Much like us people, all healthy body weight can help your pet stay strong all throughout their life, and make them less susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Overweight or obese pets are more likely to be diagnosed with urinary tract disease, diabetes and arthritis. They are also more likely to be injured, and experience discomfort as well as reduced activity levels. At Dundas Veterinary Services, we will help you determine the best food and optimal body weight for your pet. Please schedule your next appointment when you are able, so that we can have a detailed conversation about your pet’s unique nutritional needs. This way, we can also identify any underlying health conditions that may be causing them to gain (or lose) significant amounts of weight.
When is a dog or a cat considered to be overweight?
As with many things about animal health, there really is not a definite measure or limit, especially when it comes to weight. The exact weight range that is healthy for your pet will depend on several characteristics such as their age and breed. A healthy weight looks different with every pet. Some dog breeds for example are perfectly healthy even if their ribs seem to jut out from under their skin (e.g. sighthounds). Some visible signs that may indicate a weight problem in your pet are: more frequent naps than usual, slower walking or running, heavy panting during walking and other physical activities, as well as lack of a visible distinction between their chest and stomach.
How can I help my cat or my dog lose weight?
First, the best thing to do is bring your pet to our veterinary centre so that they can be properly examined. Aside from lack of exercise and overconsumption of food, weight gain can also be caused by several health conditions. That being said, some of the effective ways to help your furry friend shed their extra pounds are: restricting their food intake (this includes their treats!), taking them out on more walks, find other ways to reward them that do not involve food (e.g. toys, hugs, pats), and consider incorporating prescription weight-loss food to their diet.
What happens during a nutritional consultation?
One of our experienced RVTs (registered veterinary technicians) will meet with you and your pet. They will take their weight and conduct a body condition assessment. This information combined with a detailed diet history provided by you, will help them formulate a weight loss plan made just for you and your pet.