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Help Your Overweight Dog or Cat Lose Weight Safely

This article discusses the importance of keeping your pet’s weight under control.

Help your dog or cat maintain a healthy weight and live a long and healthy life.

Overweight dog or cat. We love them so much that if they gain a little weight, we don’t worry. We interpret it as a sign of ‘well-being‘. Excessive weight gain, however, is a severe problem that must be addressed immediately.

An overweight or obese animal is a victim of excess body fat with numerous adverse health consequences. Not only because it is bulky and tiring to support but also because it generates widespread chronic inflammation that increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes and cancer. The saddest fact you know?

In 2020, 78% of veterinary professionals reported increased obesity in cats and dogs!
Graphic from Pet Keen

Obese dogs and cats live about two years less than healthy subjects. Unfortunately, the statistics are alarming: one in two animals is overweight, but only very few owners realise this. This needs to be reversed!

Keep your weight under control.

Use the scale regularly, making a note of the date and figure in a diary or on your phone. You can use the scale you find at the vet or pet shops.

Or, if your dog is small enough and cooperative enough to be picked up, weigh yourself once with him and once without him, then subtract the two values, and you will get his weight at home’. In this way, you can notice an unwanted weight gain very quickly.

Train your senses: use sight and touch.

Did you know you can ‘weigh’ your pet with your eyes and hands? If your pet’s flanks seen from above appear parallel or even rounded, rather than having an ‘hourglass’ appearance, start to get suspicious. Look at it from the side: does it have a potbelly? Does its abdomen appear bulkier and saggy?

This is another clear sign that should make you worry. Finally, run your hands along his chest. Can you feel the ribs, or is it all smooth and soft?

Provide an adequate diet for your dog.

Ensure you feed him a balanced diet tailored to his size, age, and lifestyle needs. However, before making any changes to the diet, seek advice from your veterinary surgeon.

Precisely dose food and snacks without being bribed

All food must be dosed, especially if it is dry food (e.g. kibble) that is very concentrated. If you measure portions “by eye” and overdo them with treats, you are likely giving your dog more than he needs… It is not wise to rely on ‘dog hunger‘ either, as many dogs and cats are big gluttons with insatiable appetites.

Make him move a lot and often.

Tips to help your dog or cat achieve a healthy weight and fitness level.
If you are concerned about your pet’s weight, you should talk to your veterinarian. They can help you develop a weight loss plan that is safe and effective for your pet.

Movement ‘burns‘ kilocalories, so play, go out more often, and extend each walk by 10-15 minutes.

With due differences, this also applies if your four-legged friend is already overweight: get him moving while respecting his difficulties with short but frequent walks.

Ask the veterinary surgeon for help.

Your vet can assess the nutritional status of your four-legged friend and advise you on the most appropriate diet and supplements. If the situation has gotten out of hand, don’t despair: it’s never too late to intervene! Together, you can set up a proper weight loss programme.

In addition, if the weight gain is not (or not only) due to a poor diet, the vet will conduct all the analyses necessary to identify and treat a possible disease.

Don’t hurry, and don’t give up.

Weight loss must be well balanced because too tremendous and rapid weight loss can be difficult, especially in cats.

By combining the balanced diet recommended by your vet and exercise, the results, although not immediate, will be visible. Don’t give up, and don’t demoralise yourself.

Protect his health and metabolism.

Today, we have available nutritional and specific products, both for dogs and overweight/obese cats, scientifically designed to counteract the insidious and damaging effects of excess weight.

Consider with your vet the possibility of using the most suitable one during the weight-loss period to protect your ‘furry one’ from the damage caused by chronic widespread inflammation.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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