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Pet Nutrition & Weight Management From Your Veterinarian in Fountain Hills, AZ

You want to make your pet happy by giving him or her the food he loves -- but you also want him or her to be healthy, which may mean making more careful dietary, nutritional and lifestyle choices on his behalf. Here at Friendship Pet Hospital, your veterinarian in Fountain Hills, we offer personalized pet nutrition and weight management options to help optimize your pet's wellness for life.fat dog learning about pet nutrition and weight management from his fountain hills veterinarian

Pet Obesity and Other Concerns

Pictures of chubby puppies and kittens might be cute, but there's nothing endearing about obesity in pets. Obesity afflicts almost 53 percent of U.S. dogs and almost 58 percent of U.S. cats. Excess weight from a combination of too much food, the wrong types of food and insufficient exercise can cause or aggravate a variety of health problems, including:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Joint pain
  • Reduced immune function
  • Breathing problems
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes and insulin resistance
  • Hypertension

Even if your pet is maintaining a healthy weight, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are eating the right foods. For instance, cats and dogs have very different nutritional needs. Dogs are omnivores who can obtain nutrients from both plant and animal sources, while cats must have meat to get certain key substances such as taurine. That's why you must seek out foods specific formulated for each animal's requirements. Additionally, you must resist the urge to give your pets human food no matter how much they may beg you for samples. These foods contain too much sugar, salt, fat and preservatives for your beloved companions. Some human foods, such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic, are downright poisonous to animals.

Last but not least, you need to be aware of how your pet's medical condition may dictate specific dietary and nutritional changes. Food allergies, kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes and other ailments may require specific "menus" to help keep these conditions under control.

Diet, Exercise, and Other Recommendations

If a veterinary wellness exam reveals that your pet's weight has gotten out of hand, we are happy to help! We may start with a therapeutic diet that emphasizes smaller portions of less frequent servings, accompanied by an increase in your pet's activity level. Even an older, more sedentary animal can benefit from gentle daily exercises to combat pet obesity.

Your pet's medical needs may also respond positively to a personalized therapeutic diet. For instance, we may prescribe a low-sodium diet for hypertension, a high-fiber diet for diabetes, or a hypoallergenic diet that excludes your pet's known allergy triggers. If your pet is making the transition from one stage of life to another, we may recommend proactive adjustments in his feeding schedule to keep him well.

Let Our Fountain Hills Animal Hospital Help Your Pet Thrive

Let us help you preserve or improve your pet's health through a healthy weight and a proper diet. Call 480-889-0881 to schedule a consultation with our Fountain Hills Animal Hospital. We are happy to help and we look forward to meeting with you!