January is well under way, and at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD there are a lot of New Year’s resolutions in progress! A popular resolution is to get in shape. Unfortunately, about 53% of dogs and 58% of cats in the United States are overweight too. Obesity in pets, just like in people, predisposes our furry friends to diabetes, joint pain, and other health problems that don’t go away easily.
Getting out to enjoy the sunshine is a great way to strut your stuff…and burn some calories!
Since they can’t do it all on their own, here are Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Top 5 Tips for getting pets bikini-ready:
Take a walk! The extra cardio will help you both get in shape. If visiting a dog park, be present when introducing new dogs and make sure all four-footed parties are fully vaccinated. Cats can go for walks, too! Pick up a cat harness from the pet store and introduce it slowly. Let Fluffy take the first steps outside all on her own. Click this link for more tips on walking cats.
Adorable KAH patient Cooper shows off his new stuffy. Toys make everything more fun!
Make time for play! Most cats love laser pointers, but every kitty has a favorite toy. Try a variety of low-cost options such as a crumpled piece of paper or a ping-pong ball. Try rope toys or a new Kong for a playful dog. For dogs who don’t play much, food puzzle toys can provide enrichment with a tasty reward.
Add a salad! Try cutting back a little on the kibbles and mixing in some green beans or canned pumpkin. The fiber fills up pets for longer without adding calories. To get the exact amounts for a specific pet, please consult a veterinarian. Our KAH doctors are happy to help!
Eat and run! Pets who constantly beg for food can make weight loss challenging. Measure out a portion for Fluffy or Rover, then throw each kibble to make the pet chase. Start with chasing a small amount and offering the rest in the pet’s normal bowl, and slowly work up to the whole meal. Another great idea is playing “hide and seek” by stashing small amounts of food here and
Hills Metabolic prescription food helps where other weight loss methods have failed.
there so the pet has to “forage” for dinner.
When all else fails, ask a veterinarian about Hill’s Metabolic Diet. This prescription food, when fed as directed, is guaranteed to shed those stubborn pounds.
When kitties Winter and Twilight Gronsky were brought in to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital by their owners for a routine examination back in 2014, Dr. Cardella noticed a pattern of weight gain. In January of 2014, Winter weighed 14.9 lbs. Twilight, also a domestic shorthair cat, weighed 14.44 lbs in February, 2014. The cat’s owners were feeding them a good quality food and measuring out their portions, but they were still too heavy.
Both Dr. Cardella and the cat’s parents were concerned that the gain in weight would start to affect the kitty’s health negatively. Studies have shown that there is an association between oral health issues and other health issues such as with the heart, kidneys and metabolic systems. Dr. Cardella suggested switching the cat’s diet to a prescription food and Winter and Twilight’s parents readily agreed. The prescription diet chosen was Hill’s Prescription Diet Feline T/d. T/d (Tooth diet) has very large-sized kibble that pet’s can’t swallow whole. They must chew the kibble to break them up small enough to swallow. Chewing the kibble allows it to scrape plaque and tartar off the teeth. So why did Dr. Cardella choose to prescribe a dental diet when these cats needed to lose weight? T/d has the additional benefit of being low in calories!
Dr. Cardella recommended feeding each cat ¼ cup of T/d twice daily. With their owner’s hard work and dedication, we are happy to report that both cats have lost weight! Way to go! In February, 2015 Winter weighed in at 10.85 lbs, and in March, 2015 Twilight weighed 10.98 lbs. Both cats are now at their ideal body weight! Their owners have done an amazing job with their weight loss challenge and report that both cats are much more active and happy now that they’ve lost weight. Now that both kitties are at their ideal weight, their fed portion size may be adjusted to help them to maintain their perfect physique. It’s not an easy task to help pets lose weight, but it leads to a happier, healthier pet. Winter and Twilight are so lucky to have such amazing pet parents.
After: 10.85 lbs
Total weight lost: 4.05 lbs!
After: 10.98 lbs
Total weight lost: 3.46 lbs!
Here is Winter now! He is looking svelte as he explores one of our exam rooms.
If you have questions about your pet’s weight, please call Kingsbrook Animal Hospital at: 301-631-6900