Believe it or not, over 56% of dogs are classified as overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s (APOP) 2018 Pet Obesity Survey. Unfortunately, many of those owners may not even realize it!
A body condition score chart is on a scale of 1-5, or 1-9. The number of 1 is considered emaciated (too thin) and the highest number being morbidly obese. Visually evaluate your pet’s weight by looking down at them, and from the side. There should be a taper at the waist, and they should not have a drooping abdomen.
Extra weight can cause several obesity related health issues, such as diabetes, kidney or liver disease, high blood pressure, mobility issues (especially for large dogs), and arthritis. They can also develop skin, heart, and breathing problems. Losing unwanted weight can add years back to your pet’s life!
We can help you determine if your pet is obese or overweight- call us at Granville Veterinary Clinic at 740-587-1129 for an appointment! We can create a weight loss plan to help your pet lose weight safely.
Tips to Start with Weight Loss at Home
You can start working on weight loss at home! Overweight or obese pets are usually more sedentary. They tend to be “couch potatoes” and will lay around or sleep for most of the day.
Start with 10 to 15 minute walks and slowly increase the time on walks, and the speed of your walks. Make your dog want to be active by rewarding them with lots of attention, or a healthy treat. Offer the walks during cooler times of the day during hot weather. Low calorie treats that are safe for your pooch are celery, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, and broccoli.
How do you exercise a cat, you ask? Laser pointers are a great solution to this problem. Start with mild laser activity for a few minutes a couple times a day. Gradually increase the laser time and frequency, until you can incorporate the stairs! While cats will not eat raw veggies as treats like dogs do, you can decrease the number of regular treats they get daily. Many cats also love those “feathery flyers” which are sticks with a string and feathers at the end. Some cats like catnip toys too. Here is a great article to help you pick the right toys for your cats play preference.
In addition to exercise, a diet change may be helpful to shed those extra pounds. We offer a variety of metabolic weight loss prescription foods, and there are lots of low-fat food options next door at the Village Pet Market!