As a pet-friendly homecare agency, we want to do all we can to help our Customers and their pets lead healthy, happy lives! In light of the current pet obsity epidemic, we've compiled a few handy tips that can help keep pets and their owners in great shape.
The world’s population is becoming increasingly overweight, but did you know that there’s also a pet obesity crisis in the UK? A sedentary lifestyle combined with a less than healthy diet is as harmful to animals as it is to us, increasing the risk of cancer, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. With 62% of people and almost half of the nation’s dogs and cats being classed as overweight, it’s time to look what we can all do to keep ourselves and our precious pets in tip top condition!
Just as we know we should cut down on fat, salt and sugar and avoid processed foods, the same goes for our pets. The PDSA
report that 4 million animals in the UK eat our leftovers as their main meal and 5.7 million of the pet population are fed treats every day. These titbits often include biscuits, crisps and even takeaways. Giving your pet suitable, natural foods or buying prepared food that’s specially formulated for their needs can help keep them as healthy as possible. It’s also a good idea to consider your animal’s individual requirements - for example, an older pet might fare better on senior food than a regular formula.
Cut down on portion sizes
We all overeat sometimes, it just becomes a problem when we do it all the time! But how much is too much? It can be difficult to work out what size portions we should be eating, although there are some handy guides
available. With pets, it’s much easier to make sure they’re not eating too much as pet food labels show the correct portion size for your animal. It’s worth noting that pets who are less active, neutered, older or female are at greater risk of becoming obese, so might need a little less food. Feeding smaller amounts at regular times and not keeping your pet’s bowl continually topped up can also stop your pet piling on the pounds.
Great advice, but it’s easier said than done sometimes, particularly if you have health problems that make activity difficult. One solution is to ask someone else - like a neighbour or homecare assistant - to help you exercise your pet. Another is to play with your pet as much as possible and make sure they have plenty of interesting toys to run around with in the house or garden. Any activity that gets you and your pet moving around will help keep you both healthier, and it’s fun too!
Weight can creep on so steadily that we don’t really notice until we can’t do our trousers up and Tibbles is getting wedged in the cat flap. There are charts that tell us how much we should weigh
to stay within a healthy range but how can we tell if our pets are overweight? Obviously, you could pop your pet on the scales and compare it to the right chart for the species or breed, but an easier option is to try the PDSA’s ‘healthy shape’ test. Repeating this simple, 1 minute check
every few weeks could help keep your pet on the right track and, as it involves lots of handling, is a lovely way to bond with them.
It’s human nature to feed those we love as part of nurturing them, and this especially true with pets. When they gaze adoringly up at you (and the jar of treats) with imploring eyes it’s so hard to say no! Unfortunately, we’re killing them with kindness. The sad statistics from Pet Obesity
are that being overweight can reduce a dog’s lifespan by 3 years. The love and companionship you get from your pet is such a joy, that you want them to be with you for as long as possible, so we need to find other ways to show them our affection. The truth is, they’d be just as happy with a cuddle or a walk as they are with an extra biscuit.
Pet-friendly Care at Home
We don’t just look after the individual here at Bluebird Care Wandsworth, we look after the family, and that includes our Customers' beloved pets! It can be more of a struggle to care for animals as we get older or have health problems, but that’s where our bespoke homecare
can help. We’re here to make sure you and your pet stay healthy, have fun and continue to share life together in the comfort and safety of your own home
For more information on how our in-home care
could benefit you and your pets, phone us for a chat on 020 8877 4950
or get in touch using our online form