d now ?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. If she is 20lb overweight she is obviously used to a large amount of rich (tasty) food and such a change in her routine will take some getting use to for her. Obesity is a huge risk for dogs as it is for ourselves and she will be much healthier at an appropriate weight so please do stick with it and she will get used to it and also benefit greatly from it in the future. You can make treats out of some of her daily ration which can help to keep her original routines without affecting her diet; kibble can be ground with a small amount of water and baked on medium oven to make ‘cookies’ and tinned food can be made into gravy. Many dogs will willingly eat ice cubes as calorie free treats also. Praise her with petting and play as much as food

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

The basic components for treating obesity are exercise and dietary changes. Depending on the severity of obesity and current fitness level, increasing the amount of your dog`s daily exercise may need to be done gradually. In general, most dogs can safely exercise for 15-30 minutes per day to start.
If your dog weighs 20% or more than he should, he is considered medically obese. Thus, a dog that should weigh 50 pounds but weighs 60 pounds or more and a dog that should weigh 10 pounds but weighs 12 pounds or more are both considered medically obese.
You definitely shouldn`t wait longer than a couple of days to contact your vet clinic if your dog isn`t eating anything at all. Dogs can survive up to 5 days or even longer, but as time goes on, the chances of long-term damage to their organs or even death increase.
Feed more protein and veggies, with no simple carbs … and only healthy fats. Supplement your dog`s existing food with add-ins like veggies, fruit, eggs, sardines. You can include non-starchy veggies like broccoli, green beans, celery, or asparagus.
Calculate your dog`s initial daily calorie intake.

This is usually calculated by your vet, but you can also use the equation 70 x (Ideal Body Weight in kg)^0.75. Remember to use her ideal body weight. An alternative approach for overweight dogs is to cut their daily calories by about one-third.

Using the recommended guidelines, overweight or obese dogs should lose about 1% to 2% of their body weight each week. If your dog is not losing weight, the daily calories may need to be restricted further.
Early recognition and treatment of feline unintentional weight loss is critical since cats do not tolerate even short periods of inadequate nutrition. Mirataz is the first and only FDA-approved transdermal medication for the management of weight loss in cats.
A dog is generally considered large when they are 20kg or above in weight and 25inches or over in height when fully grown. If you`re considering bringing a large dog into your home, you should be realistic about whether you have enough space for them, as they take up a lot of room.
How Big Are Medium-Sized Dogs? Dogs weighing around 30 pounds (14 kg) or less are generally considered small dogs and any breed over 55 pounds (25 kg) is usually considered a large dog. This means that medium dogs span a wide range of body weights. To make it easier to define exactly what size dog you`re looking for.
Healthy, adult dogs can go three days without food. If they are very young, old or have an underlying health issue, call your vet after 24 hours of no eating. Very young puppies should not go without food for more than 12 hours. They can become dangerously hypoglycemic, especially small-breed puppies.
How Long Can a Dog Go Without Food? Dogs can usually go three to five days without food, however, this is not ideal. If your dog has gone two days without food, it is highly recommended you call a veterinarian if you haven`t already. More important than your dog eating is their water intake.
Healthy adult dogs can go anywhere from three to five days without food as long as they`re still drinking water. But that doesn`t mean you should wait that long to contact your veterinarian. If your pup has gone longer than 48 hours without eating anything, you should call your vet.
If your pup is trying to lose a few pounds, chicken might be the right protein. White meat chicken is a great choice. Avoid fattier cuts of meat like beef or lamb. In addition to weight gain, too much fat can also lead to pancreatitis.
Rice and chicken are a great combination for dogs, and they can be a part of a healthy diet if you feed them in moderation. If your dog is overweight, you should try to limit her carb intake, but if she`s healthy she can eat a moderate amount of carbs and still be healthy.
Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fats. They`re also included in dog food to help your dog lose weight and rich in vitamins A, D, E, K and B-6, and minerals such as selenium, zinc, potassium, iron, and copper.
Are carrots safe for me to feed my dog?” While some of the vegetables we love are unsafe to feed our dogs, carrots are a perfectly safe and nutritious treat for your dog.
Most dogs will achieve their ideal weight within six to eight months. If the process is taking longer than this, something needs to be changed. A healthy weight loss is between one to five pounds per month based on your dog`s size and current condition.
Rapid or pronounced weight loss should always get your attention. Any health problem can lead to serious weight loss. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your dog has lost more than 10% of their normal body weight or is losing 2% or more of their body weight per week.
You will often see lower energy and fitness in dogs that are overweight. You could see them panting or notice them walking slower than usual for dogs of their size, age, and breed. They might also sleep more often than usual.
Overweight dogs may experience heavy breathing more often than those of average weight, especially when the heavy-set dog is more active than normal, like on a walk or run with you, or in the heat.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, pets that are 10-20% over their ideal body weight are considered overweight, while pets 20% and over are considered obese. But the ideal weight is relative, depending on the animal`s breed, age, body type, and metabolism.
L-carnitine is an amino acid that has shown promise in treating obesity in both cats and dogs. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may have an effect on “fat-burning” metabolism. Both are generally considered safe to use with minimal side effects.
Carnitine, or L-carnitine, is a vitamin-like compound made in the body from amino acids. It`s found naturally only in animal-based protein sources. It has been used to help with fat metabolism in other species, and recent scientific studies show that it can help reduce weight in overweight dogs.
Statistics show that obese cats have an average life expectancy of 5 to 10 years old, which is 5 years shorter than the typical 10- to 15-year lifespan of healthy cats. Obese cats between the ages of eight and 12 have a 2.8-fold increased mortality rate when compared to their lean counterparts.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. I want to feed a homemade meal for my dog. What are the basics I need to follow?
ANSWER : A. Feeding your pet a homemade meal can be tricky, however there are several steps to take. The first is to begin by examining the ingredients of meals similar to the one you’d like to feed them. Many commercial raw and fresh food diets will feature complete ingredient lists to give you an idea of the portions and types of foods used. Looking up recipes that others have made can also help you find what ingredients are common.

Foods require a balanced level of nutrition that is made up of proteins (your meat source and “slow” energy), carbohydrates (short-term energy and needed for brain health), and fats (for stored energy as well as flavor). Carbohydrates can be in grain form which is most common in commercial diets, or in non-grain sources such as potatoes, peas or sweet potatoes (more common now in “natural” or “holistic” diets). Proteins can come from plant sources, but are most commonly found in animals, and fats can be from many things.

When starting a homemade diet, it is always a good idea to add in an extra vitamin supplement to fill in any gaps or holes in the diet while you find the right balance for your dog. Working with your local veterinarian is also good as they can monitor your dog’s weight and overall health, and may also recommend bloodwork to check for any nutrient deficiencies.

While homemade diets are a nice alternative to commercial ones, they are not under the same standards as commercial diets. For a diet to be fed as a commercial product, it must have an AAFCO certification on it. This is usually listed as a statement on the packaging which mentions whom the food can be fed to (adults, seniors, all life stages, puppies, etc) and ensures that the food is nutritionally balanced. This means that your dog would be able to survive fully on eating only this food. While it may seem the food is balanced, it does not mean the food is healthier than others, and may still contain ingredients that dogs with sensitivities or allergies can have a reaction to.

Q. My cat will not eat the renal food my veterinarian recommended, can I feed a grocery store food?
ANSWER : A. Your veterinarian recommended a therapeutic kidney diet because it has ingredients that will help slow the progression of your cat’s conditions, especially phosphorus and lower protein levels. Many of the non-prescription or grocery store foods generally have high levels of phosphorus and would not be ideal for your cat.

To help your cat accept the new food It is important to do a transition. There are two reasons to do a transition:

1) Occasionally a pet will have a GI upset when switched to a new diet,

2) A pet will accept a new food better when a transition is done to allow the pet to get use to the new texture and flavor.

There is more of a chance with a hydrolyzed protein or different (high or low) fiber level food to cause a GI upset. Transition recommendation:

1) Recommend ¾ old diet – ¼ new diet

2) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

3) ½ old diet – ½ new diet

4) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

5) ¼ old diet – ¾ new diet

6) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

7) End with 100% of the new food.

Sometimes a transition should be longer, especially for cats. Use the same recommendation, but instead of a few days, recommend doing each step for a week or more. If you cat is still not interested in the new diet you can research other non-prescription diets focusing on the labels for appropriate levels of phosphorus and protein.

Also, home cooking may be an option but make sure to provide adequate nutrients. A good website to consult is balanceit.com. This website helps you to create well balanced home cooked recipes and offers supplements to add into the diet.

Q. She is over weight and our Vet says she needs to lose 20 pounds we have her on a special diet of food from the Vet by prescription,she is sad now ?
ANSWER : A. If she is 20lb overweight she is obviously used to a large amount of rich (tasty) food and such a change in her routine will take some getting use to for her. Obesity is a huge risk for dogs as it is for ourselves and she will be much healthier at an appropriate weight so please do stick with it and she will get used to it and also benefit greatly from it in the future. You can make treats out of some of her daily ration which can help to keep her original routines without affecting her diet; kibble can be ground with a small amount of water and baked on medium oven to make ‘cookies’ and tinned food can be made into gravy. Many dogs will willingly eat ice cubes as calorie free treats also. Praise her with petting and play as much as food

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. My pet eats too much. I need to know when and how much to feed him. Any advice?
ANSWER : A. If you feed your pet a commercial food, most food bags have a feeding guideline on the side to help you know how much to give. This is a good baseline and is usually based on your pet’s weight or age. Once you start with this amount, you can adjust the amount of food given as needed – if your pet seems to gobble his food and is losing weight or is more active, then increasing the amount is good. If your pet picks at his food or appears to be putting on the pounds, reducing the amount can help. The amount to give is usually best fed broken up into several smaller meals throughout the day rather than one big meal. For most adult animals, feeding once in the morning and once at night is enough. Smaller dogs or young animals may need a third meal mid-day as well. Switching out treats for healthier options may also help prevent overeating or weight gain. If you feel your pet cannot safely lose or gain weight on his own, then making an appointment with your vet can help!

Q. Is grain free really a good thing? If yes, should I also give vitamins? My dogs have been on grain free for a few months and have cracked nails
ANSWER : A. Grain Free diets are a very popular option these days and are formulated to try and fit a dogs “ancient” needs for diet. However, dogs are omnivores by nature, meaning that they will enjoy a diet of both meat and vegetables readily. Many owners choose to feed a grain free diet in order to avoid common allergenic grain products such as wheat, corn and soy products which can cause skin rashes, allergies and digestive upset. However, these grain free diets will often incorporate other food sources that are not grains such as peas and potatoes to provide for an omnivorous diet.

if you are feeding a commercial pet food that is complete and balanced (there should be an AAFCO statement somewhere on the bag that states this), then your dog should not need any vitamin supplements. However, if your dog is not doing well on his food, or appears to have some health issues such as cracked nails, scheduling an appointment with your vet is best. Your vet can check for any nutrient deficiencies and may recommend a change in food or a supplement to meet any holes in the diet.

Q. My cat has megacolon and is on cisapride and lactulose. He does not like the prescription weight management food. Is GI prescr food ok?
ANSWER : A. It depends upon the exact GI diet you’re considering. If you’re talking about Royal Canin’s gastrointestinal food, many vets do use it for megacolon cats. However, it’s a prescription diet so you’ll have to get your vet’s OK to purchase this food. Another strategy many vets use for managing megacolon cats is to feed a high quality canned diet. Iams Low Residue is a good food for these cats, and feeding canned food increases the water content in the diet dramatically, contributing to softer stools which are easier for these cats to pass.

Read Full Q/A … : Constipated Cats