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Is your pet overweight?

Obesity in pets is a growing concern. In the last decade, our pets have gotten heavier and we are now seeing some serious consequences. Obesity in dogs and cats contributes to a variety of long-term conditions and diseases such as joint pain and arthritis, diabetes, respiratory conditions, and liver conditions. It can make a huge difference in the life of your pet.

Meet Callie! She is one of our patients who came to us overweight, with severe joint pain and lack of energy. We started her on laser therapy to help her joint pain, and a weight loss plan. Callie was put on Metabolic Diet from Science Diet. Her owners measured out how much food she was to get in a day and gave her 1/3 of that in the morning for breakfast, and 1/3 for supper.  The rest was used as treats throughout the day. After about a year on the Metabolic diet, Callie’s weight loss was decreasing so we did run a few tests including a thyroid test. It showed that Callie’s thyroid was not functioning well, so we started her on thyroid medications, and she started to lose weight again. She is now able to run and play in the yard.

Now, her owners report that she is more active, has less joint pain, and happier. She eats her Metabolic Diet well and is satisfied with the amounts she gets (Although if you ask her, she always wants more snacks) Callie’s owners replaces an occasional snack with extra attention, cuddling or even a quiet walk around the yard, and for an occasional snack, she gets tiny pieces of treats. She doesn’t know she isn’t getting the entire treat and it greatly reduces her calories! She still gets all the love she wants but now she gets in a much healthier way!

Callie is a perfect example of the positive benefits of managing your pets’ weight. Due to the increased damage her extra weight caused on her joints, she was very uncomfortable but once we corrected her weight, she was able to move around and be much more comfortable. She also had an underlying condition that prevented her from losing weight effectively. But, once we got the thyroid condition under control, she because much more comfortable and happier!

Now that Callie’s weight is down. She is at a lower risk of developing heart conditions, diabetes, respiratory conditions, and her arthritis is better controlled.

If you ever have concerns about your pet’s weight, give our office a call and determine if your pet is at an ideal weight and help you develop a plan to get them to their ideal weight and maintain it. We have a variety of resources to assist with weight loss and can rule out any medical conditions that are reducing your success.

 

Weight loss tips;

1. Check with your veterinarian to determine the amount of weight loss needed and to rule out underlying conditions.

2. Read the feeding guild on the bag to determine how much to feed your pet a day. (Use a measuring cup to ensure accuracy of amounts.) By feeding the recommended amount of food each day, you are sure that your pet's nutritional needs are met, but not extra amounts that can lead to weight gain or impede weight loss.  

3. Increase playtimes for your pet. This gives them some extra exercise and attention. Even if you increase by a few minutes each play session it can really add up in a day. For cats, you can play with a laser pointer, a toy mouse on a string that you can pull and move around, or anything else they will interact with. For dogs, an extra few minutes each walk or throwing the ball a few extra times will add up quickly.

4. Monitor weight frequently. Aim to weight your pet frequently to ensure your pet is still losing weight. Just like people, your pet can plateau with weight loss and you may need to change things up, so if you are seeing a that your pets weight loss is slowing down, you can increase exercise more, reduce the amount of food, and ensure that someone else isn’t sneaking extra treats in. Your veterinarian may also recommend routine lab work to ensure that your pet doesn’t have an underlying condition.

By helping your pet lose weight, you can decrease their risks of developing many diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, breathing difficulties, joint pain and damage, back injuries, and a variety of other conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns about weight loss in your pet. Be sure to schedule an appointment to discuss it with our doctors!

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Kearney, Nebraska 68847
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