Drop Three Dress Sizes in Just One Week!!!

Why do so many of our blog pieces make some reference to the dangers of dog and cat obesity? Precise estimates vary, but veterinary sources are in agreement that over half of today’s pets are living with a weight problem. It becomes terribly hard to judge our pet’s size objectively when he is surrounded by dogs and cats that are also overweight. Please, try to be open to your veterinarian’s advice on this sensitive topic. You know we only want what’s best for the patient. If you can clear that hurdle, you’re already a good part of the way there.

How is weight loss actually accomplished in dogs and cats? Well, first off, every patient needs a weight loss coordinator (that’s you), because they never seem to have much self control. There’s no special training or secret trick to it; you just have to be committed to the objective. Weight loss, for a person or a pet, is not something you can work at a couple of days a week or whenever you feel in the mood. Be aware that your strategy will need to be altered, perhaps even several times, before the goal is attained. That doesn’t mean you are doing a bad job. On the contrary, as your plan is refined with minor changes, it becomes more and more efficient. 


Now, it is absolutely critical that everyone in your household agrees to the strategy; many weight loss programs have failed because of an in-house saboteur. They always mean well, but one person’s thoughtless actions can demolish everyone else’s efforts in the blink of an eye. The disappointment of failure won’t be eased by their kind intentions.

Some veterinarians make a lengthy, complicated calculation out of their weight loss programs. Not me. If you’re committed to the idea, you don’t need a lot of math to back you up. You just need perseverance and a source of good advice. Weight issues don’t come up overnight: it’s not realistic, or safe, to try and correct them rapidly. Begin with the simple idea that your pet is eating too much for the amount of exercise he is getting. We’ll then cut back on his daily food intake. Weight should not be subtracted from him any faster than 1% per week. Weigh again frequently throughout the process to be sure that you and your pet are making some progress. Slow progress is just fine in the vast majority of cases, as long as you (the weight loss coordinator) don’t lose interest in the goal.
Are you wondering when he will finally dwindle away to nothing? Fear not. (Still not going to pull out a chalkboard or a bulky calculator.) If you start to think he might be losing too much weight, by all means check with your doctor. The chances are one in a million that you’ll be told you went too far… but rest assured that the very gradual changes you made are easily reversed.

Next time, a—tiny—bit of math.

Dr. M. S. Regan