Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

January Newsletter

Obesity

January is “Walk your Pet” Month! This seems like a good time to talk about one of the most prevalent conditions that affect our pets today—obesity. Obesity is defined as an excess of body fat, but what does that mean in your pet? In reality, we don’t always recognize when our pets are carrying excess weight. We think “he’s just fluffy” or “he’s supposed to look like that because of his breed.” Many people ask how much their pet should weigh, but there is so much breed variation thatthere isn’t necessarily an ideal breed weight. The actual “weight” is used to monitor a trend of weight gain or loss, while body condition (appearance) is a more accurate method of gauging obesity. See the chart below to get an idea of how we approach looking at ideal body type in dogs and cats.

(Click picture to see larger image)

http://www.drfrits.com/pet-obesity.html

Weight management in pets is similar to that in humans. Maintaining a healthy figure is about calories taken in and calories burned. The old adage “Eat right and exercise” applies to animals too! There are many diets available for overweight pets, but it’s important to remember that only diets labeled “light” or “lite” actually have to meet a certain calorie per cup requirement. Terms like “weight management” “reduced fat” and “indoor” are not restricted to lower calorie content. There is a large variation in calories per cup in every brand of food, so for a weight loss feeding guide, follow the recommendations on the bag. Divide the amount fed to twice daily, and feed based on the weight you want your pet to be, not the weight they are currently.
We can provide many tips for helping your pet lose weight, so please let us know if you have questions. And remember, January is walk your pet month, so if all else fails, walk your pet!