New Year’s Resolution
With the start of a New Year, you may be thinking about New Year’s resolution for you and your family. I’d encourage you to add weight loss to your pets’ resolution list if they are overweight. An ideal body condition helps our dogs and cats stay healthy longer and decreases joint pain as they age.
To help determine if your pet is overweight, please review the following Body Condition Scoring (BCS) Systems chart from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). An ideal body condition is between 2.5-3 on the 5 scale (or 4-5 on the 9 scale).
The most important contributors of weight loss include feeding your pet an appropriate type and amount of food per day. Please consult with your veterinarian if your pet is overweight for specific recommendations, but a good rule of thumb to facilitate weight loss is to decrease your pet’s daily food intake by about 20% and/or switch to a lower calorie (“Light”) diet.
In order to build and maintain healthy muscle mass while working on weight loss, it is important to provide your pet with regular exercise. Daily walks are a great way to meet this fitness requirement for most dogs.