How can a vet nurse help my pet lose weight?

Is your pet a little podgy? Perhaps you’re well aware but frustrated that your efforts to slim them down are having little effect. Perhaps you don’t even know where to begin. Fear not, help is at hand! You might be surprised at the assistance our team can offer you, and not least, the invaluable support you can find in our veterinary nurses. There is surprisingly little known by the general public about the extent of a veterinary nurse’s training and capabilities.  Vet nurses have a great deal of (sometimes all too hidden) expertise, from monitoring anaesthesia and taking X-rays to laboratory work and advising pet owners on a whole host of pet care topics. Our nurses are passionate and knowledgeable individuals who love nothing more than to build a working relationship with you, to keep your pet healthy. For all the knowledge and support you need to make your pet’s health-kick a success, look no further.

Vet nurses undergo a substantial amount of theoretical schooling to gain their qualification and are therefore able to discuss the impact that obesity can have on your pet. From the associated risks of diabetes, to the exacerbation of joint disease, they will do so in an honest and fact-based manner but with empathy and from a non-critical viewpoint. By seeking advice, you’ve taken the first of many steps along the road to improving your pet’s quality of life. As such, our vet nurses are eager to take an interest and help you.

History taking

Importantly, our nurses will listen to you. They want to hear all about how your pet got to be overweight. They will consider any concurrent health conditions (referring you to our veterinary surgeons as necessary) as well as food and treat intake and their usual amount of exercise. They will listen without judgement and aim to ask such questions that will best arm them with all the information required to help you and your pet.

Safe and sustainable

It is no good crash dieting a pet and worse, it can be really very dangerous to do so. Slowly but surely is the best approach to ensure safe weight loss that stays off. Nurses know this, and they also know important, fundamental dietary requirements of a range of species. They know what can and can’t be cut out of a diet and in what proportions. They even have specific calculations to help them determine the required calorie intake for an individual as well as those that calculate a safe rate of weight loss, to ensure it is not achieved too quickly.

Intake versus output

No fad-diets will be recommended here, just a balance of good nutrients and exercise. Our nurses are equipped to understand what individual factors might be hindering progress. From the old, arthritic dog, for whom exercise intolerance and obesity can be a vicious cycle, to the indoor-only cat who looks to their owner as their main source of entertainment – you’ll be amazed at the tricks up our nurses’ sleeves. And guess what, dieting doesn’t have to mean that treats are off the menu altogether! They can advise you on these too. Our nurses will talk to you about the merits of purpose-designed commercially available foods that are designed to make your pet feel full whilst keeping calorie intake low, or help you achieve your pet’s ideal weight on whichever diet you feel most comfortable using.

Access to further expertise

Our nurses have a range of resources to refer to; from their fellow vet nurses and our vets, to veterinary nutritionists who can advise of the finer points of certain foods available to put together a workable solution for your pet.  Nurses are forever keeping current with the latest nutritional developments and nuggets of advice from the wider industry too. They have a professional requirement to complete a minimum number of learning hours every year in order to stay registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. This helps them keep their knowledge and skills at the forefront of veterinary science.

Moral support

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to involve a vet nurse in your pet’s weight loss programme is for the unwavering support you will receive. When your dog gives you those puppy-dog eyes, we all know how hard it can be not to feed them scraps from the table! Our nurses are like-minded, pet-loving people who can empathise with you whilst maintaining the much needed momentum that you need. They will want to meet with you and your pet regularly, weighing your pet, assessing body condition and generally providing the guidance and encourage required to succeed.

Don’t struggle alone. Whether you know there’s an issue with your pet’s weight, or even if you’re just unsure, contact our team for some friendly advice.