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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.