Sunday, March 3, 2013

Love handles on cats and dogs

The news can be as devastating then knowing your pet has a deadly disease: your veterinarian diagnosed your dog has being obese or overweight. If as a New Year resolution you would like your lovely chubby dog or kitty to lose weight, here is some help. Don’t worry; I know every family member has the best intentions. I like to call surplus adipose tissue: extra TLC (tender loving care). However, it been proven by research in dogs that extra TLC can decrease longevity and quality of life. Here are some important components of a successful weight loss program:

Sabrina recovering from a possible stroke which made her gain weight due to inactivity.

1-Essential stop: have a consultation with your primary care veterinarian for a weight in and evaluation of how much your critter needs to loose. Extra pounds (or ounces) keep the body in a perpetual state of inflammation.
2-Make sure all medical issues are under control or taken care of before embarking on a weight lost regiment: pain/hormonal/other medical issues. Some medical issues can make weight loss more challenging. In some cases, some medications can help hasten the weight loss; however it does not replace proper diet counseling.
3- Your primary care veterinarian will let you know the amount of weight loss we should see in average (some dogs may require shorter or longer time). Every case needs to be treated individually; there is no one size fits all. Hang in there; it might take 6 to 12 months, or more.
4-Maintain meal plans. See with your primary care veterinarian which diets are appropriate.

5-Keep a log of what is your pet is eating daily: amount/type, etc. Count every little crumble. Any treats needs to be properly evaluated for calorie content and added to the food log. Your veterinarian will let you know how many treats are appropriate. Also make sure everybody in the house knows about the weight loss plan and sticks to it.
6-Create workout logs: whatever you do, underwater treadmill/walk/jog/agility, etc. Make sure your veterinarian lets you know which activities are appropriate for your pet.
7-Monitor your pet sleep schedule and anxiety level (people leaving the house, holiday) for a healthier lifestyle.
8- Keep track of measurements: weight, chest/abdomen measurements, activity level with GPS devices, dog/kitty pedometer.
9-Capture inspiration and ideas from the web: losing weight can be daunting, do not give up and find inspiration of other successful pet owners.
10-Share your results with your friends through social media, video calls, etc.
11-Challenge your friends to get their pet to lose weight. Then show off at the beach or dog park.
Don’t forget, professional help is available to help achieve your pet’s goals. Remember to keep it fun for you and your pet. Paws on the Go is striving to get your pet on the go! I can help with a full program to help your pet achieve lean weight in the happiest way possible.