MAKING HEALTHY EATING EASY
MAKING HEALTHY EATING EASY
Submitted by Lisa A. Yackel, CVPM, PHR
Hospital Administrator at Case Veterinary Hospital
I struggle with my weight. In my late thirties was when I first noticed the â€ścreepâ€ť and a later back injury slowed me down for several years, adding to the weight increase. Several years ago, I went on a meal plan that I purchased through my doctor. I lost thirty pounds, got to my ideal weight, lowered my cholesterol, lowered my blood pressure, and got lots of compliments. The food was fresh, without preservatives, and was made for those who are diabetic. I felt better than I had in fifteen years and my stamina and energy were fantastic. Sadly, the program was expensive and many could not afford to stay on the diet long term so the delivery was discontinued in Savannah (it was prepared at Emory in Atlanta). Although, I still watch my calories and what I eat, I have gained back 10 pounds and I feel the difference in my body. Joints that had quit aching now ache and my cholesterol has increased.
Daily, I see overweight pets that have trouble doing the things they use to do â€“running, catching a ball, jumping, etc. Diabetes is on the increase in pets and it is directly proportional with the increases we are seeing in our petâ€™s weights. Once my dog became middle aged, I struggled to maintain her weight. You would think it would be easy for pet parents to control what their pets weigh since we do control what they eat. I can say from experience that it is not that easy. Kelsy was prone to be overweight if I did not strictly monitor her diet and she was a candidate for dental cleanings at least once a year. Although I brushed her teeth regularly (I have to admit not every dayL), she tended to get tartar buildup. In later years, this was a concern as she developed kidney disease and we were very cautious with anesthesia.
I am a huge promoter of feeding quality food. I know that my issues being off the pre-made diet for me are the result of processed foods being high in salt, having tons of preservatives, and not being nutritionally balanced. Feeding a pet a quality, premium food gives them the benefit that I was getting when I purchased from my doctor. Yes, it is more expensive, but, the benefits out way the costs. Both humans and the pets in our families have fewer medical problems when we monitor the food intake. That definitely translates to saving money on healthcare in the long run and certainly improves our lifestyle as well.
This month we brought in a diet to our hospital made by Science Diet called Healthy Advantage. Like the diet I purchased from my human doctor, this food is veterinary exclusive. It targets the most common health issues facing your pet: Oral Health, Weight Management, Immune Health, Joint Health, Healthy Digestion, Skin & Coat Health, and Bladder Health (for cats). I am thrilled that veterinarians and nutritional scientists at Hills realized the dilemma many pet owners face. â€śIf I feed a diet good for the teeth, what do I do about weight gain? If I feed a weight reduction diet, my pet seems to shed more and her coat isnâ€™t as glossy.â€ť This food balances all of that. Starting out as puppies and kittens, all of these needs can now be addressed in one food. Now, if only I could find something similar again for me!