Buckles Regimen: Week One

Buckles’ tummy seems to have straightened out (thank GOD – that was foul), so yesterday we started him on the usual weightloss regimen.

A 63-pound dog would normally eat about 2 cups of food per day. Yesterday I gave Buckles an evening meal of high-quality kibble (we use Natural Balance, the regular blue bag) and a combination of canned pure pumpkin, yogurt, and green beans. About 1 cup of the kibble and 1 cup of the other stuff (total). I don’t believe in reduced-calorie kibble, it has too many fillers.

Buckles didn’t like the green beans when I first tried them a few days ago, but he likes them when they are mixed with kibble. I guess they get kibble crumbs on them.

The pumpkin is very bulky with fiber, so that should keep him feeling full. He does not act like he is hungry in between meals.

To keep his blood sugar on an even keel throughout the day, I give him a veggie snack in the morning and afternoon. This morning it was carrots. He really liked those. Last night all the dogs got bell pepper snacks. Buckles was not impressed with those at first, but when he saw the other dogs chomping on them, he changed his mind.

We will have Buckles’ first weigh-in on Friday, and I’ll try to weigh him every week on Friday to make sure he is progressing. (Does anyone know how to do a progress graphic chart on wordpress? Like one of those thermometer things that shows the target and how much you’ve progressed toward it?)

I don’t expect that he will have lost much, if any, this week, since we spent most of the week getting his tummy straightened out. After that I am hoping for about a half pound per week at first.

Buckles has learned that in the evenings when I read, he is allowed on the bed for snuggle time, which he loves.
He can put his front paws on the side of the bed (barely) and then I put my arms around his middle and haul him up. He gets down again by the ramp. Snuggle time is very important to dachshunds’ emotional health!

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Buckles starts his Biggest Loser Journey

This is Buckles, the sweetest, gentlest, most patient dachshund of all time. He is probably part beagle (maybe that’s where the patience comes from). But the most important thing to know about Buckles is that he weighs 63 pounds. ACK! An appropriate weight for a standard dachshund is 16-32 pounds. An appropriate weight for a beagle is less than 25 pounds.

Biggest Loser Buckles

I estimate that Buckles should weigh about 30 pounds. That means he has more than half his body weight to lose. With this weight, he is at extreme risk for a back injury due to IVDD, diabetes, thyroid problems, and all kinds of other nasty stuff that I’d rather he not have to deal with. He deserves a happy life.

I’ve had Buckles only 3 days, and he has already started following me everywhere I go around he house, and he settles down sweetly on his bed beside mine. (Thank goodness he doesn’t want to sleep IN the bed; there isn’t anywhere close to enough room!)

For the next few months (who am I kidding, at least a YEAR!) I’m going to journal Buckles’ progress and what we do to help him get healthy again. Buckles is only 7 years old, and he should have a lot of life and love left in him.

But before we go on the weight loss plan, I have to get his tummy straightened out. Right now he has terrible diarrhea. The vet checked him out and didn’t find any parasites or bacteria, so we’re going to start with some bland food (rice, boiled chicken) and plain yogurt until he’s not having that problem any more.

I’ll also be tweeting his progress with hashtag #BLBuckles if you want more info along the way!

Wish us luck!

Here kitty kitty!

One of our foster homes is working with her new foster to acclimate him to life with a cat.  Thought I would share — as many dachshunds have kitty issues!  (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

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Major breakthrough here!  As late as last night, Toto was only good with the cat if we were all sitting still.  If the cat got up to move, he would try to chase or nip at him.  If the cat was outside, he would try to go over to him and was hard to distract.  I would have to really coax him to get him to come away from the vicinity of the cat and after we went back in, he headed straight for the doggie door to go back out after the cat.

Zeus (kitty) was off doing his own thing all morning and part way into the afternoon so we didn’t have any run ins.  Then, later this afternoon, I had him on the leash outside (I had seen Zeus out there under the bush in his favorite spot).  I had some chicken bits with me but Toto didn’t know it at first…  I took him within a few feet of the cat.  All the sitting still with the two of them stuff be paying off cuz he looked at the cat for a second and then looked away (exactly the behavior I’ve been reinforcing) I told him he was a good boy and gave him a bit of chicken.  He stood there in the same spot for the next couple of minutes:  he’d look at the cat for a second and then look away…treat…  look at the cat and look away…treat…  LOL  He has definitely got the idea!  So we walked around near the cat for a few more moments and he kept doing the same thing, glance at cat and look away.  Sometimes he’d just get a “GOOD boy!!” and sometimes chicken as well.  Then we went elsewhere in the yard and he came quite willingly, never looking back at the cat.  Never attempted to go back to the doggie door even though he had to know Zeus was still out there…

Back in the house a couple of hours later.  I’m in the kitchen preparing supper, he is on the leash so I can stand on it if necessary.  Cat walks into the room… Toto looks at him, looks at me and wags his tail.  “GOOD boy!!”   Gave him a piece of chicken, gave the cat a piece of chicken…  For the next ten minutes or so, the cat wandered around in the kitchen and Toto hardly even looked at him, watching me for the next bit of chicken.  LOL

Couple hours later, we’re coming in from outside and the cat is standing on the laundry table meowing.  I stop to pet him, Toto keeps right on going into the house.  He stopped halfway through the kitchen to look back and see if I was coming but never even looked at the cat!  I’m sooooo happy!