12800 Wayzata Blvd

Minnetonka, MN 55305

In the News

Post Holiday - Pet Poundage


Now that the holidays are over, many of us are trying to get back on track with healthier eating in hopes of shedding a few pounds. We may have had many visitors over the holidays and appetizer trays laying out on our coffee tables, allowing our pets to sneak a few extra snacks. Unfortunately, pet obesity is not just a seasonal issue; a recent study identified Minnesota as having the highest rate of pet obesity. This is startling to many Minnesotans, as our state has been labeled as one of the healthiest states for humans.

Obesity in our pets plays a huge role in their overall health. Diabetes has become incredibly prevalent in our feline friends, as we see more and more obese cats. The heavier the cat, the higher likelihood of it developing diabetes mellitus. This can be a longterm disease that unfortunately is managed with expensive daily insulin shots and frequent visits to the vet. Managing your cat or dog's weight will significantly reduce the chance of your pet developing diabetes.

In addition, many senior pets are identified as overweight or obese, which unfortunately affects their overall quality of life. Our senior cats and dogs suffer from arthritis, and the heavier the animal, the more painful and difficult it is for it to get around. Focusing on getting your pet down in weight will significantly improve its ability to get around and will allow it to enjoy the senior years!

Beyond diabetes and arthritis, many overweight pets suffer from respiratory difficulty due to the extra weight they carry. They tend to overheat easily, not just in the summer months. This can result in an urgent visit to the vet.

There are many health benefits to keeping your pet at a healthy weight. Consulting with your veterinarian about the appropriate food for your pet based on life stage will help maintain a healthy weight. Many pet food manufacturers tend to over-estimate how much your dog should be eating daily, so don’t just follow the instructions on the pet food bag; consult with your veterinarian.

Treats and table scraps also play a significant role in weight gain. If you would like to provide treats for your pet, you can consider lower-calorie options such as carrots, green beans, or apples. All are a good source of fiber, making your pet feel full. You can also consider allocating the exact amount of food your pet should be eating daily, and if your dog needs an afternoon treat, you can pull from the daily allocation.

Lastly, if you have put in a significant effort in getting your dog down in weight over a three-month period and you haven’t seen any improvement, consult with your veterinarian. There are several metabolic diseases such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism), for example, that can contribute to your pet’s weight gain. Additionally, there are many prescription weight loss diets that can also help your pet feel healthier and happier!