Pet Weight Loss Program
These two patients have been on a weight loss program and have reached their goals.
The first patient, Duncan, a six year old Labradoodle, started on a weight loss program in November. His weight in November was 27kg or 59.4lbs. Duncan came in for a nutritional consult and it was decided that he needed to lose 15lbs.
Duncan is a very active dog and loves to go hiking so exercise was not a problem he just needed the right nutrition. Duncan’s new diet was a reducing diet that is low in fat, high in fibre which helps reduce body fat while ensuring that he feels full. It also has high levels of carnitine which increases lean muscle mass. It has antioxidants that defend the cells from free radicals which promotes a healthy immune system.
In order for Duncan to lose weight, he needed full cooperation of his family. Duncan was in every 2 weeks so we could check his weight. We also had to cut back on his treats drastically which was very hard because Duncan, who is part Labrador retriever, really loves his food. When he comes in for his weight checks he assesses all of our food shelves to see what we have, he usually tries to pick out a few bags of cat food or treats from the treat section. It was important for him to still have a treat or two so we put him on a low fat dental chew that not only tastes good but reduces plaque and tartar.
It took six months for Duncan to reach his goal weight so it was a big commitment. It was important for Duncan to not lose the weight too quickly. Ideally it is 1% a week which worked out to be 1kg per month which Duncan achieved. His family reports that his energy levels have increased dramatically since his weight loss and he is now able to go running with his family.
The second patient, Zeus, an 11 year old Golden Retreiver, started on a weight loss program in May, 2010. Zeus weighed 52kg or 114lbs at this time. During his exam it was decided that he needed to lose 22lbs.
Zeus started on the same reducing diet that Duncan was on. For Zeus it was incredibly important to lose the weight. We wanted him to be very healthy during his senior years. Dogs that are overweight are more prone to be at a high risk for a number of abnormalities such as exercise intolerance, joint problems such as arthritis and ruptured ligaments, diabetes, problems with the digestive system such as pancreatitis and constipation, and it increases the workload on their heart. The plan for Zeus was to reduce his weight by 4.5lbs a month. Zeus lost the weight perfectly each month.
His family was very diligent and in 6 months Zeus was at his ideal weight. As you can see from his photo’s Zeus looks fantastic. He is now on a maintenance diet and at his last veterinary check-up he had so much energy we had a hard time examining him.