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Veterinary weight management program helps pets live longer

Mar 28, 2018 09:29AM

The doctors and veterinary care team at Burr Ridge Veterinary Clinic (BRVC) understand some pets need a little help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.  Its Curviest Critters weight management program – offered at no charge to clinic patients – has made a difference to hundreds of dogs and cats, resulting in happier and healthier pets that live longer.

Obesity is one of the most common companion animal problems with a recent survey estimating 54% of dogs and 59% of cats are overweight or obese.  Pets are considered overweight if they are 10-20% over their ideal weight and obese if they are 20% or more over their ideal weight.  To put it into perspective, a small dog or cat that ideally should weigh 10 pounds is considered obese after gaining only 2 pounds. 

Pets gain weight when their calorie intake exceeds the number of calories used on an ongoing basis.  This can happen when a pet is fed too much food, fed a food that is too calorie dense, eats too many treats, or simply because a pet’s metabolism slows down as he or she ages.  A few extra pounds on a dog or cat puts them at a higher risk for diabetes, joint and disc disease, fatty liver disease and cardiovascular and respiratory problems.

Candidates for the Curviest Critters program are identified during a regular veterinary appointment.  Owners who choose to participate in the program are offered advice on what and how much to feed their pet, a list of healthy low-calorie treats, and tips for increasing exercise, even during the winter.  Weigh-in appointments are scheduled monthly with one of BRVC’s veterinary technicians who reviews the pet’s progress and suggests diet or exercise changes as needed.  As an example of the program’s success, Bandit Palladino lost 34% of his body weight in 11 months and was one of the winners of a pet food company weight loss contest!

For more information about Burr Ridge Veterinary Clinic or its Curviest Critters weight management program, please call (630)338-0014. BRVC is located at 8120 S. Cass Avenue in Darien.

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