How Do Low-calorie Treats Help Obese Pets?

February 1, 2017
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Mary Ellen Goldberg, BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRA, certified veterinary pain practitioner with VetMedTeam, LLC., says finding low-calorie treats may encourage your obese pet to participate in physical rehabilitation.

Mary Ellen Goldberg, BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRA, certified veterinary pain practitioner with VetMedTeam, LLC., says finding low-calorie treats may encourage your obese pet to participate in physical rehabilitation.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Dogs are much easier to get them in therapeutic exercises that you develop for them, because a lot of times the animal wants to please. If it’s an obese pet, they’re food motivated, so if they’re on a reduced-calorie diet, to find low calorie treats that the owner can bring to you is wonderful to encourage them to want to do some of the movements you want them to go through.

The reason why I say have the owner bring the treat, a low-calorie treat, is because some of these animals have irritable bowel syndrome, or they have problems that their diet has to be more restricted because of inflammation, pain, and negative effects that it can have on the body. So, you don’t want to be using your treats that even though they’re low-calorie, the animal goes home and has diarrhea all over the house or vomits and the owner is not going to want to bring the animal back, because they think every time they go they’ll have diarrhea in the house. So, you want to have treats for them that the animal can take, no matter what condition it has. And then as the reducing diet starts to work, they’ll be happy to get a treat.”