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Posts Tagged ‘pet exercise’

Seasonal Weight Gain For Pets Is Serious Business

Most of us are familiar with the holiday tendency to add a few extra pounds. But where people have the option to go to the gym, pets do not.

Consider these steps you can take to help your pet shed those holiday pounds:
Feed your pet a balanced pet food diet.
Do not give your dog or cat table treats. He might not like it at first, but this is the only way to maintain a healthy weight. This is tough love, and your pet will benefit from a nutritionally balanced diet.

[What’s the big deal about obesity and your pet’s health? Find out here!]


Step up the exercise.
Longer walks or play times will be good exercise for both of you. If you live in a cold climate, there might be an indoor facility that will let you walk your dog.

Try changing to a premium dietary low fat/high fiber pet food.
When switching, it’s important to change the food gradually. Provide your pet’s daily food portion as 75% of the old food and 25% of the new formula on the first day. For day two, try a 50-50 ratio. Then, proceed to a 25-75 split. On day four, go to 100 percent of the new low-fat food. Seek your veterinarian’s advice if you are unsure about which brand of pet food to buy.

Instead of treats for praise, try play.
Treats add up fast, so when your pet is good, play or pull out a new toy instead of rewarding with food.

Set a deadline for your pet reaching a certain target weight.
That will keep you motivated and focused, and might help you lose some of your holiday weight, too!

This article appeared on Nationwide Pet Insurance’s blog here.

Bonus Content

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, uses the following formula for safe weight loss for your pet:
Cat………………..1/4 lb per week
Small dog………1/2 lb per week
Medium dog…..1 lb per week
Large dog……….1 1/2 lbs per week

Wondering what your pet’s target weight should be? Contact Us and we’ll work with you to set a goal! (Offer open to clients of Little Creek Veterinary Clinic [Norfolk, VA] only).

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About Nationwide pet insurance
With more than 700,000 insured pets, Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Nationwide pet health insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2017); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2017). Agency of Record: DVM Insurance Agency. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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Norfolk Botanical Garden is expanding the number of days each year
that it opens its grounds to your (leashed, well-behaved) dogs!

fitness-with-fido

Announcing:
Friday Fido Fun Days in January.
Try out this dog’s-eye view of the gardens
on January 8th or 15th, from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Full details are available online here.

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10. Be a responsible pet owner by obeying local ordinances and leash laws. Be a good pet neighbor.

 9. Learn how to detect early signs of pet illness, and always follow the expert advice of your veterinarian.

 8. Begin your pet’s training early, starting with basic house training and proceeding to obedience training when your pet is ready.

 7. Spend time with your pet every day to develop a positive human/animal bond and to teach your pet “social skills.”

 6. Provide your pet with daily exercise according to your pet’s age and physical condition.

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Tips borrowed from Purina’s The Pet Owner’s Checklist.

Next up: Tips 1-5 for Responsible Pet Care, on Thursday, July 30th.

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I’d like to ask you a question and I’m going to be blunt:  is your pet fat?  If so, it’s not alone.  The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) estimates that more than half the dogs and cats owned by Americans are overweight.  Unfortunately, that’s not the sort of company you want your pet to keep.  Here’s why:
Extra weight carries health risks for our pets, just like it does for us.  Obesity can contribute to

  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney disease
  • respiratory disease

Want a quick way to find out whether your pet is carrying extra weight?  Check these four areas:

  • Ribs – can you feel them?  If not, they may be covered by a layer of fat.
  • Stomach – is it sagging or bulging?  Not good!
  • Back – is it wide and flat?  Also not good!
  • Waist – can you see it?  Your pet’s waist should be defined.

Start by asking your vet for a diet recommendation for your dog or cat.  Next, add exercise to your pet’s weight loss program.  Use a conservative approach to exercise with obese dogs and cats.  As the pet loses weight, the amount of activity can be gradually increased.

     APOP has compiled a list of toys it recommends to get your pet moving.  Here are just a few:

You can find the full list of toys and technology here.

Note:  some pets may have a liver, thyroid or adrenal gland condition which causes weight retention and bloated stomach.  Certain diseases may need to be ruled out before an effective weight loss program can begin.

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The Monster Under the Bridge, waiting to be discovered.

     Confession time: I don’t own a dog.
I have plenty of cats, a bird, and a fish, but no dog. So I don’t really know what it’s like to go hiking through a park with a canine companion.
I have seen others do it, so I know the experience runs the gamut from strolling with a pet that seems unaware of any other park visitors, all the way to having one’s arm yanked out of the socket as the dog tries to chase every person, pet, and butterfly it sees.
I’ve often thought it would be nice if state parks featured dog rentals, so that folks like me could have a little company on the trail while the lucky pooches get some exercise and meet new people. Controversial? You decide.

If you’re lucky enough to own a dog and you enjoy walking your dog through the local parks, but the trails always feel the same to you, it may be time to take a closer look and discover the secrets you’ve been strolling past all these years.
It’s time to discover geocaching.

Go to Geocaching.com and register for a free account (go ahead and pay for a premium version if you’d like.)

The cutest cache ever!

Type in the zip code of the park you’ll be visiting and search for caches hidden there.
Load the coordinates into your handheld GPS unit (I use a Garmin Nuvi 200) and head out in search of your treasure.
Be sure to bring some dollar-store toys along to exchange with an item from the cache. I use Happy Rocks, bought on a trip to Shenandoah last summer, and Happy Magnets that I made using round magnets and happy face stickers.
When you find the cache, sign the log and update the website so others will know of your success.

You may be wondering if your dog will be any help – any help at all – in locating the caches. Well…it’s doubtful, unless the cache contains a T-bone steak (unlikely.)
The point is, you’re out having fun, exercising with your dog and seeing the park in a whole new way.  Enjoy!

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My sister (aka The Lady Contractor) and I team up to look for caches, and we’ve had success at Waller Mill Park in Williamsburg and Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield.

Can't find it on the ground? Try looking up.

Also look for caches hidden in First Landing State Park, York River State Park, and Chippokes Plantation.  Happy hunting!       ~~  Jen

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