Gaining a few extra pounds at Christmas is almost a compulsory part of the festivities for us humans, but how many of us include our pets into this tradition…perhaps without even realizing it.
An extra slice of Christmas turkey for me and a slice for Scamp too…
A couple of extra pigs in blankets for me and one for Champ too….
As we love our pets so much its only natural that we want to include them in the Christmas festivities, but how much notice do we pay to the extra pounds they might be gaining?
Overweight pets is a growing concern in the UK, with 1 in 4 dogs and 1 in 3 cats now being overweight.
Like us humans, pets become overweight when they consume more calories than their body can use and sadly the food and treats we provide often exceed the amount of calories they can burn off through activity, causing them to gain weight.
Even pets that get lots of exercise can soon become overweight if they are getting too many calories.
Our domestic pets cannot regulate their food intake and exercise like wild animals because they have to rely on us as their owners to provide food and exercise for them.
Unfortunately because we see so many overweight pets out and about or on social media, it is normalising obesity and owners are getting the wrong impression of what a healthy dog, cat or rabbit of the ideal bodyweight, should look like.
How do the below animals look to you? Overweight or normal?
All of the above images are of animals that have some weight to lose. Does that surprise you?
Being overweight can also make it more likely that your pet could suffer from serious health problems and conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Breathing difficulties
- High Blood Pressure
- Arthritis, Joint Problems and Injuries
- Skin Problems
- Anal Gland Problems
- Incontinence (mainly seen in bitches)
- Ulcers / pressure sores
- Fly Strike (Maggot infestation) – This occurs when animals cannot reach their bottoms and clean themselves
- Matted Fur
- Overweight and obese pets usually have shorter lives than fitter pets.
- Overweight pets also tend to interact less with their families and are less energetic and playful
So if your pet has been part of the festivities, now is a good time to start working off the extra pounds and keep them fit and healthy for longer.
If your pet has some pounds to lose and you would like some help uping the exercise regime, Scamps and Champs can help. Whether its an extra dog walk during the day or spending time with your cat and rabbit using enrichment games and exercise tactics to get them moving a bit more through the day. Get in touch with your local branch HERE and we will be happy to get your pets fit this year.