Seven obesity clinics open for overweight pets

As of today, there are seven places in the Netherlands where you can find obesity clinics for pets. Until now, this is a concept that does not yet exist in the Netherlands. In Vets Place’s animal practice, doctors not only treat overweight animals, but also help owners prevent (severe) obesity in their pets. According to veterinarians, obesity is currently the biggest health problem among Dutch pets.

One day a week, seven Vets Place locations are transformed into an obesity clinic. With this, the vets in the Pets Place stores want to convince all owners who are still in doubt as to whether their animals are overweight. Obesity in animals can be as severe as it is in humans. Insight into this is an urgent need: 97 percent of pet owners have difficulty recognizing the healthy weight of their pet. Only every tenth owner indicates that their animal is overweight, when in fact this is the case in half of the cases. This is stated in an inventory of the animal feed brands Royal Canin and Pets Place.

Walk-in timer

Obesity in pets negatively affects both the quality and longevity of the animals. For example, an animal is at greater risk for painful joints and has a greater chance of heart problems and diabetes. To create more awareness among owners, Vets Place has introduced a free walk-in consultation class. “Every Monday, owners are welcome to come and weigh their animals. At that moment, we can immediately assess the animal’s health, ”says Marieke van Aalst, head of veterinary medicine at Vets Place.

If during the ingestion it turns out that the pet is too heavy, Vets Place together with the owner will make a concrete plan. “If an animal is ten percent heavier than its ideal weight, we call it overweight. Most owners do not keep track of this. In our weight consultations, we help the owners and give appropriate advice. They can use this service for free, ”says Van Aalst. Veterinary clinics have now been established at seven Pets Place locations and the plan is to expand this number further over time. The goal of the modern open clinics on the store floor is to make medical treatment more accessible to all pets in the Netherlands.

More exercise and different nutrition

According to the obesity clinic, the best ways to lose weight are more exercise and adequate food. In terms of food, owners should choose a diet high in fiber so that pets are satiated longer, or for low-fat options so that they consume fewer calories. “To prevent the food from being eaten too quickly, we recommend that the owners have special small bridges that are harder to chew. Special feed troughs can also be a solution, ”says Van Aalst. Pets Place has 32 different anti-swallowers in its range and saw its sales increase by 44 percent in the past year.

Vets Place emphasizes that it is important to know that even a small weight loss can already make a significant difference to the animal’s health. The movement can be stimulated by throwing sticks for retrieval or by letting your four-legged friend run next to the bike. “Make sure your dog is fit for intense sports and that it is not recommended, even on hot days,” adds Van Aalst. To make the animal move more. advises the veterinarian to build this up step by step.

begging eyes

There are many different causes of obesity or obesity in dogs, cats and rodents. According to van Aalst, a common reason is that owners are not able to say no to a begging dog or cat. “Well-meaning, every now and then a piece of pâté disappears under the table, but what people are not aware of is that it has been turned into four donuts in a people’s diet. So it’s too much and unhealthy. ” According to the vet, people should completely stop giving snacks if their animal is overweight. In addition to dogs and cats, obesity is also becoming more common in other pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs. “Adequate exercise is also essential for those animals. So make sure you have enough space to move and a spacious pen,” says Van Aalst.

Motivation and discipline are essential for both humans and animals to gain and maintain weight. Obese people often have the option of undergoing surgery such as gastric bypass surgery, but for animals, such invasive procedures are not necessary. The owners are in control and can simply help their animals by simply giving them less or different food and by letting them exercise more. Where it can seem pathetic to let your pet lose weight, it is especially pathetic if it cannot show its normal behavior due to being overweight.

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