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Note to Large Animal Clients.

Pet Weight Management

Keeping your pet at a healthy weight is important for their overall health.

Pet Weight Management

How do I know if my pets weight is healthy?
First and foremost, have an honest conversation with our veterinarians about your pet’s weight. Our veterinarians can assess your pet’s weight and overall health and make recommendations regarding diet and exercise. Our veterinarians can also teach you to assess your pet’s body condition by observing the body shape and feeling certain parts of the body. A healthy weight isn’t simply a number on a scale; it’s about healthy body composition.

What are the benefits of keeping my pet at a healthy weight?

Longer life expectancy and lowers the risk of:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Respiratory disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Injury to bones
  • Injury to joints and muscles (CCL tears)
  • Arthritis

How do I reduce my pet’s weight?

It’s probably no surprise, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach or magic remedy to help your pet shed excess pounds. What works for one pet doesn’t necessarily work for another. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight requires a commitment to a healthier lifestyle that achieves a balance between the calories consumed and the calories used by the body for normal functions and activity. Even a modest reduction in weight can significantly reduce their risk of life-threatening diseases.

  • Reducing your pet’s caloric intake
  • Increasing their activity level to burn more calories.
  • Be patient. It often takes longer to lose weight than it did for your pet to gain it.
  • Change diet to a veterinary prescription approved diet.

It’s not about you
Our veterinarian’s honest assessment of your pet’s weight and health isn’t a judgment or assessment of your own weight or level of health or a statement about your ability to care for your pet. Our veterinarians have your pet’s best interests in mind, and their recommendations are based on a commitment to your pet’s good health.

Make a family commitment
A commitment to reach and maintain a healthy weight for your pet requires a commitment from the entire family – a weight loss plan isn’t going to succeed if one family member sneaks your pet extra food. Remind your family that there are many ways other than food to demonstrate and express their love for your family pet.

  • Feed a nutritious and healthy diet; consult with our veterinarians about the best food choice for your pet’s condition.
  • Eliminate table scraps and fattening high-calorie treats;
  • Keep food treats to a minimum and focus on healthier food and treats
  • Don’t give in to the sad, begging eyes.
  • The recommended feeding amount printed on the pet food label might not be appropriate for your pet.
  • Slow your pet’s food consumption by using a special bowl or food puzzle that makes it harder for them to gulp their food or by using toys that dispense food in small amounts (be careful to keep the total daily amount of food within an acceptable amount)

Set goals
Work with our veterinarians as a team to develop realistic goals for reducing your pet’s weight in a healthy manner. Rapid weight loss can result in serious health problems, so ask our veterinarians for recommendations for healthier eating and exercise that will produce a reasonable and safe rate of weight loss based on your pet’s overall health.

Make it fun
Being more active and living healthier lifestyle benefits the entire family. Find activities you enjoy that can include your pet, and the journey will be more enjoyable for all of you.

Monitor and record progress
Once you’ve set reasonable goals to achieve and maintain your pet’s healthy weight, be sure to monitor and record their progress. As with all weight loss programs, there will be successes, and there will be missteps.

Maintaining your pet’s healthy weight gives your pet the best chance of living a healthier, longer life as a beloved member of your family.

You can schedule a consult with our veterinarians about your pet’s weight.

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