Carol Doyle BSc VN DVM is a practising Vet who specialises in small animals.
She is human companion to cats Nala and Donal, puppy Pheobe and horses Indie and Bella.
Carol has teamed up with Petmania Kilkenny on its fifth annual Operation TransPAWmation to help educate pet-parents on how to spot when their pet is overweight and how to manage their weight and wellbeing at home.
Carol told Kilkenny Press: “In the clinic, more often than not pet-owners are shocked to learn that their pets are overweight.
“It is really important to manage pets’ weight correctly as obesity can lead to devastating health complications like orthopaedic issues, arthritis, cardiorespiratory problems, diabetes and can shorten a pet’s life expectancy and their quality of life.
“Even a few extra pounds can leave your pet listless and less energetic than usual. The good news is with some simple habit and diet adjustments this can easily be fixed.”
Vet Carol is encouraging pet-owners to pay particular attention to their pets’ Body Condition Score (BCS) to ensure optimal health for their best friends.
The BCS is a simple visual and physical examination of the pet’s body, ranked on a scale from one to nine.
A score of one is too thin and nine is dangerously obese. The ideal score is four or five for a healthy pet which can be maintained with exercise and the correct nutrition.
To assess pets’ BCS at home, simply ask these three questions:
1. Do you need to apply much pressure to find the ribs under the skin?
2. Does the abdomen tuck up towards the back legs or is it sagging?
3. Looking from above, is their waistline narrower than their chest; does it curve out?
“Ideally the answers are yes, you should be able to feel the ribs easily enough under the skin.
“Yes the abdomen tucks up nicely under the back legs and yes, the waistline is narrower than their chest.
“If your answer is no to any of these you may need to adjust your pet’s nutrition and exercise.” Carol explains.
Tips from Carol Doyle
“I always recommend using a weighing scales at dinner time. It varies from pet to pet, and food type also.
“Following the recommended feeding guides on your pet’s food and measure the recommended amount to avoid over-feeding.
“Regular exercise is essential to help keep pets fit and healthy. Introducing more activity into their day to help pets get back to a healthy weight.
“I recommend 10-15 interactive play sessions lasting just 2-3 minutes for indoor cats.
“For dogs the activity depends on their breed and there’s lots of advice on www.petmania.ie
“Say no to pleading puppy eyes that are begging for treats – instead choose an interactive puzzle toy to entertain and reduce the treats your pet is getting.
“Use a food diary to track your pet’s daily calorie in-take – it’s a great way to identify where those extra calories might be sneaking in from.
I also recommend that pet owners check out my exclusive videos on how to manage your pet’s health and wellbeing from home when they sign up for free to Operation TransPAWmation.”
Anyone who signs up to Petmania OT will also get exclusive access to a special Webinar presented by Carol Doyle and lots free video content plus discounts to use on petmania.ie.
The free eight-week health and wellbeing programme, run online, offers tons of information, great advice and helpful tips on pets’ heath with weekly updates, a food diary, exercise and diet hints plus an exciting weekly health-challenges to complete.
To sign up for Petmania’s free Operation TransPAWmation and avail of vet Carol Doyle’s free pet-health webinar visit www.petmania.ie