Most people try to start the new year with a health kick; eating healthily and exercising more. So, in the spirit of weight loss we thought we would inspire our animal owners to do the same for their pets, with a successful weight loss story!
Sally Gidlow is a lovely Collie crossbreed who’s owners had just taken over her care in December 2016. When Sally first came to us she weighed 29.4kg with a body condition score (BCS) of 9 out of 9. Due to the huge variability in breed size and shape it can be hard to give pets an exact ‘ideal weight’ for you to aim towards.
Therefore, we use their BCS. This takes into account the fat deposition over the body and the shape of your pet; serial measurements of this can then help guide how much more your pet has to lose. An ideal BCS is between 4 and 5 so at 9 Sally was at the obese end of the scale.
Unfortunately, overweight and obese animals are seen more commonly in practice and this can have a huge impact on their health and quality of lives. It puts extra load and strain on their heart, breathing and mobility and has been linked with a number of significant health issues. See one of our previous posts explaining some of these.
Sally’s owners were given advice and support on diet and exercise for Sally but ultimately all the hard work has to happen at home and we understand that being strict with our pets can at times, be very hard. Her new owners however did a brilliant job and were dedicated to monitoring Sally’s weight; they came in every weekend to use the Hollybank weighing scales in reception and record her weight on her file. This is something we encourage and welcome all owners to do. Sally’s owners also had her very own weight chart and measurements on their fridge to keep them focused and motivated!
There are many changes you can make to help with weight loss but the general rule is less food and more exercise; see some of our starting points to help with this. It is also really important that everyone in contact with your pet is on board and working towards the same goal. Sally has a dog walker who has also worked hard exercising and not over-feeding which will have undoubtedly contributed to Sally’s weight loss success!
Sally dropped to 22 kg within the first four months and her BCS improved to a 7/9. It is important to remember that weight loss needs to be done safely and over a reasonable time period so setting small attainable targets and then readjusting that target is most sensible.
Her owners continued the hard work and commitment and by November she had lost a further 3kg improving her BCS to a 6/9. Sally is continuing to lose weight and 12 months on is just entering her ideal BCS. As you can see she looks so much different!
Since losing the weight Sally is no longer sluggish or sleeping all the time, her owner’s report she is in fact so much happier and active. She has a new lease of life and loves running around playing ball with their other lovely dog, Snoopy. Weight loss for our pets is by no means easy but Sally and her owner’s are proof it can be done and they should be very proud to have achieved this for Sally-well done!!!
If you would like individual advice and support on weight loss for your pet then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01606 880890 where will be able to book you in for a free weight clinic with one of our nurses.