Pets Reducing for Rescues

What is Pets Reducing For Rescues?

We hold one of the longest running, largest and most successful annual pet healthy weight contests in the country, “Pets Reducing for Rescues”. It is a fundraiser that has benefited hundreds of pets resulting in over $18,000 in donations to local rescues over the past nine years. Ideal weight pets feel better and live longer. When pets lose… rescues win!

Healthy Weight in Dogs

We know how hard it is to deal with those pleading eyes as our staff have dogs too!
Certain breeds of dogs are prone to being overweight (Golden & Labrador Retrievers, Pugs, Beagles, Bichons & Yorkies top our list historically)

Careful feeding and a well-crafted exercise program are the keys to success.

The most exciting new technologies are Fitbit(r) like devices that monitor activity and are starting to carry calorie counts on most foods. Petrics, FitBark & BabelBark lead the pack right now! Portion controlled and microchip activated feeders like PortionProRx and smart feeders like PetNet and Surefeed are helping in a big way. Come see them anytime in our reception area.

Come to our kick-off weigh-in on March 7th from 12:30 – 2:00 PM, the midpoint weigh-in April 1st from 5:30 – 6:30 PM, and the final weigh-in and contest finale May 2nd 12:30 – 2:00 PM. Learn from the experience of previous contestants and our clinic staff and get a chance at over $3000 in prizes by entering your pet, donating to your favorite Madison rescue or recruiting a contestant!

Being the pet’s advocate and striving towards ideal weight and its many benefits is work we truly love.

Healthy Weight in Cats

Over 58% of cats are above their ideal weight.

Protein level in foods is very important for safe weight loss in cats. At least 40% at a bare minimum. Studies have shown 58% protein is their normal outdoor diet.

It is very important to not free-feed most cats as they will overeat.

Wet food can satiate better than dry and can be very convenient to achieve portion control

Feeding multiple cats in a household is challenging especially when we consider that 3 to 5 small feedings per day and the use of food puzzles are the ideal way to feed all cats.

We are continuously trying new devices in Bug’s gym to see what works the best!

Come to Cat’s Night Out on March 5th at 6 PM to learn more from cat owners who are getting the job done!

We Are Here To Help

Challenges, frustrations, and support can all be shared/obtained during a one on one referral to our healthy weight programs and upcoming annual weight loss contest that will benefit local rescues.

We can help make it happen. We are passionate about Healthy Weight for all pets (our client’s pets and any pets of friends, neighbors, and co-workers pets too!)

Our 10th Annual “Pets Reducing for Rescues” (PRFR) Contest will kick-off Sat Feb 16th at 12 noon. (special Cats Only kickoff Feb 13th) It is 100% free and open to the public with all proceeds going to our local rescues and lots of great prizes at weigh-ins. (over $2500 in 2018)

Our 2018 PRFR contest had 46 final contestants and raised $4,500 for local rescues! Our 2017 contest had 34 final contestants and raised $4,509 for rescues and our 2016 Contest had 72 contestants and raised $1500, our 2014 contest had 42 entrants and raised $1150. Over $18,000 has been raised over the contest’s nine-year history!

Come join us with your “over conditioned” “Biggest 4 Pawed loser” or “almost ideal” (“Iron dog or cat”) and/or recruit a friend and their pet for great door prizes, cutting-edge information and a chance to help our great local rescues!


A physical exam by your veterinarian, along with a body condition score, an estimate of ideal body weight and muscle condition score is a great start! Bloodwork may be needed if a pet is older or more than 20% over their ideal weight.

  • Purina BCS Canine
  • Purina BCS Feline
  • Weight Assessments
  • Muscle Condition Score

Once we have established your pet’s ideal weight (be prepared it will be lower than you think!) we can make the right calorie limits for food and treats to get them to their ideal weight quickly & safely and keep them in the peak of health!

How Much Food and Treats?

Many treats are much higher in Calories than one would think and it is so easy to indulge our pets because we love them so much!

Dr. Kathryn Michels DVM DACVN feels that too many high-calorie treats are often the major cause of pets being overweight and many board-certified veterinary nutritionists agree with her!

Are you curious where your pet stands? Visit the Pet Nutrition Alliance website and try their Nutritional Calculator!

Calorie Half Sheet

Schedule A Consultation

Important Note: Before Calorie calculations are applied to your pet a consultation needs to occur directly with a veterinarian which should include a complete medical and nutritional history, body condition and muscle condition score, possible blood tests and the selection of an appropriate food. We are happy to provide that if needed. Consultation with your veterinarian is absolutely fine as well, we simply need a signed consent to participate in the “Biggest 4 Pawed Loser” categories.

Choosing A Food

There is a huge variation in calorie content of pet foods (from 242 Calories per cup to close to 500-a 2x difference!) Here is a table that shows some typical ranges for cats and dogs.

Food Calories Chart

Exercise and Activity Planning

Put this on your refrigerator to keep everyone honest and on track to helping your pet lose weight.

Food and Exercise Diary