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Ark Animal Hospital
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Yes, it's time to lose those extra pounds

overweight petIt is that time of the year again when every one takes a look at the extra pounds you put on over the holidays. So while you are looking, take a peek at your pet. Perhaps you are not the only one who needs to take off a few pounds. Don’t be distressed, this is a great opportunity for you and your pet to lose a little weight together.

The best way to avoid the dangers of obesity is to feed your pet a proper balanced food in the right amounts. While it is temping to offer table scraps and plenty of treats, it is best to choose the right food for your pet’s dietary needs. With proper nutrition and changes in lifestyle your pet can lose weight safely, effectively and without feeling hungry.

Common Causes of Weight Gain:

  • Over-eating – Pets who are fed high calorie foods and treats or too much food tend to gain weight
  • Disease – Weight gain can be the result of a medical disorder
  • Decreased activity – Pets that do not get enough exercise are more likely to gain weight and may need fewer calories
  • Age – Older pets are often less active requiring fewer calories

It is not always easy or comfortable to address a pet’s weight problem, but it is very important. More than 33 million dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. It is the second leading disease in dogs and cats. If left untreated, obesity can lead to many health problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Breathing problems
  • Arthritis and other joint problems
  • Diabetes

What to do:pet running

    • Make a total commitment to help your pet lose weight
    • Follow your veterinarian’s feeding recommendation
    • Avoid feeding table scraps
    • Divide the total amount of food into 3 or 4 smaller meals
    • Regular, moderate exercise will help your pet
    • Monitor your pets weight regularly

Feeding an effective weight loss or weight maintenance diet helps to achieve an ideal body weight. The right foods help achieve and maintain the ideal body weight.
Most veterinary practices will have a weight loss program which includes:

  • Brochures on what is an ideal weight or body condition score
  • Feeding programs tailored to your pet’s current food and snacks
  • Suggestions on “simple” lifestyle changes for your pet
  • Weekly logs tailored to monitor food intake and activities
  • Weekly weigh-ins and consultations to make changes in the program that best suits you and your pets needs

Work with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate food and develop a tailored program for your pet.

Remember, just walking your pet 30 minutes every day will help both you and your pet keep the weight off!



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