U of M Veterinary Medical Center offers free pet obesity prevention clinic this Wednesday

Monday, October 6, 2014

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why the Veterinary Medical Center at the University of Minnesota is offering pet owners a chance to find out if their pet is a healthy weight this Wednesday, October 8 in honor of National Pet Obesity Awareness Day.

The free walk-in body condition score and fitness-check clinic is open to the public and their dogs or cats Wednesday, October 8, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., in the lobby of the U of M Veterinary Medical Center, 1365 Gortner Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108.

Pet obesity has been shown to be a serious issue for Minnesota’s pet cats and dogs. According to an Association for Pet Obesity Prevention 2013 survey, 58 percent of U.S. pet cats and 53 percent of dogs are classified as overweight or obese.

A body condition score helps veterinarians determine if a pet is overweight. Being just 15 percent overweight can accelerate the development of painful joints, lameness and the progression of arthritis in cats and dogs. According to Julie Churchill, D.V.M., Ph.D., a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the U of M Veterinary Medical Center, a few extra pounds have the potential to shorten a pet’s life by up to two years.

The U of M Veterinary Medical Center and Churchill offer nutritional assessments and tailor-made plans to fit the lifestyle of a pet and his family, with recommendations on diet and proper foods, healthy snacks and exercise programs to optimize a pet’s health.

“My goal is to get pet owners so involved in obesity prevention that I am out of a job,” says Churchill. “We want all pets to be healthy.”

Learn more and find tips on pet obesity prevention on the U of M Veterinary Medical Center’s Facebook and Twitter this week or by visiting www.umnvets.com.