Springing into action with Kilo

Kilo the Rescue Pug put on a few pounds again while I was in Australia.  His neck and face looked chubby and his harness was no longer really loose. It is very hard on his little legs and his breathing if he is carrying any extra pounds at all.

TH Kilo fat face

I have to say that I understand the temptation for people to feed him extra. Kilo definitely equates food with love and really loves food and people who feed him. I love food and treats too, so it is hard not to be sympathetic.

He uses his big brown eyes and charm to beg, and he is so grateful and affectionate whenever you give him anything.

He does love hugs and pats, but training and meeting new people would be pretty unsuccessful without treats. I still have to lure him with a treat to get most tricks or behaviours.

TH Kilo happy hi5

We use a mix of his kibble (low value), various packaged treats, chopped up cooked chicken or beef, and raw fruit and vegies, particularly carrot sticks, as treats.

We cut back his 2 daily kibble meal rations (which somehow grew while I was travelling) and we now add a little natural Greek yoghurt and banana and water to his breakfast, and a little baked sweet potato or vegetable and/or chopped meat and water to his dinner so he eats more slowly, licks the plate and feels fuller.

TH Kilo tongue

We take him for a short walk outside then play games like chase or go find so he sprints in the house every two hours at least (good exercise and has really reduced his toilet “accidents” and marking). I have been teaching him various tricks and moves too.

TH Kilo + flowers

He lost the weight he had just gained again already after only a week, but could probably stand to lose another pound or two to be really lean and fit.

Kilo still has a few behavioural issues occasionally. I had been investigating traditional medications like Prozac earlier this year. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac work by increasing the amount of a neurotransmitter, called serotonin, which is available in certain parts of the brain. Serotonin plays a large role in mood and can help to create a feeling of well-being and relaxation.

I have also been researching the effects of diet and exercise on behaviour. Funnily enough, taking Kilo for a walk outside does not make him relax or seem tired. He comes back into the house more anxious than when he left and zooms around like a crazed dog jumping on stuff, nipping and grabbing toys. He needs to burn off steam for at least 5 minutes, then he is cuddly and snoozy again for an hour or two (unless his arch enemy the Postman or some other evil stranger make an appearance).

TH Kilo cooking

Healthy food and supplements were the buzz of Global Pet Expo. We will be doing more research, particularly on probiotics and “natural” calming products like L-Tryptophan (Tryptophan is used by the body to make niacin, a B vitamin that is important for digestion, skin and nerves, and serotonin.) We are talking to Sylvie and the team from  www.oscarandmollie.com about a holistic treatment for Kilo. We will be posting a health and wellness video interview with Sylvie next week from Canadian Pet Expo and keep you updated on our progress. I know my human daughter picked up some strange bugs travelling and an anxiety and immune disorder, and has had very successful results working with a naturopath and nutritionist.

I’d love to hear anyone’s experiences and thoughts on diet, supplements, and also on traditional medicine like Prozac which can be very effective for “anxious” reactive pets.

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Fit Dog FRIDAY

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17 Comments

  • It’s so frustrating that how easy it is for our dogs to gain weight! My girls don’t get enough exercise from leash walks either so it was very difficult for us to get them enough exercise when we lived with our inlaws. Zoe ended up gaining some weight, too. Luckily, we are back in Oregon and the weight has come right off because I can let her run free which is much better exercise for her!

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Kilo loves running around on his long leash. Wish we had a big fenced in garden but we downsized so just a small patio. The large park and ravine on our street make him nervous as lots of dogs off leash even though not meant to be. Have a great weekend. XS

  • I’m sure with smaller dogs it is hard to keep weight off as small amounts are so much. Thankfully, we have never had issues. No matter, he is still a cutie pie.

  • Mr. N runs chronically underweight lol. Maybe you need to send Kilo to my house and I’ll send Mr. N to yours! He decided he didn’t like his new food and was picking at it for three days and lost a half pound. There’s a “Fearful Dogs” group on Facebook that would be worth joining.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Thanks- that would be fun LOL and I’ll check out the group. Maybe we could go on a hike together, although not sure Kilo and I could keep up with you or Mr N. In some ways, I am very grateful that Kilo loves his food and is so easy to work with if I have treats. We have a lot of fun doing trick training and he shows such unbridled enthusiasm. He is never picky except with new friends. Have a great weekend. XS

  • It is so easy for the weight to come back on. I am sure the winter did not help. As far as walking I think just doing it as routine will help Kilo relax. It is like when our dogs are learning blinds. They are usually very nervous and uncertain when you start but you just have to practice practice practice. Eventually they become confident.

  • What cute photos, love the colorful flower one and the apron one, too cute! have a great weekend.

  • Kilo’s pictures are always so cute! I love all of them! Barley always gains weight when we visit our family–it’s so much easier to make sure she doesn’t get extra snacks when it’s just the two of us! I’m not sure I could resist giving Kilo snacks, though–that little face just makes me melt.

  • You are doing so great with Kilo…getting him to lose weight is not easy but it sounds like you have a sound plan in place that’s already working. I know it’s more difficult when you’re doing lots of training that also involves treats.
    Our dog Luke is fearful, but it’s not too extreme so far, not to the point where I’d consider medication (yet). But we live in a quiet rural area and don’t have to deal with loose dogs very often. I like to go to drugs as a last resort (for myself and my dogs), so I’m thinking of trying some other all natural things like the calming collar and thundershirt. But if it gets to the point where meds are needed, then sometimes that’s just necessary and is another tool that’s available, and from what I’ve read of others’ experience, it can just be a temporary tool too.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Thanks Jan, I agree. I am open to whatever will help Kilo become a happy, safe dog. We will continue with the desensitization, mental and physical exercise, distraction, positive training and diet. We will add in the holistic treatments and see how we go. He hates shirts and collars, and it would be tough to time them with his outbursts. The calming spray did not seem to help. As a last resort, I will look at drugs to dial down the crazed angry responses and anxiety so the other stuff can have more of a chance. Have a great weekend. XS

  • Jack was on Prozac when we rescued him and we worked hard to get him off of it as quickly as we could as we just aren’t big believers in that type of medication. We wanted to treat his anxiety with diet and exercise. We switch him to a higher nutrition food and then got him on a regular exercise program. We worked to find that level of exercise that did relax him. At first it was a couple of hours a day. We also used a lot of mental exercise – things that really made him work his brain. IT was that combination of physical and mental exercise that did the trick.

  • Poor Kilo. I find weight gain very stressful, too, but probably he doesn’t have the same body image issues as humans. He’s a cutie no matter what though!

  • Chewy is always more hyper when we get back from walks, too! It’s like our walk was just a warm-up for him! I usually let him zoom around in the yard or play fetch/chase in the house.