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The TAH Weight Clinic was established to help owners get their pets' weight to a healthy level. Both cats and dogs may join the programme. — Speak to Sister Kim or Sister Estie
Excessive weight in an otherwise healthy pet is a direct result of consuming unnecessary amounts of food. Any pet, neutered or not, will gain weight if it is overfed relative to its energy requirements. You have control over the amount your dog or cat eats.
At the start of the programme pets are weighed, measured and put on a special weight loss diet. These diets contain the right levels and combinations of specific nutrients to modify the pet's metabolism to a lean pattern. Dog owners are advised to increase the time spent walking their pet and to complement the walks with play time. Cat owners are asked to walk their cat on a harness, play with them or entice them to jump onto high shelves for food. Also, add interactive toys to their environment. Hydrotherapy at TAH's heated pool is recommended for dogs suffering from arthritis or joint problems.
Weight reduction needs to be done gradually – no crash diets. Once you've established a feeding plan that induces gradual weight loss over a few months, your pet will reach a point where weight maintenance occurs. You'd be surprised how much more active and alert your pet will be at an optimum weight. Also, your pet probably will live longer and have a much better quality of life.
Progress is checked with fortnightly weighing sessions at the TAH Weight Management Clinic and pets may also be entered into the Hill's Pet Slimmer of the Year competition.
The correct diet, exercise, breed and age are all critical factors that determine whether a dog or cat will be at a greater risk of becoming overweight or obese.
Certain hormonal imbalances and disease processes can also contribute to your pet being obese and these always have to be ruled out before putting your pet on a weight reduction diet. Being overweight puts your pet at greater risk for developing arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.
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 Elfra Visser 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, beat the battle of the bulge.
Often pet owners don't realise that it is also not good for an animal &nash; 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.
Eleven easily accessible branches located in the greater Cape Town, Northern Suburbs and beyond: