The phrase “you are what you eat” applies to your pets as well. Many pet parents have questions about health diets and choices about food for their pets. Here are some tips for healthy eating for your pets.
I am trying to help my pet lose weight, but so far have had no success. What am I doing wrong?
Pet obesity is an epidemic. Recent surveys estimate up to two-thirds of pet dogs in the United States, Europe and China are overweight or obese. While some cases of obesity may be linked to specific medical conditions, such as hormonal diseases, in most instances, excess calorie intake causes the weight gain and excess fat mass.
Overweight and obese conditions long have been recognized as risk factors for secondary health problems, such as urinary tract infection, diabetes (in some species), and even cancer. Excess energy intake – eating more calories than are burned per day – is associated with a shorter life span in dogs, as well as other species. Obesity may also exacerbate existing conditions, such as orthopedic disease, heart disease, and respiratory disease.
- Calorie restriction is the key for weight loss. While increased physical activity may help with weight loss and with maintaining muscle mass, it cannot replace dietary management.
- A prescription weight-loss diet is the preferred approach in the management of weight loss. Prescription diets are formulated to provide all the needed nutrients as overall intake is restricted. This approach ensures that nutritional deficiencies are avoided.
- Prescription weight loss diets also include strategies to address satiety and begging behaviors in pets.
- Recent evidence suggests that high-moisture diets may promote increased activity and potentially promote weight loss.
- Regular monitoring of body weight and body condition by a veterinarian is vital to adjust caloric intake and ensure a healthy and steady weight-loss rate.
Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog needs a checkup, shots, vaccines, give us a call at 503.666.1600 or visit our website at: www.greshamanimalhospital.com/