Is your pet overweight?
Just like humans, pets need a balanced diet and the right amount of exercise to stay fit and healthy - and too much food or not enough exercise can lead to obesity.
While it's tempting to feed them tasty treats or scraps from the dinner table - 5.7 million pets in the UK are fed treats every day, according to the 2018 PDSA PAW Report - it's important to get the balance right.
Excess weight can cause serious health complications and risks, including joint problems, heart disease and inflammation, and in the worst cases a shorter life expectancy, according to the National Animal Welfare Trust.
How can you tell if your dog or cat is overweight?
Pet magazine Companion Life says that you should be able to feel the outline of your dog's ribs with a minimum layer of fat covering. You should also be able to easily see their waistline.
Cats that are a healthy weight will have a slight paunch of fat on the abdomen. You should be able to see the waist behind the ribs, and feel the ribs but with a slight covering of fat.
Here are some positive changes you can make to help your pet lead a healthier life:
If your pet needs to lose some weight, try reducing their portion size or feeding them pet food that is low in fat, low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
Don't leave food out all day for them to graze as this encourages your pet to eat more. Instead, feed them small portions at set times.
Never put your pet on a crash diet or starve them as this could prevent them from getting essential nutrients.
Treats should be limited and included in their daily calorie allowance. Reduce their meal size whenever you give them treats or table scraps.
Dogs and cats need to stay active - apart from keeping their weight in check, it also improves muscle tone, increases metabolism and helps to reduce boredom.
Dogs need regular walks, while cats can be encouraged to get moving with toys or puzzle feeders, which bring out their natural instinct to hunt for their food.
Your vet can help to monitor your pet's weight and offer advice on a suitable diet for your pet's age and health needs.
Protecting your pet
Keeping your pet at a healthy weight is the first step in keeping them happy and healthy. Protect your pet even further by getting a quote through Go Get It. Got more than one pet at home? We can provide you with a multi-pet cover quote too! Why not compare quotes today and see how much you could save?