Manage Your Pet’s Weight and Diet

Weight Management

Pet Weight Management and Nutrition in Crowley

With all the ingredients that pet foods are made of nowadays and the uncertainties about the ideal body weight, it can be difficult to manage a pet’s weight and diet. That’s why Shaffer Veterinary Services in Crowley offers weight management and nutrition services. Crowley veterinarian Dr. Dehna Shaffer and technicians can discuss your pet’s specific needs during the standard wellness exam.

During the exam, we conduct a weight check and compare it to your pet’s recommended Body Condition Score (BCS), which takes into account species and age. If we find your pet to be overweight, we can discuss their diet and activity level and customize a diet and exercise plan based on that information. We can also address the best food options and ingredients for weight management, portion sizes, and exercise tips to help your pet reach a healthy weight.

Once the diet and exercise plan is established, we can monitor your pet’s progress with monthly weigh-in check-ups to determine if any additional changes need to be made.

About Pet Obesity

It is estimated that at least 40% of our dogs and cats are overweight. Those extra pounds may cause health problems when a pet exceeds 10-15% of his or her ideal body weight. An overweight pet is predisposed to joint problems such as:

  • arthritis
  • respiratory difficulties
  • high blood pressure
  • congestive heart failure
  • liver disease
  • decreased heat tolerance
  • increased incidence of skin disease
  • increased anesthetic/surgical risks
  • increased risk of diabetes
  • decreased resistance to infectious disease
  • among other problems

At 15% more than his/her body weight, a pet is officially obese. No one likes the "O" word, but there are some things you can do to help your pet shed those extra pounds. Weight loss should be accomplished slowly, with a nutritionally-balanced diet. All members of the family need to work together to help achieve the weight loss goal for the pet. As appropriate for your pet, a moderate weight loss program can also aid weight loss.

We can help evaluate your pet to see if and how much weight loss is needed, help you select a reduced-calorie diet, and also to help calculate appropriate feeding amounts for your specific pet. Because dogs and cats vary widely in actual energy requirements, your pet's actual response to a standardized weight-loss program will also vary. Regular weigh-ins will help us make any adjustments.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of all dogs and cats in the U.S. are either overweight or obese. While being a few pounds overweight isn’t usually a major reason for concern for humans, it is one for a pet. Obesity can lead to a number of health problems—just like it can for humans—including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a decreased lifespan. For this reason, we encourage you to be proactive about your pet’s diet so you can help them maintain a healthy weight throughout their life.

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