Healthy, Medically Supervised Weight Loss
Our West Chester vets blend dietary counseling with medically supervised exercise programs to safely and steadily reduce your pet's weight.
Weight Loss & Obesity in Pets
At West Chester Veterinary Medical Center, we are seeing more cats and dogs with weight problems come in for assessment and treatment. This is in line with a growing national trend of obesity in our pet population.
Obesity not only greatly reduces your pet's mobility and comfort, it can also contribute to a significantly shorter lifespan as obese pets are more susceptible to certain diseases.
That's why a medically supervised weight loss treatment and planning program is critical to your pet's recovery. With the right amount of physical activity and dietary changes, we can help you and your pet enjoy many more years together.
What to Expect During Weight Loss Planning & Treatment
Weight loss planning and treatment programs involve working with our rehabilitation specialist and veterinary team. Together, we'll introduce physical activity and dietary changes that will positively impact your pet's health and wellbeing. Our team can develop a comprehensive program that will meet the needs of your pet - and your family.
Rehabilitation Options for Weight Loss
Obesity management and weight loss should be a partnered effort between you and your veterinary caregiver.
Our rehabilitation specialists pair individualized dietary counseling with a medically supervised exercise program to help your pet safely and steadily lose weight.
- Dietary Counseling
Just like their humans, some cats and dogs require specialized diets or specific food due to medical conditions such as issues with weight or food allergies.
Deciding which food to feed your pet and in which amounts isn't as simple as picking a package from a store shelf and following the instructions on the package. That's why we're here to help you choose a diet that's suitable for your pet.
We will first examine your pet to find out whether they have allergies, nutritional deficiencies or conditions that need special attention and which could benefit from specific dietary changes.
Then, we'll create a nutrition plan for your pet and provide advice on appropriate foods based on your pet's specific weight loss and nutritional needs.
- Exercise Program
A comprehensive, customized exercise program goes hand-in-hand with dietary counseling to help you get your pet to a healthy weight.
The right exercise program can make all the difference to your pet's physical and mental health - and help the two of you bond with some much-needed play time.
Weight Loss Planning & Treatment FAQs
Read our most frequently asked questions about weight loss planning and treatment for pets.
- What factors can lead to obesity in cats and dogs?
A number of factors - including the fact that along with their humans, many pets are leading more sedentary lifestyles - have contributed to this serious disease.
The high palatability of modern pet foods is also thought to be a culprit.
- How does obesity impact my dog's health and longevity?
Obesity not only greatly decreases your pet's mobility and comfort, but it also predisposes them to a number of conditions such as orthopedic problems, respiratory issues, diabetes, and, potentially, liver and pancreatic diseases.
Studies have revealed that the average life span of an overweight dog can be shortened by as much as two years compared to a dog whose weight is well-managed.
- What are some symptoms of obesity in pets?
If your cat or dog is overweight or obese, you may see these symptoms:
Symptoms of obesity in cats include:
- Indistinguishable waist line
- Ribs not detectable (you should be able to easily feel your cat's ribs while petting, without pushing down
- Bones in hips, spine and shoulders not detectable with gentle petting (these should be easily detectable)
- Excess fat in primordial pouch (belly)
Symptoms of obesity in dogs include:
- Weight gain
- Rib cage cannot be detected (you should be able to easily feel your dog's ribs, spines and hip bones, but not see them)
- Waist line is invisible (should be visible when petting)
- Excess body fat
- Difficulty breathing
- Distended abdomen
- Lack of mobility
All pets should be examined regularly by a qualified veterinarian to determine if they are at a healthy weight. If you're unsure, contact us to book an appointment.
- Why is weight loss planning and treatment important?
Healthy weight loss takes a significant amount of planning, and should be medically supervised by a trained veterinary professional.
By developing a comprehensive weight loss and treatment program customized to your pet, we can cater to their specific needs and help them get to a healthier, more manageable weight.
This will allow them to safely engage in physical activity, enjoy a better quality of life, and spend many more years with you.
- What are some measures I can take at home to help my pet lose weight?
To help your pet successfully lose weight, it's critical to have the entire family (and your pet!) onboard. You can help by ensuring your pet gets enough exercise and eats healthfully.
They should eat a regular diet recommended by your vet - no table scraps, unscheduled or irregular feeding times, or excessive treats.
Your vet can provide specific insight and advice on your pet's requirements.