Obesity: The fight against longevity

  • Blog >
  • Obesity: The fight against longevity
RSS Feed

Obesity: The fight against longevity

Hello, Dr Schroeder here for this month’s blog post.  One of the most common requests I get from pet owners is how to make their pets live forever.  While forever is obviously an impossible goal, there are things that we can do that have been shown to result in a longer and healthier life! Keeping pets at an ideal body weight is number one.  Purina did a study in 2002 that showed that pets fed an appropriate ration and kept at an ideal body weight lived an average of almost 2 years longer than their overweight counterparts.  That being said, unfortunately over half of the patients we see on a daily basis are overweight.

Just like for people, the cornerstones of weight loss are decreasing calorie intake and increasing exercise.  When starting an overweight pet on a diet, I begin by decreasing their food ration by 20%.   It is important to actually measure the food.  You can also add some canned pumpkin or green beans to their meals to make them feel more full and satisfied.  Another place to cut calories is by changing to lower calorie treats.  Some examples of low calorie treats would be carrots, green beans, blueberries, or plain popcorn.  If your pet doesn’t like those options you can take some of their daily food allotment and give it out as treats during the day.  That makes it a little easier to keep track of their calories, and make sure they are not overeating.  Things to avoid include onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and garlic as they are toxic to dogs.  You are always welcome to bring your pet by and use our scale to track their weight loss progress. Monthly weigh-ins allows time to see your progress – remember a few lbs for a small dog is much more significant than a large dog! Look at the percent of weight loss, not just the number! If you do those things and they are still not losing weight after a few months, we may consider checking lab work to check for any metabolic issues, or change to a prescription diet food.

I know it is hard to put your pet on a diet because they really love getting treats and meal time, and it is part of how we show them we love them.  However, once they lose some weight they generally have more energy and are able to go for longer walks, be more interactive with the family, and are healthier overall.   Getting outside can be a family activity and maybe incentive to get all of us to exercise a little bit more.  So, as it is hard to deny them extra snacks they will thank you for it in the long run, and be able to go for longer runs.

Ask Us About Our Referral Program

Refer a friend and receive $10 in “SWVH Bucks” to use at your next visit!

Office Hours


7:30 AM-5:30 PM


7:30 AM-5:30 PM


7:30 AM-5:30 PM


7:30 AM-5:30 PM


7:30 AM-5:30 PM





Find Us

Check out the map below to locate SWVH!


We love to hear your feedback!

  • "Southwest Vet is a wonderful place to take our animals. The front desk ladies are knowledgeable, patient, and compassionate. The vet techs are so wonderful with our animals. And Drs. Sargent and Rasmussen are just the tops!! The care our animals receive is extraordinary!!"
    Sarah S.
  • "Thank you so much for all that you do. You have always gone above and beyond for my pets and I. I feel truly blessed to have found you when I moved to Reno. Tank thinks you’re pretty awesome, too!"
    Ashley D.
  • "Thank you to each and every one of you who helped care for Gus while he was recovering during his long and scary week with Parvo. We can’t thank you enough for everything you did to get our loving and playful guy home."
    Aaron and Lisa C.
  • "So rare it seems to encounter an entire professional office who are as smart as they are kind. We are so grateful to have you care for Einstein. Thank you for your excellent care, patience and generosity."
    Leah R.

Featured Services

  • Sugar Gliders

    Thinking of getting a sugar glider? These tiny marsupials are energetic and friendly, making them popular choices as pets. Though they weigh less than a half-pound, they're more closely related to kangaroos than they are flying squirrels. If you think a sugar glider would make an ideal pet for your family, ...

    Read More
  • Prairie Dogs

    Prairie dogs are cute, affable creatures. But before taking one on as a pet, check your local laws. In some states, such as Colorado, it's illegal to keep prairie dogs as pets. Mostly, this is because they may spread monkeypox. If you live in a state that welcomes pet prairie dogs, be sure to buy from ...

    Read More
  • How to Help Your New Cat Feel Welcomed in Your Home

    Adopting a cat or kitten? Here's what you can do to help your cat adjust to its new home. ...

    Read More
  • Skunks

    Home and Veterinary Care for Pet Skunks If you're an adventurous pet owner, you may love exotic animals such as skunks. You'll be happy to learn that skunks can indeed make excellent domestic pets, but only if they receive the proper care to enjoy a happy, healthy life. Your veterinary team can help ...

    Read More
  • Flying Squirrels

    Much like sugar gliders, flying squirrels make affectionate pets when purchased young and raised by their owner. Unlike sugar gliders, however, flying squirrels are rodents that need veterinary care specific to the species. Your veterinary team can help with the care and treatment of flying squirrels. ...

    Read More
  • Fennec Foxes

    Fennec Fox Care Guide With oversized ears and mischievous faces, fennec foxes are cute as can be. But these exotic pets require a lot of care to stay healthy and happy. Health At just three pounds, fennec foxes are the smallest member of the fox family. Native to the Sahara desert, fennec foxes are ...

    Read More

Newsletter Sign Up