Proper Weight for Your Pet's Health

westgate2010_dsc04957 Obesity is a major health problem in about 25 percent of the dog and cat population. Research in dogs and humans has shown that obesity increases the risk of many health problems including heart, liver, and arthritic ailments. Fortunately, a return to normal weight reverses these health risks.

 A pet's ideal weight is reached around 12-18 months. Your pet is overweight when its ribs can not be counted as your hands move gently along the chest. A digital scale weighs your pet with complete accuracy on every visit. Weights are charted in your pet's medical record to track changes indicating obesity or illness. No appointment is needed to use the our scale.

Mild obesity problems can be corrected through minor adjustments in your pet's caloric intake. Most frequently this means switching from "free access" to food to "controlled portions" divided more frequently during the day. "Free access" feeding to puppies has been scientifically shown to predispose an adult pet to obesity.

Moderate to severe obesity problems should be managed by a prescription diet program developed by the clinic. The diet program involves the use of a high-fiber, low-fat food which allows the pet to feel reasonably full while restricting calories. Weight reduction is monitored at two week intervals at no charge. Some medical diseases can slow metabolism resulting in obesity. Therefore, blood tests may be recommended before a weight-loss program is started or if a proper response is not achieved.