January News and Views: Fit for Life

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Lizzie’s Blog – Calling on All My Friends to ‘Get Fit for Life’ in 2013

I am turning five this year! My birthday is June 5th and I always let my friends know early so that they can plan something fun for me on my birthday! Most of the time my humans buy me special treats! All my friends LOVE treats not just cause they are yummy-but it’s the surest way for us to know that we are LOVED!!! Me and my friends agree-our humans LOVE to feed us! Makes them happy too!

But this year my Dad says he is doing something different-I have to ‘earn my treats’! Seems that I have a brother and sister at home that have gained some extra pounds. We all know the story-getting fit means that you have to ‘move more’ and ‘eat less’! We are all ‘moving more’ and eating a little less. We have a new skinny diet and it’s tasty!! We also have new skinny treats! Check these cool new products out on our Facebook page!

Lilly and Connor are both special ‘Min-Pins’ that live with me. Lilly is 11 and has already had a hip surgery. Now she has another hip ‘hurt’. What would make her better and feel less hurt is to ‘get skinny’. How do you get skinny when it hurts to move?? That’s where walks come in-Lilly gets to walk twice a day in the morning and evening. She is much slower than she used to be-but she can’t move at all when she misses her walks. She is on a special diet.

My friend Staci Lemke, RVT, at IVS did a ‘fit for Life’ evaluation on her. We found out she was 25% overweight and that she only needed 250 calories a day and she was scarfing up 800! Check in with me during January and see how Lilly does with her new diet and exercise program! Lilly is also getting therapeutic laser therapy treatments to help with her hurt!

Check out my good looking brother Connor. He is a real ‘dude’ in our house and is the BEST at finding any food anywhere! Staci did a ‘Fit for Life’ evaluation on Connor and showed him 15% overweight. Now he is on a program too. I will keep you updated each week on how Connor is doing!

What’s the coolest news for all my special friends that visit us at IVS? DURING JANUARY WE WILL DO A FIT FOR LIFE EXAM ON ALL MY CANINE AND FELINE FRIENDS FOR FREE WITH EVERY OFFICE VISIT OR EXAM!! FREE! Does it get any better than that???

Why is this cool? I don’t like my friends to hurt! I do not want to see my friends in our hospital with diabetes, breathing problems, and orthopedic surgery. Please help us get the word out about ‘Fit for Life’!

Love and Kisses from me, Lizzie!

Are you and your pet committed to a healthier, happier New Year?
How will you and your pet become more ‘Fit for Life’?
Join all of us at IVS as we ‘get fit’ in 2013!
Share a picture and a story about you and your pets New Year’s Fitness resolutions and receive a free bag of Hills Diet food for weight reduction.

Offer good in January 2013 ONLY!
‘one bag per pet’
Please e-mail stories and pictures to: petphotos@irvinevetservices.com

View a Video on How to Evaluate Pets for Obesity

At IVS we are committed to helping our patients improve by offering complimentary Fit for Life evaluations for pets visiting us for regular office exams during the month of January. A Fit for Life consultation includes a body condition score evaluation, and a custom diet and exercise plan. In addition, clients receive handouts on exercise recommendations and feeding guidelines. We invite you to call us and schedule a well care exam during the month of January!

Fit for Life Success Story

Meet Toby a 10 year lab mix. Toby joined our Fit for Life Program in January 2012 weighing 82.2 pounds. With great dedication by both his parents and himself, we are happy to announce he is now at a slim 66.5 pounds. Congratulations Toby on a job well done!


Exercise Recommendations for Your Pets

You know it’s good for you. You know that exercise can give you energy, help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your muscles and joints flexible, help you live longer, and above all, make you feel better. For all the same reasons, your pets need to get up and get moving. Not only can exercise extend your furry friends’ lives; it may also expend some of their nervous energy and make them a little less likely to chew on the living room drapes.

The thing is, nobody’s filled pets in on all of these benefits of exercise. Without someone to lead the way, they’re not going to run laps or do leg lifts in their spare time. So as a wonderful pet parent, part of your job is ensuring your animal family members get safe, enjoyable exercise on a regular basis–whether they’re cats, dogs, turtles, or ferrets! All pets need some physical activity to live a happy, healthy life.

Different pets need different amounts of exercise, so you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian before starting your pet’s workout program. With your veterinarian’s approval, you can embark on an exercise program that won’t seem like work at all–to your pet, it’s play.

  • Daily walks — the best way to exercise your dog is to take daily brisk walks. As your dog gets in better shape you can make the walks more challenging by walking in sand, up and down hills and by using obstacles you encounter on your route to climb on or jump over.
  • Fetch — Throwing a ball or other toy for your dog to retrieve is great exercise. Most dogs love this game.
  • Swimming — if you have access to a pool, swimming is great exercise and is very safe on your dog’s joints and muscles. This is a good option for older dogs or dogs with arthritis.
  • Dog Sports — consider getting your dog into one of the many dog sports available such as agility, fly ball or lure coursing. Check with local trainers to find classes in your area

Exercise programs for cats are more difficult to design than those for dogs, but not impossible. In addition to burning a few extra calories, exercise and play may help keep the cat’s focus away from the food bowl.

  • Take a walk — Some cats can be trained to wear a harness and leash. This allows them safe access to the outdoors where they can explore and move around.
  • Thing on a string — Toys, especially toys attached to a wand are a great way to get cats moving. Look for toys that will allow your cat to use its natural hunting instincts.
  • Catnip — Try some catnip to get your cat interested in new toys or just moving around a bit.
  • Scratching posts and climbing trees — Cats love to be up high and climbing is great exercise.
  • Laser light chase — Shine a laser light on the walls or floor for your cat to chase.
  • Hunting for food — Place small amounts of your cat’s meal in different places around the house, especially up on things and allow them to hunt for it.
  • Bathtub ping pong — Cats love to be up high and climbing is great exercise.
  • Food dispensing toys — Put your cat’s meal in one of these and they have to roll it around to get the food out. Along with exercise, your cat will be using their hunting instincts.

Watch this great video of our Senior Veterinarian Technician and Trainer Staci Lemke and her dog, Annie, doing agility. Agility is a great form of exercise for both you and your dog.

New Years Resolutions

With all the New Year resolutions, have you thought about incorporating your pet into your 2013 resolutions? As we all have those lose weight, be healthy resolutions; don’t leave Fido out of it. Why not incorporate your doggies into your new healthy programs this year? Keep yourself and Fido fit by walking him every day for 30 minutes. Overweight pets are at risk for diseases and health problems and this simple routine can help prevent these health issues.

Other resolutions are:

  • Don’t delay or put off taking your pet to the vet. Be sure to stay current on their vaccinations and simply get an annual checkup. Just like us humans, ensure that their health is in good standing and you can prolong their life and your time with them to avoid any serious diseases. Your vet can also provide any feedback and new caretaking methods and advice. Sign-up for IVS’ Preventative Care Program.
  • If you have cats, be sure to spend time playing with them. Although cats are independent, they need that special attention they craved when they were kitties. Spend at least 15 minutes each day playing with them. This promotes good health for them. Grooming is also another way to provide them attention, while also preventing skin issues. Sign up for our Feline Fans Club.
  • Don’t over feed your pets! Dogs are pretty susceptible to obesity. Be conscious of how much you feed them and how frequently. Also, be sure you know the guidelines for feeding for your dogs breed.

How to Tell if Your Pet is Overweight or Obese

Most people think that weighing your pet is the way to find out whether he is overweight. In truth, your dog or cat’s body condition score is more helpful in determining your pet’s ideal body weight. The body condition score is defined as “an assessment of the animal’s weight for age and weight for height ratios, and its relative proportions of muscle and fat.” In simple terms, the body condition score gives you a way to evaluate your pet’s figure.

Please see the following to evaluate your pet’s body condition score:

Available for Adoption

We are pleased to announce all our available dogs and cats have been adopted. Please visit the Irvine Animal Care Center at www.irvineshelter.org for a list of available animals at the shelter.

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