Steps to Fight Animal Obesity

Obesity is now the most common form of malnutrition in dogs and cats in the U.S. Obesity can lead to Osteoarthritis, Pancreatitis, Diabetes Mellitus and Hepatic Lipidosis. A study has proven that your pet will live almost 2 years longer if kept in good body condition.

What are YOU willing to do for 2 more years with your pet????

Step 1: Get an accurate weight and Body Condition Score (BCS) for your pet.

On a scale of 1 – 9, a BCS of 5/9 is ideal. Be sure your pet is healthy before embarking on the rest of this journey. Discuss any limitations needed for your pet’s exercise regimen with your veterinarian.

Step 2: Accurately measure your pet’s food intake:

Ounces (oz) in wet food
Cups in dry food
# of treats/ cookies
Volume of people food
Remember you need to be honest because every calorie counts

Step 3: Record your dog’s exercise in minutes or miles.

If your pet’s BCS is 6/9 or 7/9 start by decreasing the volume of the wet or dry food by 25%. Always use a measuring device for each feeding to be consistent and use the smallest one that is reasonable for accuracy.

Decrease pet cookies and treats by 50%.

Eliminate ALL people food.

Increase your pet’s exercise gradually.

If your pet is a BCS of 8/9 or 9/9 then ask your Veterinarian for a prescription strength weight loss food such as Royal Canin Calorie Control food. Determine what the appropriate volume is for your pet and measure each feeding carefully.

Use calorie restricted treats like Charlee Bears or Lean Treats very sparingly, if at all.

Eliminate ALL people food.

Increase your pet’s exercise gradually.

Step 4: Regular weigh-ins are essential and should continue until your pet’s goal weight is reached.

Helpful hints:

To help with the “speed eaters” place a smaller bowl upside down in a bigger bowl and pour your pet’s food in the circle it has created. In addition, you can add water to dry food to slow many pets down. Keep in close touch with your veterinarian about any possible medical conditions that can contribute to your pet’s obesity.

If your dog has not been exercising regularly, be cautious as you increase his activity. Remember walking is a good way to start losing weight.

Remember it is easier for you and better for your pet to prevent obesity than to treat it!