Top weight loss tips for your pet

1. Tough love:

If a therapist says it, as well as the Vet, and Vet Nurse most clients will start to understand. Some owners can get very offended, but using the current situation as a starting point and setting achievable goals for weight loss usually ends in the client feeling encouraged.

2. Explanation:

The client needs to understand why weight loss is important to not only their pet’s health, but also for recovery from the injury the patient has.

3. Discussion:

Having a discussion on what food the patient eats, the amount they have and what treats they give is a good starting point. Although most of us are not nutritionists, the 37 treats the animal has daily, with an extra Sunday roast, and a ‘dental chew’ a day is definitely not good for weight loss! Ensuring they are feeding for their animal’s IDEAL weight is usually a big factor and that they are properly measuring out food is a necessity.

4. Food Reduction:

Addressing correct feeding for the exercise the patient is now doing. When a cruciate injury occurs, often strict rest is advocated in the first few weeks – this means the patient goes from doing a normal amount of daily exercise to very little and their calorie intake needs to reflect this.

5. 1 Week of No Treats:

Set the client a challenge – no treats for a week – instead using kibble out of daily rations or carrot chunks if they need to give something to aid exercises… once they’ve done a week, it should be much easier to continue!

6. Food Dispensing Toys:

Making the patient work for food – not great in the first few weeks where we are minimising exercise in case of overexertion but a great way to make the patients use more calories and mental entertainment to prevent boredom.

7. Referring to Weight Loss Clinics:

Most Veterinary Surgeries will hold weight loss clinics with a Veterinary Nurse. These are very good in supporting the client through their pet’s weight loss journey as well as providing nutritional information and regular weigh ins.

8. Hydrotherapy:

Fantastic for weight loss, as well as strength training, nonweight bearing exercises, increasing range of motion and works very nicely alongside physiotherapy sessions for a holistic treatment

Animal Therapy Magazine