How does my pets weight affect behaviour?

Weight can affect behaviour choices for our animals, such as:

  • Increased/decreased appetite changes
  • Decreased physical activity
  • Increased aggression
  • Stealing behaviours
  • Resource guarding behaviours
  • General responsiveness
  • Gait changes

If your pet is overweight, your dog or cat will be less likely to partake in physical activities and thus have a reduced mental stimulation. This could also exacerbate joints and thus cause pain for your pet. There is then a higher risk of aggression as they are less likely to choose to move way, when in situations they might not enjoy.

If your pet is underweight, they might also reduce their physical activity and have reduced mental stimulation.  However, they might also feel the need to protect food resources as they have a higher value of importance.

Weight is never a direct cause to a behaviour problem; however, it can exacerbate problems already present in your companion.

If you are unsure if your dog is an ideal body condition and weight, ask your veterinary surgeon at your next appointment, or ask me during your consultation.

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Forrest Animal Behaviour