Behavioural Tip of the Month

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

Pet care at Murray Bridge Veterinary Clinic for dogs and cats

 After Hours & Emergencies  08 8531 4000

Our comprehensive emergency service offers a veterinarian on call 24 hours every day of the year.

Telephone 0885 314 000 when the clinic is closed to hear a recorded message and directions to speak to a staff member.

Always phone first before rushing to the clinic with an injured animal or other emergency. An additional fee is charged outside normal clinic hours.