Cut the fat! The one thing most people want to get rid of after Christmas is those extra pounds from over-indulging over the festive season. This is also the perfect opportunity to think about the (ideal) weight of your pet…

Pudgy budgie! Obesity is a widespread problem amongst pets. Overweight dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and even tortoises can be found in homes across the country. Vets report that over half of their patients are too fat. This is often the result of good intentions of people who spoil their pets to show that they love them. Unfortunately, this has negative consequences: However good treats taste at the time, they later create a huge strain on animals’ hips in the form of fat deposits. Being overweight can lead to joint problems, shortness of breath, liver damage, diabetes, heart and circulatory problems.

How do I know that my pet is overweight? You can see it, feel it and identify it in their behaviour. Overweight pets are often sluggish or even short of breath, have problems running and can be aggressive. There is only one solution – step on the brakes and put your pet on a diet with more play and cuddling instead of treats. Keep portions a little smaller and ask about diet feed at your local Maxi Zoo. Prevention starts with weighing. It is also a good idea to talk to your vet about diet before it becomes a problem. They can work out how many calories your animal needs to maintain their ideal weight. The best way to prevent extra pounds is exercise.

Fight the flab with flight! Other pets like rabbits, guinea pigs and budgerigars can also quickly put on weight and suffer under the consequences. In nature, budgerigars fly several kilometres for a few seeds and “stock up” when they do find food. When the dish is always full, they do this continually and become overweight as a result. As a rule, always provide more green feed than fat-rich seeds, let your bird empty their dish and don’t always fill it up again straight away. Letting them out of the cage to fly around the (bird-safe!) house is also extremely important for their mental health, weight and physical health. Regularly weigh your pet and ask your vet about what is a normal weight. Keeping them slim and healthy is a much greater sign of love for any pet! Call into your local store today to discuss your bird’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.