We want to tell you a little story about a shy little dog called Gracie.
Gracie is a 3 year old Cocker Spaniel, very much loved by all her family. Back in July 2019 she visited us for her annual vaccination where the veterinary surgeon noticed that she had been gradually gaining weight. After a small discussion with the Chinnery family about the consequences of being overweight, they were very happy to put Gracie onto a weight loss plan. So, Gracie was referred to our nursing team to discuss diet and exercise requirements where they came up with a regime to get her back into shape!
Before we go into more depth regarding Gracie’s story, we thought we would talk a little bit about pet obesity in general. Did you know that nearly 47% of UK’s pets are overweight? Obesity is becoming a leading concern when it comes to animal welfare. As pets put on weight they can develop discomfort that is not always noticeable by the owners, which can also have an impact on what should be normal healthy day to day behaviour. Here at the practice we see a lot of dogs, cats and rabbits that are overweight. Some of them, although they are overweight, are still extremely active and full of energy, (dogs more so than cats!). Owners with these types of pets tend to have the misconception that their pets weight is not a concern, due to the fact they are so energetic. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth as those extra pounds are still putting your pet at risk of health issues in the future.
But what consequences can obesity bring to our pets? There’s a vast list of health implications with being overweight depending on the species. However, regardless of the species overweight animals are all prone to heart disease, respiratory distress, joint disease, diabetes, skin conditions among others.
A quick way to check at home if your pet is overweight would be to feel their ribs by placing your hands along their rib cage. You should be able to feel the ribs without any effort and sometimes, depending on the breed, you should be able to see the outlining of the ribs. When it comes to their waist, dogs and cats should have a clearly visible waistline tucking in behind the rib cage. To evaluate this one, it is best to have a look at your pet from above while they are standing up. Last but not least, although cats are allowed a very small amount of fat in their belly area, the same does not apply for dogs and their bellies should be tucked in.
If you are not sure if your pet is overweight, now is the time to book an appointment! Throughout the month of March, our nursing team will be offering free checks to ensure your pet has a healthy body condition. To book, simply click here or give one of our team a call today on 01206851338.
If your pet is anything like Gracie, it can be difficult to give into those puppy dog eyes! While she was on a diet full of variety, her owners loved to spoil her with lots of delicious treats. So, following the discussions at her vaccination and health check appointment, Gracie came for her first weight management clinic. At this first appointment we take a range of measurements at a starting point and create a diet plan that fits with the pet and owners lifestyle. Once Gracie attended this appointment, she then came back to us one month later for follow up appointments to make sure her diet plan was working effectively, ensuring she wasn’t feeling hungry or losing too little or too much weight. At the follow up appointments we also discuss several other aspects of the weight management plan such as exercise routines, calorie intake and general health.
After just over 5 months of gradual, healthy weight loss Gracie has lost 5.1Kg and is now a much active, happier and healthier dog. We are so proud of her and grateful for all the hard work her owners have put into getting her to a healthy weight.
Well done Gracie and Chinnery family!!
If you would like to meet with one of our team to see how we can help your pet, the appointments are free through the month of March and can be booked online here or by calling the clinic on 01206851338.