Maintaining a Healthy Weight – The Facts
Did you know, 54% of dogs are considered “overweight” or “obese” (Vet Innovations), yet many pet owners are unable to identify if their pet has obesity. Through using a Body Condition Scoring chart, you can help owners understand if their pet is overweight. Leading to conversations about action items that can help establish a health level for their pet including specific feeding and exercise recommendations.
Providing owners with specific goals is an important aspect of learning how to maintain a pet’s weight. Many pet owners are unable to identify if their pet is overweight so being able to give them clear and concise numbers such as losing “X” pounds allows them to keep track more easily. Use a calendar to mark down when and how they should weigh their pet and make a follow-up appointment to check-in on their progress.
We all love seeing the look on our pet’s face when we get out our treats, the excitement that fills their eyes is undeniable. Lots of owners see giving their dog treats as a way to express their love for them, however, too many treats can lead to their dog becoming ill or overweight. As their veterinarian recommend giving limited amounts of treats. Although this can be hard for pet owners to hear as asking them to decrease the number of treats given can seem as though they are being asked to show their dog less love. It is important to recommend alternatives, such as using a portion of their kibble for dinner as treats instead.
Discuss activities their dog may love and encourage them to participate in so much play time a day. This can include walks, going to the dog park, playing fetch, or meeting up with another dog to use some energy. Remember that any amount of playtime is great, but having a set time every day allows for a routine to be made making it easier for both the dog owner and dog themselves.
In the end, it can be hard to tell someone their pet is not meeting the benchmarks, whether exceeding them or not. With this conversation you can focus on the benefits of how much healthier their dog will be and this should assure them that it is worth making changes in their daily habits.