Sadly, many of the pets we see here at Alfreton Park are overweight. This can lead to health problems just as it does in people - there is good evidence to show that dogs don't live as long if they are overweight.
So how do you go about dieting your pet? It's all about making sure they use more calories than they eat! Obviously with cats, we don't tend to exercise them, so the way to diet a cat will be to feed a controlled amount of food daily, containing fewer calories than they are burning. It's a bit easier with dogs as we can also exercise them to use up some calories - but again it's the food intake that is the main issue.
In a nutshell:
1. Give your pet a low calorie or 'maintanance light' food (it's easier to control if it's dried) - it's much harder to know how many calories you are giving if you give wet or wet/dried in combination.
2. Look on the packaging to work out how much your pet should eat each day.
3. Put this amount of food into a cup or mug - ideally the cup/mug should hold the exact amount your pet needs each day - that way, you can just fill the mug each morning, without having to weigh out the food every day.
4. Feed dogs twice daily, cats can have more frequent smaller meals - but the amount in the cup is all they should have in a day.
5. Put some of the cup contents aside for your dog if you want to give him treats - ie the treats are from his normal food and from his daily food allowance.
6. Feel free to pop into the surgery to weigh your dog.
7. Our nurses run a Weight Loss Clinic, please make an appointment to see them if you want help dieting your dog. The clinics are free, you just need to buy low calorie food from the surgery.
Below is an account by the owners of Bentley, who was carrying a few extra pounds. It's a detailed but very honest account of their experience - which ultimately succeeded, with Bentley enjoying a new lease of life without all the excess weight.