Tara is a 12 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier. When she first came to our clinics in 2015 she was, erm, fat. Very fat! Weighing in at 22kg she was a whopping 4kg over her ideal weight.
Obesity in dogs and cats is becoming a big problem with a large majority of pets coming through the doors of a vet practice being overweight. Just like in humans, obesity presents some major health problems for our pets like diabetes and joint problems. It's very easy to feed your pets treats without knowing just how fattening they are.
It's easy to recognise an overweight animal once you know what the normal body shape should be.
Once we realised that Tara desperately needed to lose some weight we devised a weight loss program for her. Royal Canin very kindly offered to donate a weight loss (Satiety) diet for her which means she is fed the same amount of food but there are less calories, meaning she still feels full. She is fed the right amount for her target weight of 18kg, and her dad is very strict at sticking to it. After being made aware of the potential health problems Tara's weight could cause, he has been very determined to help her get slimmer. He has listened to our advice and taken everything on board. Tara no longer gets lots of treats, instead her dad takes out a handful of her dry food ration and puts it to the side and uses that as treats throughout the day. So Tara feels like she is getting a treat, but really she is still only eating her daily ration.
Just look at the difference! Tara is now 19.5kg and is so close to her target weight of 18kg. She is looking very good and her dad says the change in her activity levels has been massive. Before she was reluctant to jump on the sofa, run around or even go for a walk. Now she is leaping anywhere she can to get hugs and kisses and has so much more energy.
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It just shows that with education about body condition and diet plus lots of support and a devoted owner, it is easy to fix obesity in pets. We can't thank Royal Canin enough for supplying Tara's diet and giving us lots of great advice.
We'll keep you updated on Tara's progress as she gets closer to her target weight!