Anyone who has ever tried to take off a few pounds understands the challenge of weight loss.  It turns out that the difficulty is not just a lack of willpower.  Fat is the largest endocrine organ in the body.  It secretes hormones and inflammatory chemicals like cytokines-many designed to keep the fat cells, well, fat.  Another factor that makes dieting difficult is the role that food pays in society.  People associate love with food.  As a result, there is an epidemic of obesity in America, among people and their pets.  Too many calories, not enough activity!  We like to feed our cats and dogs.  It is a big part of how we show our love.  Approximately 53% of dogs and 55% of cats have been classified as overweight or obese by a Veterinary health care provider, according to a 2011 survey by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention.  Almost 89 million of the 164 million owned cats and dogs are too heavy.  When pet owners are asked if they feel their pet is overweight, only 8% of dog owners and 9% of cat owners classified their pets as obese.

During our examinations at Creature Comforts, we strive to talk about nutrition and diet, along with making dietary recommendations at every visit, along with performing a body conditioning score.  Food is energy, and just as athletes need more calories than people who are sedentary, the animal’s age, gender, activity livel, body condition, size, and breed affect the animal’s caloric requirements.  A recommendation is crucial after a spay or neuter because that porcedure may reduce the animal’s metabolic rate, while sometimes increasing it’s appetite.  If you are a Veterinary patient of Creature Comforts, we encourage you to explore epethealth.com, where your pet will have it’s own personal portal and you will have access to amazing videos, articles, and pictures.  All we need is your email address to get you started!

Adult dogs need to eat once a day, but people prefer to feed their dogs more often.  Cats need multiple meals a day because cats are nibblers by nature.  You can check out the Indoor Pet Initiative to find creative ways to feed and entertain indoor cats at http://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats.  Snacks should account for no more than 5% of total daily calories or they will sabotage the diet.  If you are going to do snacks, we recommend low calorie snacks.  Some fruits and vegetables are good options for dogs such as carrots or apples.  Kibble is also a great snack in moderation.  We STRONGLY discourage fatty, sugary, or starchy people foods. We recommend you scheduling an exam with your Veternarian before starting a new diet, and/or any new additions to your pet’s diet.

Every overweight animal is dearly loved and we want to make sure your bond is long-lasting!  Ask us how to make your pet healthy and lean, and remember….Hugs and kisses are always calorie free:)