Weight Management

APPOINTMENT

According to a 2012 survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53% of dogs are either overweight or obese. That’s 41 million dogs! What’s disheartening is that 46% of dog owners believe their pets’ weight is within the normal range, even when their veterinarians have assessed them as being overweight.

Why?

  • Too much food!
  • The wrong type/brand of food
  • Lack of exercise
  • Age
  • Breed
    • Genetics do play a part in weight management
    • Certain breeds are more prone to weight gain/fluctuations, such as Labrador/Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles,  Dachshunds, Shetland Sheepdogs, and more.
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Various medical conditions can cause weight gain

It is best to have your pet thoroughly examined by your veterinarian to rule out any medical abnormalities before beginning any diet/exercise plan.

What problems are related to obesity?

  • Arthritis—Excess weight makes the joints prone to premature arthritis
  • Breathing problems – Extra weight places stress on a dog’s heart and lungs, causing them to work harder.
  • Heat/Exercise intolerance – Makes it difficult for the dog to cool off
  • Compromised immune function
  • Dermatological problems affect skin, hair, and coat
  • Increased risk for surgery and anesthesia
  • Creates joint and back problems and makes them more prone to injury

A Purina study showed that dogs that had a restricted diet and were kept at an ideal weight lived an average of 1.8 year longer.

There is a Solution – and We Can Help!

  • Consult your veterinarian – Have your veterinarian perform an examination and rule out any medical conditions.
  • Develop an exercise plan – Our certified canine rehabilitation practitioners can develop an exercise plan to help your dog jump-start his or her metabolism with underwater treadmill therapy and therapeutic exercises.
  • Remember, this is a PROCESS – Crash diets don’t work; this is a lifestyle change. Plan on having your dog lose 1–2% of his or her total body weight per week. Anything more than that is too much, too fast.

How do I know if my dog is overweight?

  • Look for a “tummy tuck up”—From the side, the dog’s belly should be “tucked up” under his ribcage and not even with his or her belly.
  • You should be able to feel each of your dog’s ribs without pressing.
  • Look at your dog from above. You should be able to see his or her waist.

Pet Obesity Prevention offers a helpful chart for your reference.

Michigan's first rehabilitation center.

We are dedicated to providing excellent care.

Location

1490 Lochaven Rd
Waterford, MI 48327
Click here for directions.

Hours

Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 8am - 8pm
(By appointment only)
Tues, Sat, Sun: Closed

Contact Info

Phone: 248-363-5061
Fax: (248) 363-1138
Email: rehab@unionlakepets.com

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