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.
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.
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.
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