Nutrition Conversation Tips
Addressing Pet Obesity When an Owner is Unaware of the Problem
Research shows that owners of overweight or obese pets often do not perceive their pet’s weight as a problem. Although many veterinarians find conversations around pet obesity to be challenging, effective communication with clients is crucial to help pets live better, longer lives. An empathetic approach free of judgment can help make owners aware of the pet’s excess weight. This role-play video shows how to initiate and engage the owner of an obese dog in this important nutrition conversation.
- Linking ideal body condition with the pet’s health and longevity.
- Demonstrating how to assess body condition score and stressing routine body condition scoring at home between veterinary visits.
- Advising that pet foods differ in calorie density. Switching from one diet to another without accounting for changes in calorie density can lead to unintentional feeding of, in this case, excess calories, or of insufficient calories to match the pet’s individual energy needs.
- Making specific recommendations regarding diet, treats, and amount to feed as part of an individualized weight loss strategy.
- Planning follow-up.
- Summarizing key action items before the visit ends.