New Horizons Veterinary Behavior Solutions

300 Somonauk St.
Park Forest, IL 60466


Purina Therapeutic Veterinary Diet OM (Obesity Management)


Can't I just feed less of my pet's regular diet? 

If your pet is only mildly overweight (less than 10% over ideal body weight) you may be able to achieve weight loss with over the counter or pet store diets.  However if your pet has a moderate to severe weight problem, it can be very difficult to lose weight without a specially formulated veterinary therapeutic diet. 

Veterinary Nutrition Experts tell us that the typical "light" or "weight maintenance" diets that are sold in grocery and pet stores are formulated to help PREVENT weight gain if properly fed.  THEY ARE NOT USUALLY SUITABLE OR EFFECTIVE FOR WEIGHT LOSS.  When these diets are fed in portions small enough to achieve weight loss, they will also be deficient in other important micronutrients.  Many over the counter "light" diets are also lower in protein and research has shown that protein should not be restricted during weight loss. 

For more informaton read the expert advice from the Nutrition Faculty at the Univ. of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine on Nutritional Management of Weight

VETERINARY THERAPEUTIC WEIGHT LOSS DIETS have been specially formulated to provide healthy levels of protein and amino acids such as carnitine, that support the loss of fat while maintaining lean muscle. They contain important levels of micronutrients.  They are developed to improve satiety or a feeling of fullness.  They are less calorie dense so larger volumes can be fed and your pet will feel more satisfied.  For cat weight loss, low carbohydrate content will be important.  For dogs, additional fiber content may be helpful. 

Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe the best therapeutic diet for your pet.  Often several diet trials need to be done to find the best diet for an individual pet.  If your pet has not shown a reasonable weight change in a 3 month period, your vet may make additional recommendations.

Below are some examples of Therapeutic Weight Loss Diets.  

Purina Veterinary Diets Canine OM Obesity Managment Diets

Purina Veterinary Diets Feline OM Obesity Management Diets

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Canine Calorie Control-High Protein Diet

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Canine Calorie Control - High Fiber Diet

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Feline Calorie Control-High Protein Diet

Hill's Prescription Therapeutic Weight Loss Diets (r/d)

Hill's Prescription Therapeutic Weight Managment Diets (w/d)

Once your veterinarian has prescribed the appropriate therapeutic weight loss diet, you can find information on Ordering Veterinary Therapeutic Weight Loss Diets at this link.  

Ask your veterinarian to recommend How Much to Feed.

Canned food for Cats Or How to Feed Cats  canned foods can help prevent obesity and help your cat  lose weight.  Click the link to learn more.  When choosing a therapeutic diet for cats, we recommend feeding primarily the canned formula.  A small amount of dry can be reserved to simulate you cat's prey behavior for fun and exercise with Food Toys for Cats.

Canned foods can ALSO help our canine patients lose weight!  While it may be more difficult to feed a canned exclusive diet to a large breed dog, feeding more canned can help increase the volume fed to our weight loss patients leading to more feeding satisfaction helping our dogs feel more full and decrease begging!

Another trick recommended by a Veterinary Nutrition Expert for adding volume to a dog's diet is to substitute cooked green beans for dog food. You can add 1/2 to 1 full cup of green beans per each 8 oz measuring cup of dog food fed. The extra volume given creates the needed gastric fill to make dogs feel statisfied and curb hunger.

A similar trick for cats is to use zucchini to create gastric fill. Cats do not usually appreciate vegetables, but some seem to enjoy the texture of firm, steamed zucchini. Start by adding three or four cubes of chopped, steamed zucchini to the regular meal. A Veterinary Nutritionist reported that in some of his weight loss cases, cats ate up to 50 g of zucchini each day, and his clients claimed that begging behaviors were significantly diminished

Exercise Tips for Pet Weight loss Click for a link to our web page with lots of exercise tips for both cats and dogs.  To acheive weight loss, restricting calorie intake is only part of the battle.  Exercise plays a huge role.  In dogs, exercise is 40% of the successful weight loss program.  Without exercise it is much more difficult for dogs to lose weight.  In cats, exercise is also important, but is probably only contributes to 10-20% of the program.