Pet obesity is an extremely common problem. It increases the risk for other serious health problems including arthritis, diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases. Being overweight can also lower your pet’s energy level and effect their ability to enjoy an active lifestyle with you and your family.
Weight gain can result when your pet consumes more calories than they are burning during the day. Overfeeding or overeating, inactivity or low activity levels, breed and age can all play a role in weight gain. Certain breeds, especially smaller ones, are more prone to being overweight or obese, as are many senior pets.
Give your pet plenty of opportunities for regular exercise that is appropriate for their age and health status. A vigorous daily walk (if your dog can tolerate it) is an excellent place to start. You can also take them swimming, running, hiking or have play dates with other dogs. Most cats won’t tolerate leash walking but regular play periods with fun toys can provide satisfactory activity levels and help maintain their health.
It is important to feed a well-balanced diet to your pets. If necessary, feed a calorie restricted diet. When you give treats to your pet, make sure to give healthy treats. It is best to meal feed your pets instead of allowing them unrestricted access to food (or the other pet’s food!). Be sure to get all family members are on the same page when it comes to feeding and giving treats to the family pets.
To help your pet lose weight, follow these tips:
•Consider a diet change. We offer many low calorie diets that can help pets feel full after a meal. We now offer the new Hill’s Metabolic Diet. You can phone us for an appointment and we can get your pet set up on this diet.
•Maintain portion control and invest in an accurate measuring cup.
•Try splitting meal portions. Sometimes your pet may be happier with two or three feedings per day, rather than just one. Just remember to divide the total portion for the day without any extras!
•Walk or play away the weight. A combination of diet and exercise will help any pet lose weight!
•Feed healthy, low calorie treats. Many treats on the market are very high in fat, salt and calories.
You may bring your pet in at any time and use our scales to monitor weight loss.