Category Archives: Weight Management

#askbiggervet – September 11, 2014

In the first edition of #askbiggervet, we’re taking on how to dose flea, tick & heartworm preventionhow much to feed your cathow far is too far to run with your pup, and more!

What is the best way to give your pet a flea/heartworm pill?
Mike asked:

“What is the best way to give your pet a flea/heartworm pill?”

Good question Mike. We know how hard this can be! Most of these pills need to be given with food, so use that in your favor. Offer them their pill in a delicious treat, right before their meal, so they are hungry and eager to eat.

If the traditional pill pocket style treat doesn’t work we suggest hiding the pill in a bit of bread, cheese, peanut butter, or even a marshmallow! You can try cutting the pill in half or quarters and giving it in smaller bites if need be. You might try offering a treat without the pill first as a “decoy”.

If this still doesn’t work or your pet has dietary restrictions ask your veterinarian for other options.

How do you know how much to feed your cat a day?

Jenice asked:

“How do you know how much to feed your cat a day?”

Another great question. While you can certainly start with the recommendations on the bag or cans, many cats have other needs to consider.

We customize feeding plans that take into account your pet’s current weight, ideal weight, age, lifestyle, and what you prefer to feed. That way we can meet both the needs of you and your cat!

We can send you a custom feeding plan today – it’s free – or we can put one together at your next visit.

Does filtered water help with bladder crystals?

Deborah asked:

“My cat get crystals in his bladder, he is on CD Hill’s Prescription Diet Urinary Tract Health food. I have been told from a friend that the crystals form due to calcium in faucet water. Is this true and if so what water is best for him? Would a pur water filter hooked up to my faucet be something that would take out the calcium?”

Deborah, while a water filter certainly won’t hurt, we don’t have any studies telling us it makes a difference in these cases. What we do have is lots of science behind how the prescription diets prevent cats from forming crystals.

However, because we want cats that form crystals to drink more water, our best suggestion is to offer the water he thinks tastes best! We find that many cats prefer a recirculating water fountain and recommend that owners try this to get their cats to drink more.

How far can my puppy run with me?

Jodi asked:

“Is 2 miles too long of a distance to jog with my 8 mos pit/lab mix puppy? She tolerates it well then still has energy to play at home, but I don’t want to harm her bones/growth?”

This is a really good question Jodi and we’re so happy that you’re including your sweet pup in your exercise routine!

When exercising outdoors with your dog you want to consider the same factors you would if you were exercising alone: temperature, hydration, paying attention to your body, and working up longer distances slowly.

The one additional thing you need to think about is the ground. Dogs can burn their paw pads on hot pavement, and if they aren’t used to running outside their pads may be tender and will need to toughen over time. Keep walks short or stick to the grass if the pavement is hot or they’re new at outdoor exercise.

You want to make sure they have the fitness and strength to handle the exercise. Most importantly, have fun and don’t forget to bring a baggie for potty break cleanups!

More #askbiggervet
  • #askbiggervet – October 15, 2014 (10/15/2014) - This edition of #askbiggervet is all about senior pets! Get answers to your questions about abnormal breathing, spaying older female dogs, and dental care for seniors!
  • #askbiggervet – September 24, 2014 (9/21/2014) - In this edition of #askbiggervet, we tackle itching, picky eaters and the importance of year-round heartworm prevention!
  • #askbiggervet – September 11, 2014 (9/11/2014) - In the first edition of #askbiggervet, we're taking on how to dose flea, tick & heartworm prevention, how much to feed your cat, how far is too far to run with your pup, and more!

Bigger Road patients benefit from underwater treadmill

Underwater treadmill is gaining popularity for rehabilitation purposes, as well as for general fitness. We wanted to share videos of two of our patients, Maggie and Kylie, who have benefited from this therapy!

We refer clients to Carmen Kolz’s Canine Underwater Treadmill for treatment. When our Springboro location expands in early 2015, we will be able to offer this therapy to patients directly!

Maggie Burke


Maggie, a patient of Dr. Conan Crocker, had anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery in 2009 and 2010.  The underwater treadmill has allowed Maggie to maintain strength and mobility, and control her weight through low-impact exercise.

Kylie Richards


Kylie sees Dr. Crocker for a bilateral cruciate ligament rupture. Kylie began underwater treadmill therapy in June, 2014, with the goals of improved strength and mobility. While she may need surgery in the future, Kylie’s owners have noted a marked improvement since beginning treadmill therapy.
Please Call or contact us online to find out if underwater treadmill therapy can benefit your pet!

Feeding guidelines for pet weight management

Customized feeding plan

A feeding plan customized for your pet helps ensure weight loss success

If you have tried to help your pet lose weight in the past without success, you know it is not as easy as it appears. Pet weight loss is rarely so simple as switching to a weight management diet.

We know there are many important considerations for successful weight management, and we are here to help! The nutrition tools we provide to clients give a feeding plan tailored to each pet’s specific needs, to help ensure successful weight loss and maintenance. Ask about it at your next appointment!

Questions? Call or contact us online anytime!

All diets are different!

There is no standard nutritional profile for foods labeled “Light,” “Weight Management,” or “Healthy Weight.” These diets are all over the map in terms of calorie, fat, and protein content.

Some diets labeled for weight management have drastically reduced calories, while others actually have higher caloric density than most regular diets! 

Some diets labeled for weight management have drastically reduced calories, while others actually have higher caloric density than most regular diets!

It is easy to under- or over-feed if you are not familiar with the diet you are using and your pet’s individual energy requirements.

Another consideration: when your pet’s caloric intake is reduced in order to promote weight management, protein and nutrient intake is reduced accordingly. Some diets, particularly those not formulated for weight management, may not provide your pet with sufficient protein and other nutrients to support good health.

If your pet requires significant calorie reduction, special care must be taken to select a diet that will still provide sufficient protein and other nutrients. We can help with this! Please Call or contact us online.

All pets are different!

Your pet’s energy requirements are not the same as every other pet with the same body weight! Medical conditions, body condition, and predisposition to obesity vary among pets, and this can have a significant impact on the degree of calorie reduction your pet requires in order to lose weight, or to maintain a healthy weight.

If you are struggling with managing your pet’s weight, a thorough examination by your veterinarian can help. Regular laboratory testing will also uncover medical conditions that affect weight and may require a different approach to weight management.

Watch those treats!

Most commercial treats are high in calories, are meant only for occasional feeding, and are not appropriate for weight management…

Many people are shocked when they learn how many calories their pet takes in each day from treats alone. Most commercial treats are high in calories, are meant only for occasional feeding, and are not appropriate for weight management in the quantity a pet typically receives.

Consider replacing your pet’s regular treats with training-style treats, many of which are low in calories (3-5 kcals per treat) but have a potent scent and flavor.

Some of the healthy human foods you eat also make great low-cal pet treats. Carrots, green beans, blueberries, and many other fruits and vegetables are highly palatable to pets and add minimal calories to the diet. Learn about these super “people” foods for pets!

Super "people" foods for pets

Learn about super “people” foods for pets!

(Note: Avoid avocados, grapes, raisins, fruits and vegetables with seeds or pits, or anything else not specifically listed as pet-friendly. Call or contact us online anytime with questions about human foods for your pets.)

Shut the door!

If you are a multiple-pet family… it is essential that pets be fed separately.

If you are a multiple-pet family, helping one pet to lose weight becomes even more challenging. However, it is essential that pets be fed separately. A pet with free access to other pets’ food or treats will not lose weight.

Putting it all together

Bigger Road has developed a comprehensive set of nutrition tools to help our clients and patients manage weight successfully. A solid weight management plan that supports your pet’s best overall health will be highly individualized. It is also important to monitor changes in your pet’s weight and body condition, and adjust the plan accordingly.

That’s why we encourage you to discuss concerns about your pet’s weight with your veterinarian, and talk to us regularly about your pet’s progress. Call or contact us online any time. We are here to help!