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Obesity in Exotic Pets: Part 1

Just like cats and dogs, all exotic pets can become overweight. Extra weight can contribute to a number of health problems and decreased life expectancy.

Below are some exotic pets that commonly struggle with weight:

Bearded Dragon

When overweight:

  • Prone to hepatic lipidosis (a type of liver disease).
  • Prone to joint issues.

How they become overweight:

  • Improper adult diet of predominantly insects.
  • Feeding too much/too often.
  • Small cage preventing adequate exercise.

How to prevent obesity:

  • Feed an age-appropriate diet –adults require 80-90% vegetables and 10-20% insects.
  • Feed an appropriate amount/frequency –adults should be fed every other day.
  • Provide a large enough cage.
  • Supervised out-of-cage exercise.
  • Consult with your veterinarian. 


When overweight:

  • Prone to atherosclerosis (cholesterol deposits in blood vessels) arthritis, liver disease, diabetes.

How they become overweight:

  • Not enough exercise (small cage, limited out-of-cage time)
  • High-fat diet such as seeds.

How to prevent obesity:

  • Feed a predominantly pelleted diet with some fresh produce.
  • Supervised out-of-cage exercise.
  • Consult your veterinarian.


When overweight:

  • Prone to health problems, including hepatic lipidosis (a type of liver disease).
  • Prone to ulceration of the feet due to excess weight.
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) upset and/or stasis.

How they become overweight:

  • Improper diet – too many pellets, not enough hay.
  • Improper exercise – not enough room to move around.

How to prevent obesity:

  • No more than ¼ cup of pellets per 4-5 pounds of rabbit per day.
  • Unlimited hay.
  • Some vegetables (predominantly greens).
  • Supervised out-of-cage exercise.
  • Consult with your veterinarian.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 506.857.4271. 

Written by: Dr. Nicole Mann, DVM

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Last updated: July 7, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 4, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday and Thursday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Moncton Animal Hospital