Woodview Veterinary Clinic
Animal Wellness Center

Nutrition and weight management

Categories of food

In general there are three different levels of pet foods; bottom, middle, and top. On the bottom are foods such as “Old Roy” and “Sprout”, these foods are really cheap and when your pet eats these foods it’s kind of like eating junk food. They probably really like the food but it isn’t necessarily the best for them and may not have the appropriate balance of nutrients. The middle tier is the big name brands like Purina, Pedigree, Eukanuba, and Iams etc. The majority of pets do great on these foods, they are appropriately balanced for the stage of life on the label, and are affordable. The top tier of pet foods include brands such as Fromm and Science Diet, which is what we carry and recommend, these foods are more limited in ingredients and have more high quality protein in them. If your pet is doing fine on Purina cat or dog chow then there is no reason to go out and buy something that costs five times as much. However, if your pet has a minor condition such as a dry hair coat, sensitive stomach, or a grain intolerance (which is actually uncommon in animals) then one of the top tier foods may benefit your furry friend. Also remember that the people at the pet food store are trying to sell pet food, your best bet for good nutrition advice is your veterinarian.

Why weight is an issue

All pet owners want their cats and dogs to be happy and they’re happy when they eat, so what difference does a few extra pounds make, right? WRONG! Our pets (most of the time) are much smaller than we are, therefore 1 or 2 pounds extra on a normally 20 pound dog is like an extra 13 pounds on a human! Carrying around extra weight is not good for the heart and it also causes a lot more stress on your cat or dogs joints, this means they’re prone to developing arthritis at an earlier age and having tendon and ligament problems. Not only is it healthier for your pets to be lean, the recent Purina Life Span study showed that lean pets live an average of 1.8 years longer than moderately overweight animals. 1.8 years, that’s a lot! That means that instead of only making it to 10, Spot or Fluffy can have roughly 2 more years with you.

Ok, that’s all well and good but how do I actually get my pet to lose weight?

When a pet is spayed or neutered their metabolic rate actually decreases, meaning they don’t need as many calories in a day. If you don’t adjust your pets food accordingly, it’s very common and easy for pets to gain weight. Easy ways to help your cat or dog slim down include cutting back on food, fewer treats, no table scraps, and longer walks or play times. If you still want to give your dog treats, good things to substitute include carrots and other crunchy veggies, and ice cubes.

If you have questions about nutrition or your pets weight please call our office and make an appointment today!

Woodview Veterinary Clinic
3284 Lighthouse Ln.
West Bend, WI 53090
(262)338-4146 (fax)