AVMA and Future Leaders seek to tip the scales on obesity

healthyweight-chart-500Pet Diabetes Month is observed in November, and it’s a fitting opportunity to work with clients to achieve and manage a healthy weight for their pets. Obesity is a significant risk factor for development of diabetes in pets, and more than half of pets in the United States are overweight or obese. With more and more overweight pets in veterinary exam rooms across the country, AVMA and the 2017-2018 Future Leaders class members are working to make a difference.

Educate clients on pet obesity

Providing clients with complete and accurate information is one of the ways to combat excessive weight in pets. Future Leaders is working to develop innovative tools to help veterinarians educate pet owners on obesity, including techniques for approaching an often difficult conversation. In the meantime, there are resources for your clinic regarding both weight management and diabetes.

  • Direct clients to view information on Your Pet’s Healthy Weight page
  • Keep healthy weight brochures on-hand in your clinic for easy distribution
  • Discuss complications resulting from excessive weight, including arthritis and diabetes
  • Teach clients the signs of diabetes in pets:
    • Excessive water drinking and increased urination
    • Weight loss, even though there may be an increased appetite
    • Decreased appetite
    • Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
    • Chronic or recurring infections (including skin infections and urinary infections)
  • Share the AVMA “Diabetic Pets” brochure to help pet owners understand the risk and care implications of dibetes

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