Just like in people, the last few decades have a brought about a change in the average weight of our pets. Now a days, about 75% of the animals we see are heavier than ideal and probably 30-40% would be considered morbidly obese. While exercise is important, a lack of it only accounts for about 15% of the problem. The rest can be attributed to just taking in too many calories. Often times these extra calories come from too many treats (ie. table scraps, bones with marrow in them, dental chews, etc). While you may mean well trying to make your pet's lives more interesting, in reality it is probably killing them with kindness. Obesity in animals has been linked to diabetes, bladder problems, complications with arthritis, and an overall state of inflammation that is definitely not good for your pet.
An overweight pet weighs 5% - 10% more than its optimal weight, whereas an obese pet's weight is at least 15% - 20% in excess of its optimal weight. The easiest ways to assess your pet are looking to see if they have a waist (and yes, every breed should have a waist) and can you feel their ribs easily without having to push too hard. This chart below exhibits the ideal guidelines:
When you are feeding a mixture of different foods, it can be very difficult to know how many calories your pet is taking in. Not to mention, only a small amount of human food is likely equivalent to an entire meal for many of our pets.
For many reasons, we recommend about 80% of the diet consists of a high quality properly formulated pet food with only about 20% of the diet consisting of treats (anything else). There are many quality brands of dog and cat food out there but we do recommend avoiding generic brands and some of the cheaper well known brands purely because their formulations are not tested as adequately as some of the better brands. Better does not always mean more expensive either!
For those pets that aren't losing weight despite your best efforts we offer a Weight Watchers program! It is free so long as you are purchasing the weight reduction food with us. Below are some amazing successful dogs.
We are a firm believer that any animal can lose weight but sometimes they just need a little help! Please contact us today to discuss our weight watchers plan.