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A Weighty Issue

An overweight pet is an unhealthy pet. Durbanville vet Dr John Adam explains how to tell if your pet is too heavy and how to help Fido shed unwanted kilos

1. THE EASIEST WAY to determine whether your pet is obese is to check fat coverage of the ribs. ‘The ribs should be easily felt but not visible,’ says Adam. This does vary from breed to breed and also depends on the age of the animal. ‘Your veterinarian or vet nurse will be able to give you an accurate appraisal of your pet’s weight.’

2. ‘IT’S IMPORTANT TO REALISE that weight gain may also be caused by other medical conditions,’ says Adam. ‘It’s therefore necessary to have your pet examined thoroughly by your vet before any diet programme is instituted.’

3. IF YOUR PET IS DEEMED to be overweight, then a kilojoule-restricted diet, increase in exercise and cutting out treats (or using low-kilojoule treats instead) are generally very effective, says Adam. ‘This weight loss must be a gradual process, as a too-sudden weight drop can be harmful to his health.’

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