By Vanessa Vandersande
At Copper Hill Animal Clinic, we absolutely understand how difficult it is to maintain a healthy weight in a pet who gazes up at us so beseechingly while we eat something particularly aromatic at the dinner table. How could it hurt to give one sliver of chicken, a crust of bread, or a spoonful of pudding? Our naughty kitten Finnegan stole a whole drumstick off the table just a few weeks ago, and while we should have been taking it back from him we instead found ourselves laughing at his attempts to drag it across the floor. The silly boy has since been barred from the table.
The truth of the matter is that our pets eat too much and exercise too little. Large dogs bred to pull sleds across tundra languish in their homes on the rug and cats sleep in fuzzy lined beds, barely walking 100 feet to a food bowl, rather than jumping, attacking and working for their prey. The portion sizes listed on the back of the food bag are often vague and confusing, leading to a bowl filled with more food than should actually be given. And all of this leads to a simple truth, that obesity is now the number one metabolic disease of pets.
In the upcoming months, Copper Hill Animal Clinic will be launching a program that we trialed with our own pets and have found to be effective. Anyone wishing for their pet to be a part of the program can make a free appointment to have a technician weigh and measure their pet. Depending on several data points and the pets needs, a plan is built recommending the exact amount of food that should be given, and a graph showing the pets expected weight loss is generated. Only current clients of Copper Hill may purchase food, but clients of other veterinary practices may discuss the plan with their regular vet to insure it is in their best interest. Check out our Facebook page for more information, and let’s all take a swing at obesity this year!