Combined Veterinary, Pet Owner Efforts Help Pet Lose Big
On January 20, Zeb, a 104 pound, 7-year-old, Labrador retriever, and his owner Diane Bonheim became the first 2008 Hill's PetFit Challenge participants. At Zeb's recheck on May 12, his veterinarian, Dr. Rick Marrinson, reported Zeb had lost 22 pounds and was now at 82 pounds. Dr. Marrinson attributes Zeb's success to a combination of a thorough veterinary health care team recommendation coupled with full pet owner acceptance.
A key component of the AVMA/Hill's Alliance for Healthier Pets - Obesity Awareness and Prevention Program, the PetFit Challenge encourages veterinary health care teams and their clients to make positive changes in their pet's weight management lifestyle through regular veterinary weigh-ins, feeding the right food, monitored feeding and championing regular physical fitness.
"When Diane brought Zeb in for an examination, we knew we had to work together to get him back on track. We established a goal to get him down to 80 pounds," said Rick Marrinson, D.V.M., owner of Longwood Veterinary Clinic. "Today, I couldn't be happier for him. Its success stories like Zeb's that make veterinary medicine such a rewarding profession."
During their initial visit in January, Dr. Marrinson provided Diane with a specialized recommendation for Zeb. To do this, Dr. Marrinson first examined Zeb and assessed his daily food intake (both pet food and people food) and his daily exercise regimen. After reviewing this information, Dr. Marrinson recommended Hill's Prescription Diet r/d Canine pet food and Hill's Prescription Diet Canine Treats. He also advised Diane to never give Zeb human food or other than the recommended treats. Finally, Dr. Marrinson suggested a specific exercise program, which included three different duration and exertion levels.
This plan was designed with a clear goal -- a better quality of life for Zeb. As part of the Hill's pet food recommendation, Dr. Marrinson made sure to provide Diane with the proper feeding amounts and product information to ensure Diane would understand exactly how to carry out the plan for success.
"I'll be honest, at first it was hard to deny Zeb the lifestyle routine he had previously enjoyed," said Bonheim. "I realized that by following Dr. Marrinson's recommendation, Zeb would not only look better, he would feel better too, and the changes have been incredible."
Approximately 35 percent of American household dogs and cats are obese or overweight. Furthermore, these conditions can lead to significant secondary health issues including diabetes, arthritis or hepatic lipidosis. Fortunately, these secondary diseases can be addressed through veterinary health care team and pet owner communication and compliance, proper nutrition and regular weight management examinations.