VET’S DIARY: Do you know just what you’re feeding your dog?

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Pet obesity levels have increased across the UK over the past decade with more high-calorie treats available, owners not knowing how much to feed their animals and the conflicting information available on the current foods on the market.

There are many hidden dangers for overweight pets, not least the health risks, but also the risk of shortening their lifespan.

What we feed our dogs is a hot topic with many trainers, behaviorists and vets.

With such a wide range of food on the market and so much jargon on the bags, is it any wonder we find it difficult to really know what’s in our dog’s food and what’s really good for them.

Nutrition is a key part of a dog’s lifestyle and can play a huge part in their wellbeing, this means it more important than ever that we make sure we are doing our best with regards to what we feed our dogs.

There are many factors that can attribute to the weight gain in pets but as with people, usually weight gain happens because the amount of calories consumed by the pet is greater than the amount of calories burned up and used by the body.

Some of the most common problems associated with excess weight include;diabetes, arthritis, joint and mobility problems, increased frequency of joint injuries, high blood pressure, skin and coat problems, anal gland problems and pancreatitis to name but a few. Food can play a major part in weight gain as well as weight management, so its essential we make sure we know what we are putting into our dogs.

Our New Year weight campaign proved a huge hit, with over 35 animals joining our weight loss programme, making a step in the right direction for a happier, healthier life.

Weight clinics at Alnorthumbria Vets are provided free of charge to clients.

During these appointments your pet will be weighed and measured and any adjustments to your pet’s diet and exercise can be discussed with a nurse.

Our nurses will also chat about nutrition and what different foods are available.

Regular monitoring and weight checks are essential to ensure that your pet is losing weight at a safe rate and so that we can make any adjustments to your pet’s diet as necessary.

During our clinics many owners want further in depth advice on nutrition. In light of this, we have organised a canine nutrition talk to be held at our Wagonway Road surgery in Alnwick on Wednesday, April 15, from 6.45pm to 8pm. The seminar is free to clients and will include basic nutrition information, a breakdown of the most common ingredients on dog food bags as well as a question and answer session. To register your interest simply give our Alnwick surgery a call on 01670 510999 or email info@alnorthumbriavets.co.uk