Julia’s Column For The Middy
How can you tell if your pet is overweight?
My New Year’s resolution two weeks ago was “I must eat less!”
Well, actually, that is my resolution just about every time I have look in the mirror! I do my best. I take the stairs rather than a lift. My dog, Jasmine, and I go for long walks, and I try to get to an exercise class several times a week.
But at this time of year my favorite classes are often over-subscribed. We call the extra people the ‘ressies’, and you know a ressie by their absence come February! Their New Year’s Resolution was to join the gym, but it’s not easy to change a habit.
And what about our pets?
At the Mewes, we have been learning that being overweight is a disease in itself, which can have dire consequences, and is a lifelong condition. We have been teaching our pet owners how to do a body condition score for their pets, to see for themselves whether they are overweight. I am still a 7 out of 9, but Jasmine has recently reduced to a more svelte 6! We are both working towards the perfect 5.
As veterinary professionals, we understand that being overweight makes the pain of arthritis much harder to bear, puts our backs under strain, and our hearts at risk of failure. It also makes it hard to breathe, due to the excess deposits of fat in the chest, challenges our livers, and makes us much more at risk of Diabetes and bladder problems.
At the University of Liverpool a team of Veterinary professionals have pioneered research into obesity in pets. Their work includes the use of a DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptionometry) scan which highlights the amount of fat an individual pet is carrying. Their research has helped pet food manufacturers to provide food that will both satisfy an overweight pet’s hunger, whilst assisting them to lose weight.
Now my team can support this important work, helping the 39% of cats and 59% of dogs in the UK who are overweight or obese.
To tell if your pet is overweight go to pet-slimmers.com/pet-obesity/