Kohv and Teague's Journey
This is all to unfamiliar for us in the industry. It is estimated that 60% of cats and 56% of dogs are overweight or obese. Kohv and Teague were just one of our many success cases when it comes to weight loss. Their amazing progress was a team effort and Mom and Dad ramped up exercise once they were feeling up to it kicking their weight loss into full gear.
They went from having two dogs showing joint pain and other symptoms of obesity to having two active great looking labs again. This did not happen overnight they have been working at this amazing transformation for about a year.
Where do I start?
To start we need to evaluate your pet and what their current weight, body score and muscle score is. Once all of these are done we turn to food. We recommend a number of diets after seeing success from these specific options. Sometimes we may choose something out of clinic based on other factors such as allergies etc but will have very specific feeding requirements for all choices. Food needs to be measured precisely and if possible weighed to ensure your pet is getting its exact nutrient requirements and not a kcal more. This bodes especially true in small breed dogs and cats but can really make a big difference in any weight management situation.
Is that all ?
Exercise can play a valuable role in every weight loss plan and we like to gradually increase exercise in our patients in order to limit stress on already stressed joints. We even encourage scheduled play times for your cats on diets as getting them active for even an extra 10 minutes a few times a day can be a real game changer for both your bond with them but also their overall mental and physical health. With having stress on joints we may prescribe specialty food for joint health or other joint supplements in order to lessen the stress on joints to allow for increased exercise tolerance. If you think your pet is sore as well as overweight this is an important thing to mention during your nutrition consultation.
But what about treats?
When we here at Animal Medical Centre South make a weight loss plan we like to keep your routine as familiar to your pet as possible. We will talk about what a normal day is to you and do our best to keep everything the same if at all possible. Weight loss does not have to be painful or negative for your pet, we strive to make the experience as positive as possible to ensure you have the best chance of success.
What are the benefits of weight loss?
For many pets they will become more comfortable overall. In the instance of these two they were showing signs of lameness and this became significantly less obvious once they were on a diet that not only promoted weight loss but also cared for their joints. Excess weight has been linked to everything from respiratory depression, cancer, kidney disease, chronic inflammation, orthopedic disease and reduced life expectancy. Purina has completed a study called the lifespan study that showed a trim in shape dog lived an average of 15% longer or 1.8 years longer in a dog the size of a Labrador.