Struggling with your pet's weight? You are not alone!
Hello Obe fans! We are excited to share a guest post from one of our favorite veterinarians, Dr. Mori Afraz. We look forward to helping you on your journey to better pet health.
The most difficult, regular discussion for a Vet
Out of curiosity, what do you think is the most difficult discussion that I have as a veterinarian on a regular basis? You guessed it. Nutrition! With obesity affecting our human and animal population, it is no wonder that this subject is the bane of many people’s existence. I am here to tell you that everything will be OK and we can get through this together!
Energy and why it is important.
Long ago, I learned that the definition of energy is the capability of doing work but had no idea how this was relevant to human and animal physiology. Now, we know that many health-related issues are a consequence of either a positive (obesity) or negative (wasting) energy balanced, so energy is very relevant and very important. What this means is that human and animal physiology work in very similar ways - weight is maintained when the calories taken in equal the calories expended. This system works very well so long as there is no lifestyle change or factor that influences this balance, which is very unrealistic. Therefore, we have to consider that energy balance is a dynamic phenomenon and have to constantly adjust our goal to maintain the desired energy balance.
Where do we start?
This is the reason why feeding guidelines exist - in order to provide a starting point that should, in theory, achieve a neutral energy balance or weight maintenance. However, every person and animal is unique and has their own value of energy needed to maintain their weight. This is why conversations about nutrition and weight with pet parents are difficult because there is no optimum range that meets every individuals’ need. Finding an individual pets energy value can take time and many factors must be individually examined. The factors that are important to me when discussing a nutrition plan with families are age, gender, breed, body condition, health status, overall lifestyle and client expectations of their dog or cat.
The Obe team is helping to make these regularly difficult discussions easier by taking the guesswork out of finding your pets energy balance through the Obe ProBowl. Woven within the ProBowl and app are the key factors that influence energy balance to ensure the most accurate energy calculation for pet parents. Each pet in the household has a private profile that is tailored specifically to their individual needs. Families will not only have the latest, most real-time information on the quantity and pattern of their pets’ food intake and water consumption, but they will be able to present this information to their veterinarian if a concern arises. This information can make a difference in detecting illness early and allows families to be active members of their pets healthcare team.
You deserve a pat on the back!
Whether you are successful or struggling with your pets weight management, the very fact that you have taken these initial steps deserves a big pat on the back! I always tell my clients that the hardest part of medical management is what you do at home and your efforts do not go unnoticed. The human-animal bond is a powerful force to witness and across all species, food brings us all together. We at Obe want you to continue to have a great feeding experience and to continue to look forward to eating together as a family.
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