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How being overweight can harm your pet

To check if your dog is overweight, there are two simple checks:
1. You should be able to see and feel the outline of your dog’s ribs without excess fat covering.  
2. You should be able to see and feel your dog’s waist and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above.  
If your dog does not pass these checks please consult your vet. They will be able to provide a health check and recommend a weight reduction programme.
Did you know?
- Obesity in animals can cause serious health complications and risks, including joint problems, heart disease and inflammation, and in the worst cases a shorter life expectancy.
- Despite the above, figures show most overweight pets have loving and devoted owners.
- 1 small cookie to a 20lb dog is the equivalent of a whole burger to an average size woman.
- Cats can sleep for up to 20 hours a day, but should be encourage to play and move during their waking hours to avoid gaining weight and suffer from health complications.
- Food intake must be closely monitored and allowances for treats should mean a reduction in other food.
- Obesity is a serious welfare issue in pets as it can cause suffering and can be extremely disabling.
- A 1oz piece of cheddar cheese to a 10lb cat is the equivalent of two and a half burgers to an average size woman.  
- You can replace a fatty treat or bone for a carrot or other dog friendly vegetable.
- If your cat isn’t naturally active, a toy they enjoy playing with can encourage them to get moving, or hunting feeders will let them hone in on their natural instincts and hunt for their food.
- Slow feeders can help to prevent dogs from scoffing their food too quickly.
- Feeding your cat a tin of tuna, is the same as 35 chicken nuggets.
- A grated carrot in a dogs dinner will help fill it out with something healthy, reducing dog biscuits but still having a similar sized meal.
- You can check your pets food label to make sure you’re feeding the right amount for your pet. 
- Regular weigh-ins will help keep an eye on your pets weight. 
Meet Rodge, Tobi and Soukie 
Rodge the Rottweiler-cross came into our Berkshire centre extremely overweight. He has suffered with health problems and can’t be walked for the appropriate time for his breed and age due to the strain it causes on his joints.
Thankfully now in our care, we can put Rodge on a special diet and help him with hydrotherapy to shift some of the extra pounds.
Our Cornwall centre is also rolling out a diet programme to a resident. Tobi the cat weighs the same as a small human infant, and our staff are rallying together to get her to be more active and eat less – something that can be tricky for cats. 
Even more shockingly is Soukie’s story. She came into HULA Animal Rescue just a few weeks ago and is double the size of a healthy Collie.
Almost completely debilitated, Soukie is 15 and struggles to walk due to the sheer amount of weight she carries. Although her age is a factor and lowers her mobility, Soukie hasn’t had sufficient exercise and has been over fed for so long, she now struggles to walk for more than a minute.

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