Weight management can be difficult not only for us as humans, but also for our four legged friends. It's estimated that over 50% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese! Making sure your dog or cat is in optimal shape can decrease health risks associated with being overweight, add years to their life, as well as make those years more enjoyable for the both of you. Helping your pet achieve ideal weight might be easier than you think. With the combination of proper fitness, a healthy prescription diet, and a weight loss plan from Dr. Knox, your pet can be back on the road to looking and feeling great! If you feel your pet may be overweight or obese, read on to see how the staff at Companion Animal Clinic in Escondido, San Diego, CA can help assist your pet’s weight management.
Why should my pet lose weight?
Even being just a few pounds overweight, can put your dog or cat at risk for developing a list of serious medical conditions. Some common disorders associated with excessive weight include:
- Heart disease and increased blood pressure
- Joint, bone, and ligament injuries
- Difficulty breathing
- Various forms of intra-abdominal cancer
The unfortunate fact is that these are not all that can be caused by your pet being out of shape and that it’s not a matter of “if” your pet will get these conditions, it’s a matter of “when and how serious”. Getting your dog or cat in proper shape will allow them to be more physically interactive, decrease the chance of diseases, and live a longer, happier life.
How can I tell if my dog or cat is overweight?
To determine whether your pet is overweight, feel around their ribs, which you should be able to easily feel. You should be able to locate a thin layer of fat over their rib and you should be able to feel each rib distinctly. You’ll want to speak with Dr. Knox or the Companion Animal Clinic staff about the proper weight for your pet based off of breed and size, then you can weigh your furry friend to see how they size up.
What is the best way for my pet to lose weight?
Some dog and cat breeds are more prone to obesity as well, which is why a weight loss plan is unique to each animal. Based off of how overweight your pet is, species type, and Dr. Knox’s assessment, he’ll propose an increased walking routine and the correct Purina or Hill’s prescription diet. Dr. Knox primarily uses a Purina or Hill’s prescription diet as he has found them to be the healthiest and most effective in aiding with your pet’s weight loss. He’ll also provide a set feeding amount, as overfeeding is one of the main causes for overweight pets. You’ll want to gradually ease the pet into their new diet by mixing the old food with the new, to minimize digestive upsets. If you have multiple pets, it’s recommended to feed them separately, while you’re at home as you can’t gauge who eats which food if you’re not around.
If you feel your pet is overweight or obese, give us a call at (760) 743-2751 , so we can help your pet with the right exercise plan and prescription diet.