Communicating and implementing a weight management program for dogs and cats can be a challenging endeavor for veterinarians, but a rewarding one. An effective individualized weight loss program provides a consistent and healthy rate of weight loss to reduce risk of disease, prevent malnutrition, and improve quality of life. Weight loss is achieved with appropriate caloric restriction, diet selection, exercise, and strategies to help modify behavior of both the pet and client. This document offers guidelines and tools for the management of weight loss and long-term maintenance of healthy weight. These guidelines were developed by a panel of experts to help the practicing veterinarian raise awareness of the negative health consequences of excess weight, promote the prevention of excess weight, and offer suggestions and tools for the management of weight loss and long-term maintenance of healthy weight. This document is intended as a guideline only.
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