Overweight Dog? You’re not alone.
Are you family to an overweight dog? Most of us show our dogs love with cuddles and treats. Unfortunately, loving our dogs too much with food and not enough with activity is part of the reason 54% of American dogs are obese. Our clients hire our dog walkers to help overweight dogs lose some of the extra fluff around their middle. Recently, our assistant manager Meghan was enlisted in helping Toby, a grumpy and overweight Dachshund, change his life for the better. We’re all works in progress, and with Meghan’s help Toby is progressing quickly!
Toby: Pet Spotlight
My most recent and proud pet project has revolved around a grouchy Dachshund named Toby, who is overweight and in need of serious discipline with his attitude, behaviors, and health.
As history tells us, Dachshunds were used for hunting and burrowing after small game animals as well as badger extermination. This fact was a surprise to me! I suppose all dogs had a purpose before they became household pampered pets. In addition, the name Dachshund is German, literally translating to badger hound. In modern times this breed is known to be clever, lively, affectionate, brave, at times impatient, but a devoted family member. Toby fully lives up to this description.
Toby belongs to an older couple, who don’t necessarily have the energy or mobility to take him out for fresh air, exercise or…to do his business. Toby spends his days indoors protecting his adoring pet parents. He uses the bathroom inside and on the porch. In addition, he growls at anyone who comes near his mom, acting tough, but showing clear signs of fear aggression. He looks at you with huge whale eyes and he’s not afraid to snap if you come to close. I would be ill-tempered too if a stranger came in my home, I wasn’t able to explore the outdoors and had a spare tire around my mid section. Fear not! There is a happy future for this little boy.
The behavior described was the old Toby. We have been working together for the past month, three times a week and I am thrilled to report his progress:
First Visit: Before arriving for my first walk, I called ahead to have his Mom and Dad step out of the room, so he would be less aggressive and out of protection mode. As I entered, Toby paced around growling and barking, running away from me. Once he was cornered (yes, this method is intimidating, but I had no other option) I slowly placed the slip lead over his head. Luckily, I have fast reflexes as he tried to nip my hand in the process. I have to place him in a stroller to go through the lobby, as no dogs are allowed. He was trembling in fear on the elevator ride down. I could physically see his whole body shaking. Once outside, he refused to walk, so in a stroller I wheeled him down the street and had him walk back to the apartment. We did a few laps like this before returning. He ran straight to Mom and wouldn’t even look at me.
Second Visit: I dreaded walking in, as Toby has been quite difficult and personally it’s a bit scary to advance on an angry dog. Toby gave me a low growl, but not the intense bark or showing of teeth. Shockingly, this is an improvement. He allowed me to put the slip lead on gently with his Mom and Dad closely observing (or ready to step in if I needed help). This was the first time they stayed in the room while I leashed Toby. Again, progress. He was still shaking in the elevator, but allowed me to pet and comfort him on our way down. I used the stroller less, switching between walking and rolling every block or so. He still didn’t doing his business outside, but that may be have been asking a little much considering his progress.
Third Visit: Both parents were relaxing in the apartment when I came to pick up Toby for our walk. With a little coaxing, Toby slowly waddled his way over to me wagging his tail. He kept his body and head low to the ground saying hello. He was still shaking a bit with fear, but without any barking, growling, showing of teeth, or nipping. What an attitude change! He walked more and more without the stroller.
Fourth Visit: This was the best report yet! When I walked in, Toby’s tail was high, wagging away, and he ran to the door to greet me with excited barks. After a few “Hi Toby, good boy Toby’s!”, he rolled over on his belly asking for rubs looking at me expectantly. He easily let me put the slip lead on and we were off. His usual shaking had ceased and I could visually see the smile across his face. He truly was a happy boy in the apartment and outside during the walk. In a matter of one month he has become a new dog!
I will continue my mission to improve this little pup’s life. His parents were happy to report he has lost ½ pound since our time together, which is significant for a smaller breed. His behavior and quality of living has dramatically improved due to different company and walks.
Is your pet in the same rut? Does your pup need an attitude adjustment or more attention? Call us at 305.794.3733 and we will Implement daily dog walks and see your overweight dog’s life transform before your eyes!