3 steps to help pets achieve and maintain a healthy weight | Lifestyle

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Pet parents often use food to show their love for their pets. However, this extra “love” can lead to weight gain, which increases the risk of other diseases.

According to research by Hill's Pet Nutrition, a global leader in science-led nutrition, more than 50 percent of pets are overweight, yet 90 percent of pet parents don't realize it.

To help change the lives of pets, Drs. Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson, stars of Nat Geo Wild's “Critter Fixers: Country Vets,” are encouraging pet parents to take a proactive approach to maintaining their pet's weight.

“As veterinarians, we want every pet to live a long and healthy life,” Hodges said. “That's why pet parents should actively monitor their pet's weight and address the issue in real time with the guidance of a veterinarian. We're proud to be part of Hill's End Pet Obesity campaign to help pet parents understand the impact of even a few extra pounds, And provide them with the tools and resources they need to help their pets achieve and maintain a healthy weight.”

Consider these simple steps to get started:

take the love testTo help assess your pet's weight, use the LOVE test, which involves four simple movements:

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“Sometimes, beneath their beautiful coats, it's hard to realize that our pets have gained weight, and even just a few extra pounds can have an impact on their energy and overall health,” Ferguson says. “Taking the LOVE test is an easy way to assess your pet's physical condition to determine if action is warranted.”

Schedule a Veterinary VisitPet parents who are concerned about their pet's weight should seek the guidance of a veterinarian. Conversation starters include:

Is my pet at an ideal weight?

How can I help my pet achieve an ideal weight?

How can food help manage a pet's weight?

switch to the right food“Obesity is one of the greatest health risks for pets, and what a pet eats is one of the most important decisions a pet parent can make,” Ferguson said. “Whether your pet is a new addition to the family or just overfed, now is a great time for pet parents to reset their nutritional habits and ensure their pet's weight is healthy—starting with the food they're feeding.”

Pet parents should work with their veterinarian to choose the right food to support their pet's weight loss journey. Weight management products can help pets achieve their ideal weight, including Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight, which has been shown to lose weight in 70% of pets fed this nutritious food within 10 weeks. For obese pets, a veterinarian may recommend a therapeutic food.

“We've been studying the impact of nutrition on pet performance for over a decade,” said Dr. Karen Shenoy, Chief Veterinary Officer, Hill's Pet Nutrition US. “We've learned that lean pets have different biology than overweight pets. We develop formulas that help support your pet's metabolism for a healthy weight and taste great. With veterinary guidance, weight loss is easy when fed ‘with love.'”

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