Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Is My Pet Overweight? (Part 3 of 13)

Round Hound?  Curvy Kitty?  Here are tips on peeling off the pounds! (continued)

2) Feed Appropriately Sized Portions

Now that you've read about all of the quality ingredients in your pet's new food, you should follow the instructions on how much to give your pet.  Right?  WRONG!  The sad truth of the matter is that even the most conscientious pet food producers will never ask you to  use less of their product.  It is simply not in their best interests.  As a general rule, feeding instructions should be reduced by at least 20%.  If your pet has not lost weight after about four weeks, please call our office to see if further reductions are advisable.  Bear in mind that a cup equals eight ounces.  Many of the drinking cups we find in our kitchens hold between 12 and 16 onces.  Stop by Sabal Chase Animal Clinic for a free measuring cup to ensure you are measuring your pet's portions correctly.

If reductions are in order, make them gradually.  If your pet is still hungry, try adding chopped, cooked green beans to her diet.  They are inexpensive, palatable, high in fiber, and can add lots of volume for about ten calories.  This can help your round hound feel fuller and happier.  Never add butter, salt, or seasonings.  Does that mean "people food" is okay?  Not really.  Tune in next time for some shocking statistics on just how the calories contained in our food are processed by our furry friends!

 "Lovey adores her green beans - and she's lost six pounds!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is My Pet Overweight? (Part 2 of 13)

Round hound?  Curvy kitty?  Here are tips on peeling off the pounds!

1) Feed a Quality Diet

While this may sound like common sense, pet parents are often at the mercy of the media when trying to ascertain food quality.  There are MANY  low quality pet foods with high dollar marketing budgets being pushed to an increasingly frustrated public.  Since pet food companies are not required to display the same nutritional information we are used to seeing on our own packaged foods, reading labels often leads to further confusion.  

When searching for a quality diet, look for a food that is high in protein (over 20%), low in fat (7%or less) and has limited ingredients.  Avoid foods that contain corn, wheat, soy, seed hulls or by-products.  These are cheap "filler foods" used to boost the profits of the pet food producer, and have no nutritional value whatsoever.  Nutritionally dense foods make our pets feel fuller for longer periods of time by satisfying their bodies' needs for fuel, rather than just filling their stomachs.  While they are often more expensive, it is not necessary to feed large amounts, and many pet parents find that their pet food dollars stretch further.  Sabal Chase Animal Clinic recommends and sells California Natural Diets.  This high quality, limited ingredient diet is available in  low fat and senior versions, and comes in a variety of flavors.  Stop by the clinic for some free samples, and stay tuned for tips on HOW MUCH we should be feeding our paunchy pets!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is My Pet Overweight? (Part 1 of 13)

If you suspect your pet is a “round hound” or a “curvy kitty”, you are not alone.  The number of American pets who are overweight or obese has reached an all-time high.  When determining whether or not a pet is overweight, veterinarians refer to the Body Conditioning Scale.  This allows both doctors and pet parents to quickly assess a pet’s weight loss needs, while factoring in body shape, breed, muscle tone, and size.

Another useful exercise is to try and feel your pet’s ribs.  If you can feel them easily, chances are good that your pet’s weight is ideal.  If you cannot feel them at all, or have to dig through squishy layers, it’s time to make some changes in their diet and lifestyle.  Stay tuned for tips on how to keep your furry friends healthy and fit for life!