Keeping your pets happy and healthy is our main objective. A healthier weight means a happier pet. Overweight pets are at risk from many of the same diseases that we are, including diabetes, joint pain and heart problems.
Our weight clinics are designed to help your pet to reach their ideal weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle in a safe and controlled way.
At Stanley House Vets, we offer weight clinics for cats and dogs. Weight clinics are available across all of our surgeries, provided by our highly qualified veterinary nurses who can advise on many aspects of your pets health care. These appointments with the nurse are free of charge.
Why book a weight clinic for my pet?
- Weight clinics allow you to ask a qualified nurse any questions that you may have regarding your pet's health and weight, both weight loss and weight gain.
- You are able to discuss your pet's diet to fit their nutritional needs.
- Provides an opportunity to detect any weight related issues.
- Prolongs a good quality of life.
What will the nurse do in a weight clinic?
- The nurse will first weigh your pet and assess their body condition score using the weight, visual condition, and a few other factors such as life stage and medical history.
- This will determine where on the scale your pet is and the nurse can then recommend an action plan. Whether it be to lose weight or gain weight, our nurses will be on hand to advise.
- They will talk to you about any routines you have that could be changed to reach the goal weight and tips on how to exercise your pet so they get the most out of the exercise to best suit their needs.
- They will also discuss your pets nutrition, if you feel the amount of food needs altering they can provide a meal plan, or if you are open to try another diet to help facilitate a safe, controlled weight gain/loss, then this can be discussed also.
- A change of diet is not always required in the first instance as we like to start with the small changes first to see what will work for your pet and suit you.
- The nurse will monitor your pets progress with check ups and weigh ins and keep a record of their progress by taking a photo at the beginning of the plan, any milestones, and at the end once they reach their target!
- We may also ask to share these images on our social media, and we will print these images out to go in your pets 'Weight Management Record Booklet' that you will keep with you and bring to each weight clinic.
Each patient’s needs are assessed individually and a personalised and targeted program is designed that takes into account your pet’s age, current and target weight, body condition score, pre-existing medical history and lifestyle. Our nurses are available to help and support you every step of the way!
"My pet is supposed to be Naturally Chubby"
Chubby cats and Chonky dogs albeit more cuddly, the health risks associated with carrying a few more pounds than they need can have serious effects on their quality of life. If you are concerned and need a quick way to determine if your pet may be over weight, here are a few tips:
- Slide your hand flat along the side of your pet’s body, from shoulder to tail. If your pet is at a healthy weight, you should be able to feel their ribs without a thick layer of fat or pushing too hard to feel the ribs.
- You should be able to see your pet’s “waist” when looking at them from above. A good way to determine this is that the shoulders should be wider than your pet’s abdomen.
- From a side profile, your pet’s tummy should not hang low to the ground or excessively droop
Please see below examples of what we look for in an ideal body condition...
Did you know...
Once your pet starts losing weight it can be a matter of weeks before you see changes in their behaviour! You will notice improved level of activity and they may even begin to take part in 'Play' again, be less lethargic, and start to enjoy a happier and healthy life.
Being overweight can cause the following risks:-
- Heart disease
- Breathing problems
- High blood pressure
- Lethargy and reluctance to exercise
- Inability to clean themselves properly
We can support you with a nutrition plan and weight management programme so your pet can feel happier and healthier, giving you both more time to play and be active.
Myth: Your pet needs access to food all the time.
When your topping up their bowl remember... They don't need access to food 24/7 in order to get the nutrients their body needs and some wont stop even when they are full.
Since most pets tend to eat everything that is put down for them the very second it is available, it is difficult to control their calorie intake. Providing food constantly makes it super easy for them to gain weight.
Practicing portion control and setting meal times gives you more control over their intake and prevents them from over eating.
Fact: Exercise is important
Exercise is important for cats and dogs of all ages. Remember your pet doesn't see it as exercise, to them its play time! Some simple activities can have a great impact on your pets physical and mental health. Going for walks or runs, playing fetch or tug of war, can be great ways to keep your dogs active and stimulated, even hide and seek! They love it!
For your feline companions using teaser sticks, balls, feathers, laser pointers or any other type of toy to entice your cat to move, pounce and play is a great way to keep them stimulated and active. Cats also love activity trees to climb, cardboard boxes and tunnels, as they encourage their climb and explore nature.
Myth: The most popular diet is best for my pet.
Fad diets such as Grain Free, Low Carb, Raw, B.A.R.F (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) and DIY (Cooking your pets food at home) can be lacking important nutrients and components that your pets need.
While fad diets may seem appealing and you only want the best for your furry friend, these can be potentially dangerous. Feeding your pet a diet that lacks what they need could leave them malnourished.
It is important to speak with your veterinarian or nurse about the particular nutritional needs of your pet and share the brand and amount of food that you are feeding your pet.