What is the Healthy Weight Program and why should my pet participate?
The Healthy Weight Program is an individualized weight loss program for your pet. It will guide and support you as you help your pet lose weight. By enrolling your pet in our Healthy Weight Program, you have made an important step in assuring that your pet is as healthy as possible and can be a part of your family for many years to come. As few as five pounds above your dog’s ideal weight can put them at risk for developing serious medical conditions. The average pet can reach their ideal weight in as little as 6 months. Some of the common disorders associated with excess weight include:
- Respiratory and Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Many forms of cancer – especially intra-abdominal cancers
Further, overweight and obese dogs are expected to live shorter lives than their fitter, normal weight counterparts. Heavy dogs tend to physically interact less with their families and are less energetic and playful. Because they tend to be less active, it is easy to overlook illnesses since we attribute their lethargy to their “normal laziness.”
Why is my pet overweight/obese?
There are many causes of obesity and thorough medical and diet histories are needed to determine the best course of treatment for your pet. Daily energy requirements are influenced by genetics, diet intake, activity level, and certain medical conditions, which all must be considered when designing an individualized weight loss program.
I’ve tried weight loss diets in the past and my pet is still overweight. Why would this plan work?
Weight loss plans through the program are tailored to the individual pet. You will be given specific guidelines for diet and follow-up and our veterinarian will work directly with you and your family to help ensure successful completion of the program. Determining the underlying cause for your pet’s weight gain is crucial in establishing a successful wellness plan.
Can I still give treats?
Yes! The written weight loss plan will include examples of treats and the amounts that can be given to your pet on a daily basis. In many cases, we are also able to include allowances for treats your pet currently enjoys.
What is included in the Healthy Weight Program?
- Initial Exam and Discussion
- Nutritional Assessment Evaluation
- Nutritional Consultation/Recommendation
- Follow-up Exam (2 weeks after initiation)
- FREE monthly weigh-ins for the first six months
- Phone/email consultation available if needed
How do I get started?
Getting started is easy. Simply call (256)-383-2626 and make an appointment with one of our receptionists, then fill out the Diet History Form and submit it via our website or return it to the hospital at least 24 hours before the scheduled appointment time. The final step is to congratulate yourself for making the commitment to better health for your pet!