Leaner Pets Live Healthier Lives

Leaner Pets Live Healthier Lives

Obesity is the number one nutritional disorder among dogs and cats. If your pet is just 10% over their ideal body weight (that may mean 1 lb. for a 10 lb. cat), they can be at risk for developing serious medical conditions. Overweight pets are more prone to certain health conditions including lameness, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and skin problems.

So, how do you get and keep your pet on a healthy track? It is important to consult your veterinarian before beginning any weight reduction program. Your veterinarian can show you how to determine your pet’s body condition and set a goal for weight loss if appropriate. Your veterinarian can recommend a diet designed for weight loss and to suggest appropriate amounts to feed. Once you and your veterinarian have established a weight loss plan, these tips and resources can help you stay on course:

  • Try to eliminate or strictly limit treats. Treats should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake.
  • Use a measuring cup so you know exactly how much you are feeding your pet
  • Keep a diet journal for your pet. Write down everything you feed your pet each day, noting the amount fed and calories.
  • Weigh your pet every 2-4 weeks to monitor your progress.
  • Rapid weight loss is dangerous for pets, especially cats, and can be a sign of a serious illness. Check in with your veterinarian regularly to make sure your pet is losing weight at an appropriate rate.
  • Remember that weight loss takes time and commitment from the entire family. Be patient and prepared for the occasional setback. The goal is to get your pet on track for a longer healthier life.