A vets thoughts on overweight pets

Paul, our vet, and his thoughts on plump pets.


Pets become overweight when they eat more calories than they are using up. If your animal companion is plump, think food intake being the problem rather than lack of exercise.

Food type and quality is so important. A lap dog with little exercise does not need a high energy content active food. Feed only as per food guidelines and do not allow ad lib feeding.

Humans are one of the main cause of obesity in pets, in my opinion. Rarely is it a disease process (like cushings disease or hypothyroidism). Treats from the owner are a major contributing factor. They should be reduced to a minimum or cut then out completely if you want your pet to lose weight.

Breed disposition – This is definitely a factor. Labradors and golden retrievers, in my experience, are more prone to becoming overweight.

Spaying and neutering – Male and female hormones drops after pets are spayed or neutered. As a result, energy needs decrease, so do not feed the same amount as intact dogs.

Problems caused by obesity – In the Animal Hospital, we find that obese animals are more prone to ;

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Damage to joints, bones and ligaments
  • Heart disease and increased blood pressure
  • Various health disorders and breathing problems
  • And most importantly a decreased quality and length of life.

The Animal Hospital would like to nominate Bruno as our Slimmer role model for July 2015 . Slimmer of the month Bruno, is a 7 year old male Boxer. He was diagnosed with arthritis of the spine last year. At that point he was 48kg. He was placed on a weight reduction program and with the help of his dedicated owner, he weighed in this week at just over 40kg. He achieved this by cutting out treats and reducing his calorie intake. Impressive! Bruno is now more fit and active  and his quality of life has greatly improved and he no longer needs pain meds…….

Before weight loss at 47kg

Before weight loss at 47kg

After weight loss at 40kg

After weight loss at 40kg

Well done Bruno!!! July Slimmer of the month! 


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