Not every client is ready to discuss his or her pet's weight. And while we don't want to force the issue, we need to address the problem and open the door for future discussion. Here are some ideas about how to steer the conversation effectively.
Doctor: "As we've talked about before, I'm concerned about Freddie's weight gain."
Client: "Well, she's a housecat and she's going to be fat."
Doctor: "You're absolutely right. Indoor cats have a higher incidence of weight problems and associated diseases such as diabetes than outdoor cats. And it's too dangerous in our area for cats to live outside. I'm going to send you home with some information on feline health that I'd like you to look over when you have time. You may be surprised to learn how easy it can be to help Freddie lose weight and live longer."
Make your point politely, review the major health risks associated with obesity, and keep the emphasis on health and well-being. The key is to discuss the issue even in the face of resistance and not shut down or dismiss the client as "difficult."