Feeding a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight can increase life expectancy, quality of life, decrease risk of many diseases (such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease), and help manage chronic medical conditions. We include a nutritional assessment and a weight evaluation in every health evaluation for every pet. We will also evaluate trends in your pet’s weight, as weight gain or weight loss can be signs of underlying disease or may indicate a need to change your feeding regimen.
We carry a full line of prescription diets for your convenience including Hill’s, Royal Canin, and Iams brands. We also have a variety of treats, including several weight control, dental care, and hypoallergenic options, for both dogs and cats. Please call ahead to ensure we have the diet you wish to purchase. We are happy to place a special order for you!
Obesity and Weight Loss
It is estimated that at least 40% of our dogs and cats are overweight. Those extra pounds may cause health problems when a pet exceeds 10-15% of his or her ideal body weight. An overweight pet is predisposed to joint problems such as arthritis, respiratory difficulties, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, liver disease, decreased heat tolerance, increased incidence of skin disease, increased anesthetic/surgical risks, increased risk of diabetes, and decreased resistance to infectious diseases, among other problems. At 15% more than his/her body weight, a pet is officially obese. No one likes the “O” word, but there are some things you can do to help your pet shed those extra pounds. Weight loss should be accomplished slowly, with a nutritionally-balanced diet. All members of the family need to work together to help achieve the weight loss goal for the pet. As appropriate for your pet, a moderate weight loss program can also aid weight loss.
We can help evaluate your pet to see if and how much weight loss is needed, help you select a reduced-calorie diet, and also to help calculate appropriate feeding amounts for your specific pet.
Because dogs and cats vary widely in actual energy requirements, your pet’s actual response to a standardized weight-loss program will also vary. Regular weigh-ins will help us make any adjustments.
Other weight loss tips:
- Use a measuring cup, don’t estimate.
- Find out the calorie count of the “diet” food you are using; many “light” pet foods are not actually low- calorie. Ask your vet for advice on diets and feeding amounts.
- Choose low-calorie treats for your pet, such as one or two kibbles of food, commercial low-calorie treats, carrots, green beans, etc.
- In a multi-pet household, feed pets separately to control how much each pet is eating.
- Reweigh your dog or cat every 2-4 weeks to track weight loss and monitor progress.
- As your pet reaches his or her ideal weight, congratulate yourself and talk with your veterinarian about a maintenance diet.