WIGAN cats and dogs are being given slimming advice as they look to shed the pounds post-Christmas just like us humans.
Pets at Home is offering free weight checks and nutritional consultations for these favourite animals as they too need a nutritionally balanced diet, portion control and regular exercise to help them stay healthy.
Maeve Moorcroft, head of pets at the chain, said: “When it comes to losing weight, pets are very similar to people.
“Any change to diet or feeding amounts should be carefully considered and it’s important to see your vet or nutrition consultant before putting your pet on a weight loss programme.
“If your pet is confirmed overweight, an acceptable target weight loss to start with would be five per cent of the animal’s body weight.
“The period this weight should be lost over varies according to the size of the animal and should be discussed with a professional.
“It’s very important that the animal doesn’t lose the weight too quickly as this can result in malnutrition which in turn can contribute towards various illnesses.
“Like people, pets should be encouraged to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way rather than dieting in the human sense.
“It’s better to make healthy lifestyle changes, including the right balance of nutrition and exercise.
“This should be reviewed regularly throughout your pet’s life to help keep them at an optimum weight for every stage of their development.”
Store manager Alan Ferries, from Pets at Home Wigan, added: “Our free in store weight checks and free nutritional consultations are a great way for pet owners to monitor the dietary health of their pet and with our wide range of specialist pet foods available they can ensure their pets stay in great shape all year round.”
Pet owners can also pick up a nutrition leaflet and free measuring cup to ensure their pet gets the right amount of food.