Healthy Pet Nation
As one of the most successful celebrity trainers in Hollywood, I have spent over 25 years of my life trying to bring the life-saving message of personal fitness and healthy diet to men and women everywhere. In 1985, I began Operation Fitness to combat the (then) overlooked epidemic of childhood obesity. Now I am proud to announce the next phase of my “fitness for all” philosophy – the launch of Healthy Pet Nation.
In America, just like humans, obesity is a common problem in dogs and cats. Owners often treat their pets as their children and spoil their furry friends. These owners need to have “Riley” and “Princess” follow a total weight management that will result in controlled weight loss and maintenance. This program will include evaluating the animal, educating the pet owner, modifying behaviors, and tailoring the program to each animal’s needs. As someone who has seen the tragic consequences of poor health on loving pets, I seek to reverse the trend of pet obesity and bring a better life to pets and their owners.
Cesar Millan Honored with 2010 ‘Shape Up America’ Animal Health Advocate Award
On Sunday, March 14, 2010 Cesar Millan was honored as the 2010 recipient of the Animal Health Advocate Achievement Award, as part of Operation Fitness’ first “Shape Up America” campaign. The campaign is a 30-city tour that aims to fight the obesity epidemic in this country.
As Cesar is currently touring the UK giving seminars, Dog Whisperer Co-Producer Christina Lublin accepted the award on his behalf.
“The first annual Operation Fitness ‘Shape Up America’ campaign was a success,” Christina said. “It’s great to know that people are really taking their dogs’ health and fitness seriously. Cesar’s message of having a balanced dog includes the mind and body, so this award was a real honor.”
Letter from the ‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan
Dear Shape Up America,
I am honored to receive this year’s Animal Health Advocate Achievement Award and to be a part of Operation Fitness’ first “Shape Up America” campaign. I believe that the pack is a family unit, and every pack leader naturally wants to ensure the vitality and longevity of his or her family members. We want the years we spend together with our packs to be happy and lively ones. It saddens me that an estimated 25 to 40% of dogs are overweight, yet many dog owners are unaware their dog has a weight problem. Dogs who suffer from obesity develop health issues due to the added stress on their heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and joints. Also, these physical issues, combined with a lack of exercise, often result in behavioral problems.
This campaign reminds me of a Dalmatian puppy named Wilshire I met in Season 3. Members of Firehouse 29 in Los Angeles had rescued Wilshire from near death at a local shelter. The hyperactive puppy was soon causing a commotion, jumping on visitors and kids and running out the firehouse garage onto a busy Wilshire Blvd., not only endangering himself, but also causing problems for the firefighters who need to get the truck out quickly when responding to calls – not chasing their dog down the street!
I have long admired these brave men and women for their calm assertive energy during a crisis, and realized that as long as Wilshire learned to respect boundaries and have discipline, all he needed was a way to drain hi s energy . The LA City firefighters are required to exercise every morning. As a new member of their pack, Wilshire needed to be a part of this routine, so we taught him how to use the treadmill. In a short time, Wilshire was getting his workout on one treadmill , while the firefighters got theirs on the other.
I am proud to say that Wilshire is now teaching kids about fire safety, and how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll ,” all over Los Angeles County. While he did not have a weight problem, it was critical that he get exercise in order to be a healthy, balanced member of Firehouse 29. The same psychology applies to all dogs, no matter the size or breed. I often give advice to people about the health of their dog, from the foods they’ re fed and nutrients they need to their dental hygiene and cleanliness. And , of course, the amount of exercise the dog requires.
I am humbled every day to help people and their dogs live in a happy, balanced relationship and I am pleased that “Shape Up America” is including pets in this important campaign.
Thank you again for this honor.
Stay calm and assertive!
William K.Bergman, PhD, Structural Wellness Center
“To start with I love my dogs. I strongly believe that if you are getting an animal (especially a dog) you must have the belief, that you are caring for another being and is your total responsibility to do what ever it takes to provide for all of their needs. Daisy (Boston terrier) came into our lives 10 years ago. She was to be a new friend for our Dalmatian, Sasha. Sasha had a history of blood disorders and needed a friend to be with her and Daisy helped Sasha live for another 6 years. When Sasha passed on, we decided to get another Boston terrier (Samantha). With this came a whole new activity level for Daisy and a knee problem began to emerge. Being in Physical medicine, I tried a number of different techniques but she still had a “bum knee.” This is when Mike Torchia came into the picture. I have known Mike for more years than I can remember and he asked if he could try a few different angles on getting her better.
Mike started with a nutritional approach and started her on some very cool herbs and the usual joint supporting aids. We also started her walking on the beach and softer surfaces. We had to take a shot gun approach and change her diet, supplements and walking patterns. Sometimes you are too close to the problem and need a new pair of eyes and that is what Mike brought aboard. Mike started working with her with a hands on approach: walking with her, correcting her gait, observing her running pattern and supplying her with the proper diet. I am very happy with the progress she has made and feel without Mike’s guidance she might have had to have surgery. Mike Torchia brought me his years of knowledge and experience that you can only get by years of practicing what you preach.”
Michael Torchia, Fitness Advisor to the stars and Chris DeRose, one of the foremost leaders in the animal rights movement are going to travel across the country helping people in need to create healthier lifestyles for their pets. Healthy Pet Nation’s mission is to take people who have typical excuses of why they can’t make time to give their pets exercise and help them eat right, helping them make the necessary changes in their lives to permanently maintain a healthier way of living for them.
A habit is something we do without thinking. Studies have shown us that our normal behavior is based on our habits. That means how we spend our money, what we watch on TV, what we eat and how we take care of our pets. 90% of the time we are on autopilot. We’re on the phone or texting while we’re walking our dog or feeding the cat, so they don’t get the care and attention they deserve. So if you need to create a healthy lifestyle for both you and your pet, you need to identify your bad habits and then start to make changes. It’s easy not to take your dog for a run or long walk and let them eat anything they want, but you have to give up some of your time to keep them healthy and happy. It will be uncomfortable and a struggle at times, but they will become healthier and happier pets because of it.
Michael Torchia will show you that feeling good mentally, emotionally and physically doesn’t require a rigorous training program. Utilizing household items, junk from garages and office furniture, people can create simple ways of making a fun obstacle course for their pets along with participating in stimulating activities in the wilderness or a park. In addition, hiking and jogging are just some activities that are great for the mind and body that both people and animals can do.
There will be creative cooking segments, where Torchia and DeRose will teach people how to re-engineer their favorite recipes and teach them to feed their pets so they can be healthier too. In addition, we will feature families with pets in need of help and create a healthier, nurturing and thriving environment for them. Pet owners will learn how to become more confident and establish life long healthy eating habits for their pets. The audience will find themselves personally involved in this highly motivating pet friendly reality television show.
Our nation truly needs to be inspired to make the necessary transitions to create a healthier and happier lifestyle for both themselves and their pets. Michael Torchia is one of the foremost fitness experts in the country and is dedicated to fighting the epidemic of obesity. Chris DeRose has 30 years of expertise in saving the lives of animals around the world. This combination of experts and the Healthy Pet Nation research team will change the epidemic of obesity and cruelty to animals across the country.
Healthy Pet Nation will focus on educating people about the physical impact on their pet’s bodies whether it’s because of time constraints, stress or over-indulgence. There should be no stress over what and how people and their pets eat. Starting a fitness program for your pet doesn’t mean you have to spend 2 hours a day in the park and weigh every morsel they eat. What people need is to understand the effects and the benefits of smart decision making when it comes to exercise, nutrition and taking better care of their pets.
Healthy Pet Nation will provide the crucial information in a fun, entertaining and inspirational way and Torchia’s style of fitness combined with Chris DeRose’s reputation as an animal activist makes them the perfect team for this mission.
When I was a young boy I dreamed of being a veterinarian one day and when old enough, took a job at an animal hospital. Eventually, becoming a veterinarian’s assistant, I helped save many lives of family pets. But one day, I witnessed a poor little doggie name Molly just pass away of liver failure, after the Doctor and I tried every method to save her life. The Vet asked me to go out to the waiting room to tell Molly’s owner her best friend didn’t make it. This woman was devastated, as I was, and we sobbed together. After she left, I spoke to the vet and he quietly explained to me, “It was partly her fault.” She never gave her dog proper food, constantly fed her pet too many food scraps, so Molly was obese.
I realized that even though it was rewarding to save the lives of so many dogs and cats, I also knew to constantly face these poor little animals die on a constant basis was not the job for me. One thing this vet told me was that so many of the diseases that these pets were dying of were preventable with proper nutrition and physical exercise.
This is why I have created Healthy Pet Nation, to help people and their pets around the world live healthier and better quality lives.