TULSA, OK - Doctors tell their patients when it is time to lose weight.
Now, veterinarians are offering the same advice to their canine patients along with an option to jump-start the weight loss.
The Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine offers a fat camp to help overweight pets trim down. It's a place where veterinarians hear the same kinds of excuses that physicians hear from humans.
"She's just a big dog," one dog owner said of his overweight Labrador Retriever. "She's always been that size."
One problem, OSU veterinarians say, is owners simply cannot say "no" to big, brown eyes begging for treats.
"She can't possibly get enough of them and she's pretty good about begging," said dog owner Wendy Picking. "And one leads to another."
Picking's dog, Ziggy, is such a pro at begging she gained five pounds over Christmas. As a result, Ziggy is back for twice weekly workouts at OSU's version of a doggy day spa. Located in the small animal hospital, owners bring their portly pets here to trim down prior to surgery, after surgery or simply to shape up for good health.
It's not uncommon for the veterinarians to tell owners their beloved companion needs to lose 10, 20 or even 30 pounds.