The veterinarians at Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital understand the role nutrition plays in the life of every pet. We offer nutritional assessment and guidance at each wellness visit, to keep pets vigorous and happy throughout every life stage.
Nutrition for a Great Start in Life
Puppies and kittens require a balanced nutritional approach, promoting proper growth and development. During the first year, we support and guide you in providing appropriate food and treats, proper portion control, and offer training options that avoid food rewards and promote a rewarding relationship with the human family.
Senior Pet Nutrition
Many senior pets benefit from specially formulated food, designed for mature needs. Obesity is often the result of reduced exercise and overfeeding, a precursor for problems such as heart disease. Because older pets have different nutritional requirements, these special foods can help control weight and reduce the risk of age-related changes and disease.
Your pet is overweight when we find a sagging tummy, no visible waist, a broad back, or a thick layer of fat over the ribs. Sadly, obesity is a growing problem for cats and dogs, with serious medical consequences including diabetes, arthritis, liver problems, respiratory dysfunction, and shortened lifespan.
A Weight Loss Plan
There are a number of factors to consider when devising a weight loss plan. First, we make sure there is no underlying medical condition causing the obesity, such as thyroid problems or Cushing’s disease. A simple blood sample allows us to screen for these underlying problems.
- Exercise—To achieve weight loss, we increase the calories used while decreasing the calories consumed. Walking and swimming are great calorie burners for dogs and some cats can be tempted to chase toys or a light beam.
- Portion control—Measured food portions divided into twice daily meals control the amount of food consumed and allow for adjustments to portion size; lower calorie foods can be useful, but measuring portions is critical.
- Treats—No people food should be given, and any treats must be factored into the daily portion.
Prescription foods can be an asset in the weight loss process: Hill’s R/D is designed to induce weight loss, Hill’s W/D is for weight maintenance, and Hill’s M/D is a low carbohydrate diet.
Regular weigh-in visits help keep any weight loss plan on track. Bring your pet for a weight check during hospital hours, to keep track of progress. There is never a charge for putting your pet on the scale.
Medical Weight Loss
The weight loss medication Slentrol is available for our canine patients. Slentrol decreases the desire for food and is used only in treating dogs. Ask us about Slentrol at your next visit.