As animal lovers sometimes we think it’s adorable when loyal companions are a little chunky, but it takes a huge toll on their overall health. Each pet is unique and based on their breed, age and gender our veterinarians can determine the healthiest weight for them. In the veterinary community, obesity is a common issue seen in cats and dogs. Obesity can lead to many health complications for your pet, which is why our team offers a weight management program to our patients.
What does obesity look like in pets?
Pets are considered obese when they are excessively overweight. To the untrained eye, it will look like your pet just has a few extra pounds, but a veterinarian can differentiate between your pet being obese or just overweight. You’ll know your pet has excess fat when their middle section is wider than their shoulders or they have a bulge in their stomach. We will measure your pet’s weight to determine if they are overweight. If they are 10-20% above the ideal weight for their breed then they are overweight, anything above 20% is considered obese.
Why does my pet need to lose weight?
Your pet can have increased health risks when they are overweight. Your pet’s organs and immune systems struggle to function as the excess fat slows them down. Your pet can develop the following health issues when they are overweight or obese:
- Decreased stamina
- Increased anesthesia risk
- Urinary problems
- Liver disease
What does your weight loss program include?
Our hospitals offer a weight loss program that monitors your pet’s weight over time. Healthy weight loss is an ongoing process and most of the changes made should continue throughout your pet’s life. Your pet will have an initial assessment with a diet specialist, where we learn about their weight, lifestyle and problem areas. We create a weight loss plan for your pet that may include low-calorie nutritional foods and different techniques to help them adjust to their new diet. Our team will also recommend exercises you can do at home to get your pet in shape. We monitor your pet’s progress with follow-up consultations to see what’s working and make modifications as necessary. The dietician will determine how often your pet needs weigh-ins.