Pet obesity is at its highest levels ever in the UK with 39-59% of dogs and cats in the UK currently overweight. Obesity is now one of the most common medical diseases seen in veterinary practices and is linked to both a decreased lifespan and a variety of associated conditions such as cardiac and respiratory diseases, osteo-articular diseases, urinary tract disorders and diabetes mellitus.
Abbeycroft Veterinary Surgery is the first veterinary practice in the area to achieve accreditation as a Pet Weight Management Centre.
Abbeycroft have always had a successful record in pet weight management and as a result we were one of a handful of practices proposed for accreditation to the scheme which is sponsored by Royal Canin pet food manufacturers.
The approval process took 3 months during which time our staff had to undergo advanced training and assessment in pet body condition scoring and nutrition.
During the training period the Abbeycroft team have worked closely with Shelley Holden, a weight specialist who is part of the Royal Canin Weight and Nutrition team.
Once enrolled on the Weight management programme your pet will initially be assessed in a consultation which will take a minimum of 30 minutes. During this consultation your pet will be weighed and photographed and measurements will be taken of their chest, waist and neck. The pet will then be body condition scored on a scale of 1 – 9, after which a bespoke plan will be set which will include strategies for diet and exercise, support and measuring materials plus fortnightly assessments until the target weight is reached. Once a pet has reached its target weight there are still regular assessments to make sure that the ideal weight is maintained. If correctly managed the weight loss programme is a proven route for returning the pet to its ideal weight.
The programme at Abbeycroft is championed by registered veterinary nurse Katie Hartnoll
Katie is expecting to gain her Certificate in Feline and Canine Veterinary Nutrition in the Summer.
There is strong evidence that reducing body weight by just 6% can reduce the risk of associated diseases which is not only beneficial to the pets health and wellbeing but also can save owners lots of expense in the future paying for ongoing treatment for conditions resulting from or exacerbated by weight.
If you would like to know more about the weight management programme or would like your dog or cat assessed please give us a call