Weight Control for Pets
Do you know what the most common form of malnutrition in pets is? It’s obesity! Chubby cats and dogs may seem cute and cuddly, but the truth is that they are not healthy. The most extensive surveys estimate that approximately 28% of the dogs and cats presented to small animal veterinarians are overweight to grossly obese.
Overweight dogs and cats are divided into three categories:
Those 1-9% above optimal weight are simply chunky,
Those 10-19% above optimal are considered overweight,
Those 20+% above optimal are obese.
Obesity in dogs and cats develops when the number of calories in is greater than the calories out. Several risk factors contribute to this including genetics, gender, age, physical activity and caloric composition of foods and treats they are consuming.
Each individual pet’s weight control risk factors must be understood if obesity is to be prevented or treated effectively. Pet obesity has many detrimental effects on the health of dogs and cats, the importance of which cannot be overstated when one considers the many diseases directly related to, or aggravated by, obesity.
The benefits of weight reduction include:
Improved ease of activity;
Better quality of life;
Staying healthier longer with deferred treatment for chronic conditions;
Healthier blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart rates;
Fewer visible signs of aging;
A successful weight reduction program for pets is a multi-step process that requires a commitment from the pet owner, a feeding and exercise plan and close monitoring of the pet’s weight control.
Formulating a personalized diet plan to obtain optimal body condition involves:
Setting the amount of calories allowed daily;
Selecting an appropriate food for each pet;
Specifying an amount to supply the daily calories needed;
Selecting the way the food is to be fed.
Regular monitoring of your pet’s weight loss is important to ensure the prescribed program is effective and maintained within healthy limits. Weigh-ins to monitor your pet’s progress throughout the weight control process is an integral component of such a program.
Need help getting your dog or cat down to a healthy weight? We’re here to help! Give us a call today and we will schedule a consultation to design a program tailored to your pet’s needs and goals. Remember, it’s never too late to start!
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