Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Obesity. Project: Pet Slim Down and Slim Doggy

We had our staff meeting on Monday.

Purina sponsored a lunch and learn and brought a meal for us.

I try  to consolidate our meetings with a vendor luncheon. That way we all get to listen to the latest product information and swap our stories, experiences, and stay in tune with the newest veterinary gossip and advice.

We spent some time reviewing the Project: Pet Slim Down challenge by Purina.

This is a place where people can go to learn tips, tricks, and get advice on how to help their pet lose weight.

The topic of pet obesity is one that every veterinarian is frustrated by seeing. We see the diseases that obesity causes, (diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease, respiratory difficulties, cancer, and loss of vitality).

There are now a huge number of low calorie treats, diets, and drugs available to try to help pet owners help their pets lose weight.

These products are all backed by the latest in scientific research and scientific trials. They work on paper and in study groups. In reality they fail about 95% of the time in my practice. I am almost incapable of listening to another lecture about another 'new' product to help cure the epidemic of obesity occurring in the U.S..

The problem in my opinion in the huge majority of the cases is very simple. It is owner compliance. Well, I should clarify that the compliance is very difficult, but sometimes even getting to the issue of implying that someone's pet is 'obese' is also a dicey process. Some people take the accusation as offensive, some like to live in denial, and some can't stop the begging, food reward, begging, food reward cycle.

Is it hard to believe that our pets diets are going to fail, when our human parents, and their human children have such a difficult time themselves? Obesity in adults is over 50 %, and children? well, it is quickly approaching the same tipping point. Pets? Well, they are right behind both parents and children. To state that obesity is an epidemic is to put it all in perspective.

How can we keep trim, healthy pets who exercise and eat right when mom and dad struggle with it themselves. Like all parts of life we have to lead by example and be responsible parents.

So we vets try to refine our communication skills, be as adaptable as we can, and learn to listen to the experts provide us with yet another product and yet another pitch.

The wonderful company SlimDoggy is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle for pets, resolving the obesity in our dogs and educating all of us on how to raise a happy, healthy, fit dog. They can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and their own site. They blog daily with success stories, tips, nutrition advice, exercises for both you and your pet, a calorie counter, and even have their own app!

Slim Doggy Wordless Wednesday National Pet Obesity Awareness Day.

1 comment:

  1. I have tried a lot of different products over the years for both cats and dogs. For most of the pets, if they have free access to the food dish all day, that's is where some of the problem lies. We all know exercise along with a healthy diet keeps pooch and kitty on the healthy side and able to fit through the door. Besides the medical side for some of our animals who can eat all day and not gain an ounce, and those who just look at food and begin to look like grocery carts, there is hope. The last two years I have been focusing on "high fiber" as a means of offsetting the "munches all day attitude" our pets seem to have (this also includes us as well). I did an experiment with my cats (six of my own and ten of my foster cats). To make a long story fit here, I half filled the bowls with "Chicken Soup for Cat Lovers" which were available for the cats to eats at their leisure. Now, this dry cat food has the highest level of fiber and the healthiest ingredients I have found. When they first ate it they all loved it ( until they read the label and saw it was healthy food) . In a matter of a couple of days I noticed they all ate less of it as days went by. What was happening is they were getting filled up quicker and therefor didn't require as much. All my cats get some soft food (Fancy Feast Chunky Chicken) for breakfast , late lunch and late dinner as this keeps them happy. As a side note: they all call me the "Italian Grandmother". So for me I have a lot of kitties who have a smaller waistline and are able to scratch their tail with ease.