Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Paws Spring Fair - April 7th

Fashion for Paws is rapidly approaching; the dogs take over the catwalk at the Nation Building Museum in a little over a week.  Frank and I are thrilled to have raised over $14,000 so far.  To raise as much money as possible to help the nearly 30,000 abused, abandoned and neglected animals that WHS cares for each year we have teamed up with Happy Paws to host a Spring Fair on Sunday, April 7th. 

We invite everyone, dogs included, to join us for a day of family fun.  There will be games for the kids, a raffle with amazing prizes, a professional photographer taking dog portraits and Friendship veterinarians to make sure your dog is a healthy weight.  The WHS Adopt Force One van will be there with adorbale animals looking for forever homes.

The raffle prizes alone are worth the trip – 10 days of boarding or day care at Happy Paws, Friendship Hospital for Animals gift cards and 6 months of food from Hill’s Science Diet!  In addition Rito Loco food truck will be serving up the best burritos in town for lunch.  All proceeds from the day will go to support Frank and me in Fashion for Paws.

I hope to see you there!

April 7th 
11 am to 1 pm
Happy Paws
4904 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lilly Loses Weight Too!

Here is Akanya after 1 week on her new diet of Hill’s new prescription weight loss food Metabolic.  Her owner, Erin reports she is loving the food and doing great.  We will plan on weighing her in one month to see how she is responding.  Based on Hill’s Healthy Weight Protocol I expect her to lose about 0.2 pounds per week so she should be under 12 pounds and one paw closer to her ideal weight of 8 pounds.

I was so excited about this new breakthrough in weight loss for our pets that I decided to sign my dog Lilly up for the challenge.  Lilly is an eight-year-old Chihuahua mix and being so tiny she has always struggled with her weight.  Due to her size and love of sitting on the couch she simply can’t consume that many calories without gaining weight. 

About a year ago she topped out at over 13 pounds and I think she felt the extra weight.  She would run around at the dog park but at home she would sit by herself and not really interact much with my other dogs.  I have been feeding her and my 11-year-old rat terrier Hill’s j/d (joint diet) because Sparkle has knee issues.  Lilly was getting a quarter cup of food twice a day, which is really not that much.  I further decreased the amount to an eighth of a cup and she lost about 2 pounds over the next 6 months. 

With this drop in weight her energy level and attitude completely changed.  She became much more interactive with both the people and animals in the house.  Still I thought she was a bit chubby at 11.3 pounds so I decided to measure her using Hill’s Healthy Weight Protocol.  After entering her measurements and current weight into the computer program it came out that her body fat index was 48% and she should weigh 7 pounds!

I have to admit I was shocked and immediately re-measured her about three more times, each time getting about the same thing.  I knew she weighed more than I would like but this put her at serious risk for some nasty diseases.  She started eating Metabolic that night!

So far Lilly seems to be happy with her new diet.  She gobbles down her food and gets to eat a whole third of a cup of food, clearly way more than she was eating before.  I also add in a fish oil supplement to make sure she has enough omega-3 fatty acids in her diet.  I am looking forward to seeing how she responds and watch those pounds melt away.  If only they made a food like this for people….

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tackling Obesity One Cat at a Time

Meet Akanya!  She is a two and a half year old kitty owned by Erin who works as one of Friendship’s Client Care Technicians.  Erin has graciously volunteered to let Akayna be my guinea pig in testing out Hill’s new Healthy Weight Protocol and corresponding Metabolic Diet. 

Akayna has come a long way from the streets of Botswana where Erin rescued her while serving the in Peace Corps.  She is now a fat (literally) and very happy housecat who needs to shed a few pounds.  As I’m sure most cat owners know this is no easy task and unfortunately this is the most common recommendation I make to owners during annual exams. Click here to read my post about the obesity epidemic cats.

Hill’s has teamed up with the University of Tennessee to create a better system to estimate body fat in overweight animals.  They found that if we could more accurately determine how much a pet was overweight then we could devise a more precise feeding plan that would results in more effective weight loss.

Erin brought Akayna to Friendship so that I could take a few measurements and get a baseline weight.  We then entered this information into a computer program and found out that at 12.4 pounds she had a body fat index of 47.5% and was in the “serious risk” category.  Her ideal body weight was given as 8.1 pounds.
Click on chart for better visualization

Armed with this information we then calculated she should eat one-quarter cup and one half of a can of Hill’s new Metabolic prescription diet every day.  This is the newest of Hill’s diets that was formulated using nutrigenomics to affect gene expression working with the animal’s metabolism for more effective weight loss.  

I am so excited to track Akayna’s progress!  Obesity is something that so many pet owners struggle with and it is one of the few concrete things we can address to ensure our pets live a long and healthy life.  Let me know if you are interested in joining us on this weight loss endeavor!