So you were just in and we told you that your pet was; “rotund”, “had extra conditioning”, “too fleshy”, “without a waist”, or some such term that we use to try to gently break it to you that your pet is headed on the fast track to diabetes, Cushing’s disease and/or arthritis just to name a few. It’s not what you want for you any more than it’s what you want for your pet. We don’t want that for your pet either. Why? Because chronic joint pain really sucks. Diabetes is somewhat of a management nightmare, at least in the beginning as is Cushing’s disease. Don’t get me wrong- we LOVE partnering with you to care for your pet. We also really LOVE seeing them and you on a regular basis- just not for these kinds of things if we could have prevented them or prolonged the time your pet lives without them. Of course sometimes genetics just deals your pet a bogus hand- that can’t be helped by anyone. As pet owners we just don’t want to be part of the problem by keeping our pets overweight.
Is your pet a 9 on body condition? Hopefully these tips will help your pet get to a size 4-5!
More than likely you are either irritated with me or can appreciate my “tone”. I also kind of feel like you are finger pointing a little. Maybe you are saying in your head, “I have seen you- you aren’t exactly svelte.” Or something like, “Seriously? Like you haven’t ever had a “fat” pet in your life?” Well yes, yes I have. More than one even. The reason I write this is to help you learn from both my education and personal struggles.
Through these struggles I have learned how important it is to portion meals (my pets eat portioned amounts of food twice a day approximately 12 hours apart), the cats also eat in separate rooms for approximately 15 minutes and then get let out.
Everyone in the house can have their own container
We often recommend that if you have an extremely busy household, have more than 1 person in charge of feeding animals of have been on the weight loss journey for a while without success to portion out the food into individual labeled servings. I even have put together some photos for ideas how to organize the servings and to include treats. Make sure you check the food bag for recommended serving size. Also, feed them for the weight they should be of even a little less than the weight they are otherwise weight loss will be like searching for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Remember that the guide on your pet’s food is exactly that, a guide. It doesn’t take into account their metabolism or activity level, but it’s a good place to start.
I like to use regular measuring cup or baking. Make sure that it is level and not heaping-that’s cheating!
Don’t forget to factor in the treats too!
On a positive note vegetables like broccoli and green beans do not have any calories (for us or them!). They will also get the most benefit out of the nutrients in these little gems if you cook them first. Thanks so much for tuning in! I hope this information was helpful. Now to factor more veggies into my diet plan.
Articles and Photos by Ericka Veterinary Technician, Lakes Veterinary Hospital
Blog Master Ashley made this whole thing actually happen.