Hello everyone! We hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We are sure some of you are quite busy getting the kids back to school. Time flies, doesn’t it?
We thought this month would be a good time to address pet nutrition and obesity. We have found in veterinary medicine there are few subjects as emotionally loaded and full of personal opinion as the food debate; what and how much we feed our pets. Nutrition is such an important part of our pet's health and longevity and we strive to help address concerns and issues with choosing foods and maintaining healthy body weights.
It is no secret that obesity has a direct correlation to many of health problems in humans and the same can be said for pets. Yes, a chubby puppy or a roly-poly cat are cute but an overweight pet is at risk for diabetes, heart and respiratory problems and numerous joint, ligament and tendon disorders. In addition cats obesity can also lead to skin disease resulting from an inability to properly groom. Pets with obesity are at risk for a shorter, less happy life.
Losing weight is as simple as eating less calories and/or burning more calories. Heard that before? Us too. Sometimes it IS as simple as that. Other times there can be factors that work against your pet like thyroid disease or Cushing's disease. So, regular exams and screening bloodwork can help us address any medical reason for weight gain so we can get your pet back on track. Otherwise our pets rely on the solely on us, the owner, to feed them a selected diet. While some people prefer a less active life style and groan at the idea of exercise, our pets usually crave this! Throwing a ball, playing with a Frisbee or even a slow paced stroll through the park or neighborhood allows your pet some exercise for the body AND the mind. Cats can chase a toy on a string or a light from a laser pointer. Our pets are desperate for our interaction and affection. If we make the relationship with our pets about food, then of course they become obsessed with food. If we make our relationship about play, learning, and activities our pets will thrive on that.
Many veterinary associations and pet food companies have been focusing more on overweight pets in recent years. Not only do you need to feed your pet the right amount of food, but also the right type for his species, age, and size. For example, an adult dog or cat should not be fed a formula for puppy or kitten growth. Ask us for advice on what products offer the right nutritional mix for your pet, and how much and how often to feed. Most pet diets come with feeding guidelines, but every pet is different. We can make recommendations specifically for your pet. Just say no to most people foods; some are toxic to pets and they are very calorie dense items that can really pack on the pounds! Raw veggies are super healthy snacks and can help curb hunger cravings and begging.
If you think your pet may be overweight, make an appointment to see us and we can make a nutritional plan and ensure there are no preexisting health problems.
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