Lastly, we must ascertain the pets level of physical health and activity and whether increases in activity are possible or even warranted.  Frankly, some pets are just not able to increase their activity level enough to lose weight and pet owners may be too busy in their own lives to allocate more time to their pets exercise regimens. 


All of these criteria are taken into consideration and evaluated on an individual basis.  Then together we can create a complete wellness nutrition plan specifically designed for your pet.  Modifications may include switching foods, eliminating certain ingredients, reducing frequency and amounts being offered, increases in physical activity, introducing home cooked recipes, or simply adding certain ingredients to the nutrition plan.  Each plan is tailored individually to attain a healthier weight.  We monitor progress in multiple ways.  Has your pet's overall quality of life improved?  Has your pet lost weight?  Is your pet healthier?  Does your pet seem happier?  Is the pet more active?  If not, what can be done to improve owner and pet compliance alike?  We discuss these and more at progress appointments and revise our strategy as needed.  Remember, gains are made in baby steps, not over night.  Real change requires dedication and commitment to change, one pound at a time!


What can be done for the pet that simply does not lose weight even when stringent wellness plans are in place?  And what can be done about the morbidly obese?  What can be done for the pet unable to exercise due to arthritis?  What can we do for them?  There is New Hope!  Science Diet has made a major breakthrough in addressing these forms of obesity.   The new *metabolic advanced weight solution* dog and cat food looks VERY promising!!  Dogs and cats fed this diet are safely loosing up to 28% of their body fat in just 2 months.  And it is not dependent on restricted portions.  Pets can eat well and feel satisfied!  No stringent physical activity is required.  Pets may remain on this food and research has proven that the weight loss is sustainable.  Real world testing results show 88% of dogs and cats have lost weight.  Once a healthy weight is achieved these pets can then transition to a lifestyle more conducive to maintaining a healthful weight. 


Please schedule a wellness weight and nutrition consultation today and together we will make a difference! 


Now that we have ruled-out a serious metabolic condition causing your pet's weight gain we can begin.  The first step is to determine your pets body fat percent.  This can be done during the initial consultation simply by recording a series of body part measurements with a tailors tape.  Then, using Hill's morphometric analyisis formula we can accurately assess your pets % body fat. 


Next we need to look at the owners current feeding plan.  This is a critical step.  What foods and treats are we feeding?  Are they a good quality?  When do we feed them?  How often are we feeding them?  How much are we feeding them?  Are any table scraps being fed?  Does your pet beg for food?  Does your pet eat the other pets food too?  Do you neighbors feed your pet too?  It is so very important that the we get an accurate assessment of what is being fed, how often and how much.  Our success depends on it!  Many times we determine that significant gains can be made simply by modifying the feeding schedule, amount and frequency of food being offered.


We also have to assess the quality of the food being offered.  Unfortunately there are a lot of poorer quality foods that are loaded with excessive carbohydrates, cheap fillers and grains, pesticides, preservatives, food colorings, and very little moisture.  Most of these ingredients are chosen to keep costs down while still meeting and not exceeding the AAFCO minimum standard of nutrition required by law.  We ask owners to bring in the labels from their pets food and treats to the initial consult

so we can get a good idea of the ingredients, calories, and quality of what is being fed. 


In addition, to make certain they are safe for handling, foods are cooked at very high temperatures, a process called pasteurization.  this destroys harmfull bactieria but also destroys healthful bacteria, vitamins and enzymes in the food.  Therefore it is vital that we choose a quality brand of food that is balanced and fortified with high quality ingredients from the start. Remember, we are what we eat. 

Pet obesity remains the leading health threat to our nation's pets.  The latest veterinary survey of 2012 found 52.2% of dogs and 58.2% of cats are overweight or obese AND that 45% of dog and cat owners of obese pets assessed their own pet as having a normal healthy weight.  This is very distressing. 


Our nation's pets are facing an epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis.  Only through education and intervention can veterinarians and owners break the cycle of obesity related disease in our pets. 


So how do we do that?  It starts with understanding proper nutrition.  I will  create a series of articles devoted to this topic with links posted here and on the main page.  Look for them in the coming weeks. 


The first step is to identify if your pet is overweight or underweight.  I have posted the Purina body condition system chart to the right for dogs and below for cats to help you select your pets body condition score.  Try to identify whether your dog or cat is overweight ( 6-9) or underweight (1-3) or at an ideal weight of (4-5)  Once we have determined the *body score* we can formulate a wellness plan designed to either maintain or achieve an ideal score. 


The second step is to verify that your pet doesn't have a metabolic condition like an underactive thyroid, an overactive adrenal gland, or diabetes.  These conditions are rather common and can cause pronounced weight loss or weight gain over time.  Simple blood and urine panels can be run on-site to make certain in advance that none of these medical conditions exist in your pet before we initiate a nutritional wellness plan. 



Monday-Friday  8am-5pm

Saturday  8am-12 noon

Monday-Friday  8am-5pm

Saturday  8am-12 noon

Dal Paso Animal Hospital


                                            1830 N Dal Paso Street, Hobbs NM 88240