Pet Nutrition: The Basics

By Tamara Kees

pet-nutrition     Just like us, pets need a healthy diet to maximize their lifespan, stamina, and well being. The right food plan can also keep pets at an optimal body fat ratio, which protects the joints, liver, and prevents many ailments that can be caused by excess fat accumulation. Back when many of us were kids, we would just feed kibble, maybe a few table scraps and the occasional bone—but now we can educate ourselves to feed for the best balance of nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and quality ingredients that are safe for our pets. We can also find out what foods to stay away from. Continue…

Pet Obesity

By: Dr. Jessica Groeneweg, DVM

pet-obesityWeight in our animals is very important. Many people don’t realize what an actual healthy weight for their pet should be. Every pet is different. Just like humans, weight isn’t going to be the same across the board, so it is important to look at your pet in terms of body fat percentage instead of pounds. Your veterinarian is going to assess your pet in terms of their “body condition score”, which looks at how much fat sits over their ribs and how much of a waist they have. Continue…

Healthy Weight Management for Pets

    Abby-Weight Loss-Fairgrounds Animal HospitalFor March, we are putting a spotlight on the most important aspect of our pet’s healthcare – preventative healthcare! Preventative care includes weight management for pets, maintaining a healthy weight and meeting all nutritional needs, which is the focus of my blog today. Did you know that more than 50% of the dogs and cats in America are overweight or obese? This is a relatively new trend, and one we can reverse with awareness and a creative plan of action!

     Pet weight management is important!! Sometimes, we don’t realize that something is occurring that can cause obesity, such as: pets sharing human food, lacking in exercise, or suffering from undiagnosed disorders that can cause weight gain. For cats and dogs, that includes hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease, and rarely, a pancreatic tumor called an insulinoma. Sometimes obesity itself can cause disease, like diabetes, liver issues, muscle and joint issues, and digestive issues. Regular examinations and blood screening can detect early underlying diseases that can cause weight gain or be caused by obesity, but it is up to us to make sure our pets are not gaining weigh from overeating or under-exercising.

    Here are some tips and ideas to help you keep your pet healthy for a long, happy life! Continue…

Superstar Pet Abby

Abby-Weight Loss-Fairgrounds Animal Hospital

Abby is Fairgrounds Animal Hospitals superstar pet this week!!! Abby has lost 10 pounds and is doing a great job on her weight loss routine. We couldn’t be more proud of her for all of her hard work!! A combination of medication, special diet and exercise are helping Abby reach her goal weight. Abby is an older girl but her recent weight loss has her acting like a puppy. Great job Abby, keep up the good work!!!

Caring for Your Senior Dog

Pet parents struggle with the realization that their dog is getting older. It is important to recognize the signs of aging to ensure your dog’s quality of life does not change. Here are 5 things that you can do.

1.  Feed Your Dog a Nutritious Diet

Good nutrition is important at any age and becomes even more so during your dogs senior years. Talk to your vet about the type of diet that your dog should be eating. We can make recommendations for special and/or prescription diet foods that will help your senior dog thrive.

2.  Help Your Dog Get Enough Exercise

Your dog may slow down in their old age, but that does not mean that he should be spending his days curled up on the couch. Exercise is critical to keeping your dog healthy. You may not be able to go on long hikes with your dog now that he is older, but shorter less strenuous walks will keep him feeling good.

3.  Keep Your Dog at a Healthy Weight

Extra pounds on an older dog means more stress on their body, including joints and internal organs. If you feel that your pet needs to lose a few pounds, talk to us about a weight loss and exercise plan.

5.  Schedule Regular Check-Ups

ALOT can happen between vet visits. It is recommended that senior dogs see the vet every six months. Many diseases if caught early enough, can be treated. Your vet will look for issues like kidney problems, diabetes and/or severe arthritis. These visits are also a great time to talk to your vet about a good diet and exercise routine for your senior pet.

6.  Don’t Forget the Importance of Dental Health

Regular dental care is important throughout your dogs life but especially for senior dogs. Poor dental health can lead to various other health problems for your dog. Make sure to request that your vet preform a dental exam at their next exam. A great way to contribute to your senior dogs health is to keep his teeth and gums in good shape with regular at-home brushing and yearly dental cleanings.

As your senior dog ages and heads into senior years they will need even more care and attention. It is important to monitor their health and keep them healthy and happy for their senior years. If you have questions about your senior dogs  health or would like to schedule a senior exam, please give us a call today.

Pet Weight Management


Having a good pet weight management plan for your pets is important. Understanding your pet’s Body Condition Score (BCS). Dogs and cats come in all shapes and sizes, but the same general criteria determine whether your pet is under – or overweight. Using the guidelines here, a quick evaluation of your dog or cat’s shape can tell you whether they’re at a healthy weight.

The most reliable way to evaluate a dog’s body condition is with a hands-on examination. There are 3 key areas of the body to evaluate:

  • Just behind the shoulder blades, you should be able to feel individual ribs easily with the flats of your fingers.
  • At the end of the rib cage where the lower back begins, you should feel a clear indentation – similar to the shape of an hour glass – on your dog’s sides.
  • The abdomen should look “tucked up”. If you were to draw a line along the abdomen from the end of the breast bone to the pelvis, the angle should be between 30° and 45°.