With our temperatures in the GTA dipping well below freezing and the snow and ice storms making for slippery road conditions, it has been virtually impossible to exercise our dogs. Safety comes first when it comes to our best friends, so often we opt for some cuddles on the couch rather than a walk on an ice covered side-walk, or a frostbitten run in the dog park. So what does this mean for our pets? Canine obesity is prevalent all year round, but most of our pets tend to gain some extra weight during the winter months. This is commonly due to inactivity with no dietary adjustments.
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat in the form of adipose tissue has accumulated to an extent that it may result in negative health effects. Obesity is proved to have a direct link to the incidence of joint inflammation, osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions such as ACL tears, hip and elbow dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease… to name a few!
So what can we do to help prevent this epidemic in our pets? Well to start, adjusting our pets treat and cookie intake may be enough to account for their decreased energy expenditure and balance out their metabolism. If your pet has more than just a few pounds to lose, have your pet examined by your veterinarian or a rehabilitation practitioner. At this time, we can weigh and perform a body condition score assessment on your pet and calculate an accurate ideal weight estimation specific to your pet. We will develop a structured weight loss plan tailored to meet the needs of your pet. We can do this by calculating more appropriate quantities of food to be fed, or we can suggest a veterinary prescription weight loss food to promote more effective weight loss long term.
Prescription weight loss foods are specifically designed for weight loss by containing lower calorie density than pet store “lite” or “weight care” foods. Since these prescription diets are lower in calorie and higher in fiber your pet can actually eat a higher volume of food and feel satiated between meal times…. this means less begging for scraps at the dinner table. Veterinary weight loss foods are completely balanced in protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins and minerals. By restricting your pet’s caloric intake with pet store foods, your pet can actually develop deficiencies which can lead to other detrimental health conditions. Prescription weight loss diets have been through extensive testing to ensure their efficacy in achieving ideal weight. We know these diets work and have seen these diets work their magic in our pets’ lives. So why not give one a try for your pet?
Talk to us about a weight loss plan for your furry friend! Let us help your pets live a happier and healthier life!