Monthly Behaviour Tip
How diet and obesity affects behaviour
Medical issues such as obesity have a direct impact on how your pet feels and therefore how he/she behaves. Overweight pets tire easily and can be grumpy due to fatigue or aches and pains, which are a direct result of excess weight. Joint pain is common in obese pets and can lead to pain induced aggression.
Obesity is often due to what is being fed, than how much is being fed. Most people do not deliberately over feed their pets. Rather, they feed small pieces of foods and treats containing high levels of carbohydrate, fat and additives. Which is the equivalent to us eating unhealthy fast food and lots of additive filled sweets.
Some dogs are naturally greedy and some even become food obsessed. These dogs often beg for treats or take any opportunity to steal tasty high calorie foods. High calorie treats are ideal for teaching and reinforcing desired behaviour. However, giving your pet small high calorie treats when ‘begging’ or allowing them to steal high calorie foods also reinforces this unwanted behaviour.
So next time you sit down with a cream biscuit and give even just a small piece to your pet to enjoy, consider how much pain that treat may cause your dog in the long term when obesity is an concern.
Veterinary Nurse Kirstie Hancock is qualified in animal behaviour with her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through the Delta Society. She has lots of great tips and ideas when it comes to misbehaving pets. Keep an eye out for her monthly tips on our Facebook page. Also check out her own business Facebook page - Positive Paws.
Archived previous tips:
July 2019 blog article - How diet and obesity affects behaviour
June 2019 blog article - Teaching old dogs new tricks
May 2019 blog article - Arthritis
April 2019 blog article - Behaviour
March 2019 blog article – Behaviour
February 2019 blog article – Separation anxiety
January 2019 blog article – Summer Survival / Ears
December 2018 blog article – Christmas and holiday safety
November 2018 blog article - Vaccinations & Parasite Control
October 2018 blog article - Cat behaviour
September 2018 blog article - Skin & allergies
August 2018 blog article - Dental Month
July 2018 blog article - Cat Obesity
June 2018 blog article - Winter time
May 2018 - Senior Pets / Eye Care
April 2018 - Endocrine Disease
March 2018 blog article - Easter camping
February 2018 blog article - Heart health