Just like humans, our pets can be overweight. Most pets have an ideal weight range that is best for their health and longevity and we recommend that all pets stay within that ideal range, if possible. Of course, this is often easier said than done…but the Heartwood Animal Hospital team can help.
Obesity in pets is caused by a number of factors, from thyroid problems to insufficient exercise to low quality diet. If your pet is overweight, we will assess their lifestyle, as well as their physical condition, completing diagnostics to rule out any physical health concerns. Some factors that are important to consider are:
- How much exercise is the pet getting each day? Usually at least 15 minutes of exercise is recommended daily, but the intensity of the exercise varies depending on your pet’s size and breed.
- What kind of food is the pet eating? Not all pet foods are created equal. In fact, some have very little nutritional value at all and are equivalent to the “fast food” of pet food. We can look at the diet your pet is eating and help to determine if a more nutritionally-rich food would be better for their health.
- How much food is the pet eating? While many pet food bags provide serving sizes based on your pet’s weight, this information could be false. First of all, you want to provide your pet with the proper serving size for their ideal weight, not their current weight if they are overweight. Second, many pet food manufacturers do not provide nutritionally-conscious serving sizes which could mean that your pet is still eating more than they should be.
Certain breeds are more prone to obesity and other health conditions. We will examine your pet and discuss any risk factors with you so that you know how to address your pet’s needs and concerns. We provide diets from Royal Canin at our office and can talk with you about the benefits of a nutritionally-conscious, veterinarian-recommended diet as a means of treating your pet’s weight issues. If you have any questions, please contact us to schedule an appointment.