“I see overweight and obese pets every day in practice and give advice to owners as to reducing their pet’s weight. At home we have two boxers, a 5 year old male named Max and a 4 year old female named Lara. Lara had been gaining weight gradually over the last 2 years or so but upon my return from my annual leave in April, I realised that Lara was now weighing in at an all-time new record of 37.5kg – our girl was officially considered obese. This was the proverbial final straw as I realised we were not doing Lara any favours. The time has come for me to practice what I preach to my clients on a daily basis.
I started by giving Lara a full clinical examination and found no abnormalities. Next, in conjunction with sister Chanel Stadler we worked out a reduced calorie diet. Then came the hard part… not so much for Lara as for me. It does take some serious commitment to exchange a warm, cosy bed for the crisp morning air. Exercise however, is a key component to any weight reduction programme and is often overlooked. Also hard but necessary is not to give in to those big brown eyes begging for an extra treat or titbit, no matter how well behaved she’s been!”
July is weight awareness month at TAH
If you feel your pet is overweight, why not make an appointment with sister Norma Boshoff at our Bellville branch, sister Adré at our Kenridge branch, sister Chanel Stadler at our Durbanville branch or one of our vets at our Sonstraal, Goodwood or Parow branches. This service is offered free of charge and we have helped many pets to date to beat the battle of the bulge.
Often pet owners don’t realise that it is also not good for an animal – especially obese cats – to lose weight too quickly. The goal is not to try to get your pet down to ideal weight as quickly as possible, but in a controlled and gradual manner.
Dr Bradley says that he is happy to report that the reduced diet and morning walks has meant Lara has already lost 2.1kg and is looking better for it. She still has a long way to go but we will keep up to date with her progress.