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Tip of the Month

5/25/2010 Over weight Pets Part II - Does this leash make me look fat?

Counting calories for pets can be challenging but a safe guideline is 3-5 body weight loss per month. Check with your veterinarian, the vet technician or veterinary assistant about how much your pet currently weights and how much they should weight. Your veterinary assistant will be able to recommend several special weight reduction diets that will help trim the calories out of your pets’ daily intake.

Offering a diet food, in small portions, several times a day will help reduce your pets’ caloric intake. But watch the treats and no adding human food to encourage them to eat. Many treats are high in calories and Grandma’s left over meat loaf gravy is high in fat and sodium. And follow the guide lines of the food you are giving: giving too much will not reduce the calories and giving too little can cause a serious disease. Cats that are not eating enough can develop a condition called Hepatic Lipidosis (or fatty liver disease.

The easiest way to reduce the caloric intake could be to just feed less of the food you are currently feeding. If you are feeding 2 cups a day, cut it down to 1 ¾ cups a day. The reduced food intake coupled with exercise will trim your pet and keep them healthy.

Most pets will reach their ideal weight in about 6 to 8 months so don’t become discouraged if they don’t slim down quickly. If it takes longer than 8 months, either the diet needs to be updated or the exercise routine needs to be increased. Keeping a log of your pets’ initial weight and the pounds they are losing, will help encourage the dedicated pet owner to stick to a weight loss program.

Also keep in mind that younger, more active pets will tend to lose weight faster than older, more sedate animals. The secret to weight loss is their loving and caring human companion as pets don’t realize they are overweight or that the extra weight could cause serious health problems.

When you work with animals, you learn how to recognize an obese pet and can assist the owner if choosing a reduced calorie diet that will work for both them and their pet.

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