According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53% of adult dogs and 55% of cats in the US are obese or overweight. 22% of dog owners and 15% of cat owners said their pet’s weight was normal when it was actually overweight or obese. The point is that we need to do a better job monitoring our pet’s weight. Overweight and obese pets are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, orthopedic disease, and more! The team at Prairie Animal Hospital takes your pet’s health seriously, and we will monitor their weight during each preventive exam. We’re also here to discuss a healthy diet and lifestyle tips that will have your pet looking and feeling their best!

  1. Make sure they’re eating the right food! Your pet’s food should be labeled for her species, and it should be tailored to her needs regarding age, activity level, and health status. If you have a puppy, she’ll benefit from a higher-calorie puppy food. If you have a senior cat with early-stage kidney disease, you should choose a food formulated for cats with kidney disease and feed her the appropriate daily amount based on her activity level.Also, be sure to limit your pet’s treats, and do not feed table scraps. Treats should never account for more than 10 percent of your pet’s recommended daily caloric consumption.

    Food aisles at pet stores can be overwhelming. Ask us for help choosing food that would be appropriate for your pet.

  2. Know what to look for. When you see your pet every day, it can be difficult to recognize when she’s gained a pound or two. But, a pound or two for a small cat or dog can make a big difference. If your pet is at a healthy weight, you’ll easily be able to feel all of her ribs without seeing them. When viewed from the side, she’ll have an “abdominal tuck,” where there is a clear waistline.
  3. Talk to us! We’re here to help. No one likes to talk about weight, and even health care providers will often skip over the topic in an effort to avoid offending someone. But, it’s an important discussion to have. Don’t be afraid to ask, “Is my pet overweight?” Our team will determine your pet’s body condition score (BCS) and exactly how much weight she should lose.
  4. Make sure they get enough exercise and activity! Every good weight loss or maintenance plan includes exercise. Get active with your pet: Increase walking frequency or length with your dog. Encourage your cat to chase a laser pointer or remote-controlled toy. These activities will also help to strengthen the bond you share with your furry pal.

If you have any questions about your pet’s weight or lifestyle, do not hesitate to contact us today!