Losing excess weight in a healthy way takes time, and this also applies to our dogs, cats and other companion animals. While they are overweight, there are many challenges they face which they may need your help with as their pet owner.
- Grooming: Cats are masters in grooming themselves, provided their body size allows it. Seriously overweight house cats are for example not able to take care of their back fur. Brush your cat regularly until they are able to do this for themselves again.
- Skin care: Overweight animals may have wrinkles due to fat deposits which cause skin diseases and inflammation. Pay special attention and regular care to these areas. Ask your veterinarian about suitable skin care products.
- Checking the Anal Glands: Do you have a dog who regularly suffers from congested anal glands? If your dog is seriously overweight, you should regularly check the anus for swollen areas so that you can get your veterinarian to empty the anal glands at an early stage. If you don't do anything, it can cause severe inflammation.
- Relieve joints: Unnecessary pounds put strain on the joints of our pets. If ignored, this can lead to painful arthritis. Ask your veterinarian about supportive treatment options. If you have a dog who loves swimming, offer him exercise baths. Exercise baths are usually offered by animal physiotherapists.
- Use a ramp when getting your dog into and out of the car. Avoid letting your dog climbing stairs. As your cat might have difficulties jumping to get to its favourite sitting spot, you can add ramps or small stepping stools so that your cat can reach their higher goals (e.g., windowsill).
- Adapt activities: An obese animal will have trouble, running or jumping, therefore, adapt activities so that your pet can benefit from them. For example, let your dog set the pace of the walks. Pay attention to which game your cat can easily play. Avoid over exertion.
- Take temperatures into account: Overweight dogs are affected by high temperatures. In extreme cases, heat stroke can occur. Avoid going for a walk when it is hot and offer your dog cool areas (e.g., a cool apartment, a place in the shade).
- Check for secondary diseases: As you can see from our guide Dangers of Pet Obesity, obesity can have many health consequences. Have your pet examined for possible secondary diseases. Depending on the result, you may need to take preventive measures or have your animal treated.