intervention that reduces energy intake is the only treatment that has proven effective in achieving weight loss. However, it is important to not only reduce the amount of food, but to change the type of diet. A drastic reduction in the amount of food can lead to nutritional deficits in some nutrients, vitamins, essential fatty acids and other trace elements.

In addition, a substantial reduction in the volume ingested will make the animal feel unsatisfied and hungrier, leading to an even more aggressive search for food.

It is therefore very important to select a weight-loss programme that is effective in ensuring healthy weight loss, but allows the animal to feel full and at the same time helps maintain muscle mass. The essential measures are to reduce the amount of fat and increase fibre and protein in the diet.

Toys for increasing physical activity

Encouraging play is a very cheap and easy means of increasing the animal’s physical activity. Playing with dogs and cats brings emotional benefits, as it creates a stronger bond between the owner and their pet, and physical benefits, since it improves the mobility of both the pet and owner alike.

Physical activity is definitely a good idea, for owners as well as their dogs, because it allows them to develop their natural instincts. For example, running is innate in dogs, which is why they organise dog and owner fun runs

Use products designed for pets. Educating pets by showing them which are their toys stops them playing with other household items or the owner’s belongings (socks, cushions, rugs, etc.).

The use of toys is even more important for cats, since, unlike dogs, they do not get any exercise by going for walks on a lead. Small toys that mimic their favourite prey which they can chase and hunt, along with scratching posts and climbing trees are essential for cats to develop their natural behaviours.

Follow-up and visitation plan

After giving the owner the right recommendations, it is just as important to ensure that they are followed. Regular follow-up via email or text messages can make a difference with treatment adherence. Programme a clear plan for subsequent visits with owners, as it will help remind them that their pet is on a weight-loss programme.

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