The benefits of weight monitoring and body condition scoring
August 14, 2023
Pet obesity is a growing problem in the UK, and with extra weight comes additional health problems. Sudden weight loss can also be a sign of an underlying health condition, so to help you monitor your pet’s weight we have compiled the following advice.
If you are concerned your pet may be obese or struggling with their health due to their weight, do not hesitate to contact us
To help you right now, download our Body Condition Scoring Chart for Cats and Dogs
Your pet’s overall health
Any sudden change in your pet’s weight could be a symptom of an underlying health condition that needs to be investigated. Weight loss or weight gain both come with their own extensive list of associated medical conditions, but the most common ailments we treat are osteoarthritis, dental issues and diabetes. Contact us to book an appointment as soon as possible if your pet has experienced sudden weight loss or gain.
Preventing obesity & early detection
If your pet is overweight, the risk of them developing heart disease, diabetes and joint problems are much higher. By taking preventative action and monitoring their weight, you can help protect your pet from these serious diseases. Regular weight monitoring also helps to detect any changes in your pet’s overall health early on, which could improve the outcome of any future treatment.
We see a lot of pets at the surgery who are simply consuming far too many calories for their lifestyle and are therefore unable to maintain a healthy weight. The amount of food your pet needs will depend on factors such as their breed, age, lifestyle, and temperament, and will change throughout the course of their lifetime. It’s important to consider all these variables when selecting the type and amount of food for your pet.
There is also the opposite problem, with pets not consuming enough calories, or missing out on certain, essential components of the diet. This may occur if the nutritional needs of the pet are not properly understood by the owner, and is something we see all too often in smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs.
If you have any questions about how best to feed your pet, or are concerned that they may be more or less than their ideal weight, book an appointment to discuss your pet’s weight, diet and exercise regime. We can advise on the best feeding regime for your pet – for example, a working dog will need a higher protein, higher calorie diet, or a house cat, will need to reflect reduced activity levels and rabbits should be eating lots of hay and grass to keep their teeth healthy and the digestive systems functioning.
Regular weight monitoring will not only help to avoid obesity and its associated health risks, but it will also help to ensure that your pet is receiving the correct nutrition levels to keep them happy and healthy. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet.
Remember to download our Body Condition Scoring Chart for Cats and Dogs below to help you understand if your pet needs veterinary attention for their weight.