Posts Tagged ‘pet weight loss’

Seasonal Weight Gain For Pets Is Serious Business

Most of us are familiar with the holiday tendency to add a few extra pounds. But where people have the option to go to the gym, pets do not.

Consider these steps you can take to help your pet shed those holiday pounds:
Feed your pet a balanced pet food diet.
Do not give your dog or cat table treats. He might not like it at first, but this is the only way to maintain a healthy weight. This is tough love, and your pet will benefit from a nutritionally balanced diet.

[What’s the big deal about obesity and your pet’s health? Find out here!]

Step up the exercise.
Longer walks or play times will be good exercise for both of you. If you live in a cold climate, there might be an indoor facility that will let you walk your dog.

Try changing to a premium dietary low fat/high fiber pet food.
When switching, it’s important to change the food gradually. Provide your pet’s daily food portion as 75% of the old food and 25% of the new formula on the first day. For day two, try a 50-50 ratio. Then, proceed to a 25-75 split. On day four, go to 100 percent of the new low-fat food. Seek your veterinarian’s advice if you are unsure about which brand of pet food to buy.

Instead of treats for praise, try play.
Treats add up fast, so when your pet is good, play or pull out a new toy instead of rewarding with food.

Set a deadline for your pet reaching a certain target weight.
That will keep you motivated and focused, and might help you lose some of your holiday weight, too!

This article appeared on Nationwide Pet Insurance’s blog here.

Bonus Content

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, uses the following formula for safe weight loss for your pet:
Cat………………..1/4 lb per week
Small dog………1/2 lb per week
Medium dog…..1 lb per week
Large dog……….1 1/2 lbs per week

Wondering what your pet’s target weight should be? Contact Us and we’ll work with you to set a goal! (Offer open to clients of Little Creek Veterinary Clinic [Norfolk, VA] only).


About Nationwide pet insurance
With more than 700,000 insured pets, Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Nationwide pet health insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2017); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2017). Agency of Record: DVM Insurance Agency. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

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     Last night, I attended a seminar on pet obesity and arthritis, sponsored by Purina. Although much of the information was familiar, it proved to be a valuable refresher course.

     My favorite take-away lesson: Adipose (fat) tissue increases the body’s inflammatory response.

     Why is that so important? Because it means that overweight dogs have a more difficult time battling the painful inflammation associated with arthritis.

     Adipose tissue can be deposited as subcutaneous or visceral. Subcutaneous fat is deposited just under the skin. The more dangerous visceral fat surrounds internal organs like the kidneys, pancreas, and stomach. It leads to the appearance of a pendulous or “pot” belly.

     Visceral fat acts as an endocrine organ, secreting a molecule called interleukin-6 into the body. Interleukin-6 is known to cause inflammation. Researchers believe that chronic inflammation can lead to diabetes, heart disease and other disorders in people.¹ Veterinary researchers are making similar discoveries in pets.

     But internal organs are not suffering alone. Your pet’s joints are also affected by inflammatory chemicals released by visceral fat tissue. That can make battling the pain of arthritis more difficult, because the “enemy” is on the inside, constantly working against your pet’s health.

     If your pet is overweight, now is a good time to start him on a restricted-calorie, protein-based diet. Don’t wait for arthritis to settle in. Schedule your pet for a check-up and make a weight-loss plan with the doctor’s help.

     Also recommended: 
Association for Pet Obesity Prevention – your resource for weight tables, calorie guides, and a Pet Weight Translator.

Dasuquin joint health supplement – another weapon in the war on pain



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