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613.531.3334

Weight Management for Pets

Obesity in pets is often overlooked. Pet obesity is estimated to be over 50% in dogs and cats. An easy way to tell if your pet is at a healthy weight is to consult your veterinarian. Here at Sims Animal Hospital we can assist you with getting your pet to a healthy weight for their age and breed.

What does obesity look like in pets?

Obesity is the buildup of excess body fat. The excessive body fat translates into extra body weight. Our veterinarians measure your pet’s body weight to determine if they are obese. Pets are considered overweight when they weigh between 10-20% above their ideal body weight. They are classified as obese when they are 20% over their ideal body weight. If you have questions about your pet’s weight, please contact our team to provide an estimated ideal body weight for your pet. Schedule an appointment at 613.531.3334.

What are the risks associated with obesity in my pet?

Excessive body fat puts your pet at a higher risk for developing health issues. Obesity is known to shorten the lifespan of pets. Fat tissues can release inflammatory hormones and cause an imbalance between oxidant activity and free radical activity within your loyal companion. This stress in your pet can put them at risk for:

  1. Urinary bladder stones
  2. Cancer
  3. Heart disease
  4. Hypertension
  5. Diabetes

How can I manage my pet’s weight?

Once our team has identified that your pet is overweight, we will have a weight loss program specific to their needs. Our veterinarians consider your pet’s metabolism, lifestyle, breed and feeding schedule when creating a program for them. We believe that weight loss should include more than just dieting, we encourage exercise, caloric restriction and a specialized diet. Here are some behaviour modifications you can implement at home:

  • Limit your pet’s treats. As a form of reward you can give your pet praise and play instead of treats. Treats should only make up 10% of the daily calories your pet consumes.
  • Encourage your furry friends to exercise. Some dogs may benefit from regular walks or playing fetch. Cats enjoy hunting and stalking simulation which will make them more physically active.
  • Schedule your pet’s meal times if your lifestyle allows it. Leaving out food may cause your pets to eat more than what they need.
  • Follow the diet or special nutrition given by the veterinarian. The special diet that we create for your pet will get them to a healthy weight if followed correctly. Our veterinary health care team will recommend foods that give your pets the right nourishment and instructions on how to adjust their meals.