The Conversation

All treatments begin with a conversation.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is often reluctance on the part medical professionals to highlight weight issues and discuss treatment options. This is understandable. Pet owners may feel guilty for contributing to their pets weight issue, especially if it results from lack of portion control or exercise.

Here in the South, the high rate of human obesity suggests that some owners will be struggling with weight issues themselves. This can make your medical staff uncomfortable about bring up the subject of obesity.

Of course, keeping up with advancements in nutrition and pharmacology can be challenging for a medical professional. Staff may feel less than confident because their knowledge isn’t as current as it could be.

The Pets RXercise Program is designed to address these factors. 

Colorful posters and counter cards in the waiting room speak directly to the owner, with and $5 offer and instructions to “ask us.” So there’s a very good chance your clients may initiate the conversation. If not, explaining the unique program and the value prescription can be a perfect conversation starter.

Remember, few owners are aware their pet is obese. It’s even less likely that they are aware of how serious the health implications can be. Education is a powerful tool. Consider that obese canines are at greater risk for:

•  Osteoarthritis  •  Respiratory Disorders  •  Intervertebral Disk Disease  •  Surgical and Anesthetic Complications  •  Various Forms of Cancer2-8

These symptoms may not be present when you examine the animal, which means you are empowering the owner to be a part of a prevention plan by addressing the weight issue now.


This chart from Purina Veterinary Diets ranks a dog’s weight on a scale from one (thin) to ten (obese).

If you would like to download one, Click here.

Almost all pet owners want what’s best for their beloved pet. There is little chance they will be offended by a discussion of weight, regardless of their personal condition. In fact, the medical professional is often more uncomfortable than the client. Medical professionals who work with human obesity assure us this is normal.

There is no need for guilt to be an issue.

There are many factors that can lead to obesity, many outside the owner’s control. Some breeds are just more prone than others. Empathy is always the most effective tactic. So forget about blame and focus on the fact that may of obesity’s effects can be reversed with proper treatment. This is why they are relying on you.



Pfizer Animal Health’s BARC (Body Assessment Rating For Canines) is an online test that allows owners to determine if their dog is overweight.

And since they rely on you for answers we’ve gathered the most up to date resources on nutrition and pharmacology and made them easy for you to access in the “treatment Options” section. So you and your staff can speak to clients with confidence.


  • 2015 Emerald Coast Veterinary Conference

    June 3-7, 2015
    Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
    Destin, FL
    20 CE Hours Available
    Get more here