Weight gain is an unfortunate problem that many of our patients experience as they get older. Often it is a result of our beloved pets being “spoiled” but obesity is responsible for many conditions and reduces the life expectancy of your pet!
But don’t fret! We are here to help with specific diet recommendations, regular weigh-ins, and tips to help you help Fido or Fluffy to reduce that waistline! Starting with a physical examination, the Veterinarian can then advise you as to the appropriate diet and activity level for your pet. While we want overweight pets to lose weight, we need to make sure that it is done at a safe speed and performing routine weigh-ins is ideal. Oftentimes, treats are a main culprit so for dogs, you can try giving them ice cubes as a treat – some dogs (mine included) can’t wait to get their ice cube and it is the perfect zero calorie snack! For dogs who think not, you may try freezing some broth so there is at least some flavour. For cats (and dogs too), try making them work for their treats by hiding them or tossing them down a hallway so that they have to run and/or search for them. This actually works well for regular feedings as well – try hiding the kitty’s food in a different spot each day so they get to do some “hunting”! Or treat balls can be useful as your pet needs to play with the toy in order to get fed.
And to give you some perspective, keep in mind that giving your dog a milkbone is like one of us sitting down and eating a couple of bags of Doritos!!