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GDV – A Life-Threatening and EXTREMELY Urgent Condition in Dogs.
Two weeks in...are your resolutions still intact?
Pre-Holiday "Weigh-In"
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Healthy Weight

Pre-Holiday "Weigh-In"

Last night I had to run in to PetSmart to pick up some filters for my husband’s fish tank.  Ahead of me in line was a gentleman with a very portly lab in tow.  Ok, maybe I under-sold that.  This pup was 25-30 lbs. over-weight.  Well into the danger zone.  While standing waiting to check out, I overhead the cashier ask what the dog’s name was.  “Rufus*”, the guy replied.  “Oh, how cute.  Would Rufus like a treat?”  The guy gladly replies “Oh yes, he loves treats!”  All this time I’m thinking… Treats?  Get this dog a treadmill and a Biggest Loser audition, stat! 
 
There is no doubt that our beloved pets are getting fatter.  Studies have shown that 50% of our nation’s cats and dogs are either overweight or obese.  With increasing weights come increasing weight disorders, especially osteoarthritis and type 2 diabetes.  The first step to combating this problem is recognition.  We hear all too often that Fido only gained 2 lbs. over the last year.  Weight gained slowly it just as harmful as weight gained rapidly.
 
There are many things you can do to help get your pet back to a healthy weight.  A couple easy ones that come to mind are…
 
1.     Make sure you are feeding a high-quality diet.  Read the ingredients and know what is in your pet’s food.  You should always have a good quality protein source at the top of the ingredient list.  You should never, ever see “sugar” anywhere on that list.  Too much sugar does the same thing in animals as it does in people. 
2.     Along with feeding a high-quality diet, know how many calories your pet should be eating.  Give us a call and we can help you determine how many calories a day your pet should be eating.
3.     Limit treats!  I know dogs go bonkers when you even say the word “treat” but you can still treat them with a small, healthy treat (or even some veggies) rather than with a king-sized milk bone every time they come in from outside.
4.     Exercise!  Whether it is a rousing game of fetch, a casual stroll around the neighborhood or a little catnip and a feather chaser, get your pet moving.  Before too long the snow will fly and no one will be excited to venture out in the chilly air.
 
 
* While the events in this story are real, the names have been changed to protect the extra-large.
 
 

Get those hips going, girls!

One thing that is harder than herding cats, is getting your chunky kitty up and exercizing.  When I adopted my Josie, she weighed in on the husky side of petite.  Alright, that's maybe not the truth.  She was a whopping 23 lbs. and she was only 2 1/2 years old.  Her back story broke my heart.  She belonged to a single guy who found her outside when she was a kitten.  He worked long hours and just kept her bowl full.  When he was working 16 hour days, she slept and ate her way to 23 lbs.  Imagine what went through her mind when she came to live with this evil woman (me!) that "starved" her by only putting 1/3 c. of food in her dish twice a day!  Along with a high quality food that is measured out and the following activites and tips, we were able to get 5 lbs. off of her in 3 years.  She has about 3 more to go, but slow and steady wins the race when dealing with an obese kitty.
 
Chubby cats are in danger of more than laziness: Extra weight can cause arthritis in felines, and it also puts them at higher risk of developing diabetes and serious liver conditions. Help your cat stay in tiptop shape with these exercise suggestions...
 
 
* Run a laser pointer or flashlight along the floor in jagged motions. Stop occasionally to let your cat catch the "prey," and reward him with a treat.
 
 
* Encourage your cat to work for her food by providing a treat dispenser ball. Don't forget to include those calories in her daily intake!
 
 
 
* Stock up on action toys, like fishing rod-type models. Check that the line and play bait are securely attached before use.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
* Place meals in different locations around the house so that your cat must hunt for them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
* Your cat needs an annual physical, just like you. At each trip, make sure the vet checks for:
—Musculoskeletal health
—Obesity
—Dental health
—Skin disease
—Kidney and bladder health