Category Archives: Fit Dog Friday

#PerfectWeight – Being in the Driver’s Seat

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Perfect Weight 10 Week Turnaround, but WagsAhoy.com only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

In case you missed it, make sure to check out our last post sponsored by Hill’s Science Diet where we talked about establishing habits and routines in order to maintain weight and overall health for your pet.

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Did you know that 50% of pets are technically overweight? Surprising, huh?

The objective of the 10 Week Turnaround campaign (#PerfectWeight) is to educate parents about the importance of healthy weight for their pets.

 

Today we are going to share the story of a friend of ours who took the challenge and is well on her way to her perfect weight after 10 weeks of eating Hill’s Diet’s Perfect Weight formula.

Zero already lost 6 pounds from her 10 weeks, well on her way to her goal of 20 pounds of weight loss! Check out the rest of her story here.

The struggle is real for overweight pets:

20150509_154746We told you in a previous post about how Gilligan has realized some pretty great weight loss himself, going from a maximum of 15 pounds down to just 12.9 pounds! That said, 12.9 was in fact a little too slim, so he has seen some increased treats since then, and is now starting to look just right for the spring, and beyond. Remember:

  • Starting is the hardest part of a new routine. Be strong!
  • Be consistent, and stick with your routine!
  • Maintain feeding times, on time, and keep exercise consistent.
  • Monitor your pet’s weight against the amount of food you feed for meals and treats. Make small adjustments if you see the weight moving in a direction that you’re not going for. Use a measuring cup for feeding so you can keep portions under control.

 

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“Yeah… it is probably for the best that the humans refuse to share their nachos with me… don’t want to ruin my perfect sausage link figure!”

Need a little help kick starting your pet’s weight loss? Hill’s Science Diet has a sweepstakes going on where you can enter to win 10 Weeks of Perfect Weight! Prizes are given away on a bi-weekly schedule, so if you didn’t win last time, now is your chance to try again!

Enter the sweepstakes today for your chance to win – click here!*

*Don’t forget to read the full terms and conditions of the sweepstakes entry.

PerfectWeightSmallBreed

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight dog food now comes in a new variety that’s specially formulated to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and improve quality of life in small and toy breed dogs (which make up 40% of the dog population). It features prebiotic fibers for gentle digestion and 100% balanced nutrition.

70% of dogs and cats who used Science Diet Perfect Weight lost weight within 10 weeks!

Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

Staying Consistent in Food Routines

Keep Things Simple and Healthy!

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Perfect Weight 10 Week Turnaround, but WagsAhoy.com only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

03_HSD_P_RGB_USCNDid you know that 50% of pets are technically overweight? Yikes!

The objective of the 10 Week Turnaround campaign (#PerfectWeight) is to educate parents about the importance of healthy weight for their pets. Hopefully what we share with you here will help you make a more informed decision about your pet’s health.

In our last post sponsored by Hill’s Science Diet we talked about the importance of establishing a schedule for exercise and feeding for your pet. We talk a lot about this principle but: your schedule is only going to be as effective as you are consistent in following it as a routine.

In general, dogs tend to respond well to consistency. Here are some examples of this:

  • If you wake up at the same time each day and your dog wakes up with you, chances are your dog will expect to wake up at that time each day, even if you choose to take a break one day! (we all know this one)
  • If your dog’s feeding time(s) is(are) the same time each day, he or she will expect to eat at that(those) time(s) each day.
  • When offering a command to your dog such as “Sit,” your dog is much more likely to perform the command successfully if you are consistent with your tone of voice, body language, hand gesture, and responses to both successful performance (praise) and poor performance (correction/ “no” language).

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Our last post a calendar to help you establish and maintain a routine feeding schedule. For those of you who missed it, click here to access and download the calendar.

Remember:

  • You should be clear on exactly when, what,and how much food your dog is fed. Gilligan is fed meals at 6am and 6pm each day, eats his dry kibble formula at these meals with broccoli for treats during walks/training, and receives 3/8 cup of kibble per meal. Especially be prepared to provide clear instructions to anyone else feeding your dog so that the feeding schedule, nutrition and portions remain consistent.
  • Not sure what the right amount is to feed your pet? Start with the Feeding Guidelines on the Bag and adjust as needed. Depending on where you live in the country your pet might be more active in the summer or winter so that should be taken into account and adjusted. Gilligan eats closer to 1/4 cup per meal in the winter when walks and activity are less than in the summer.SONY DSC
  • Measuring cups make feeding time so easy and gives you the peace of mind that your pet is getting the proper nutrition it needs to stay healthy without being overfed. Don’t leave it to chance!
  • 20141222_093844Consistency with potty and exercise time is also important for your pet and their overall health. Your walks and bathrooms times are best done at the same time each day, especially on the weekends when it can be tempting to sleep in.

 

Remember to take things slowly. This isn’t a fad diet or a race. Refer to your 10 Week Turnaround Calendar in order to remind yourself where you are in the process and that each step is an important one.

Need a little help kick starting your pet’s weight loss? Hill’s Science Diet has a sweepstakes going on where you can enter to win 10 Weeks of Perfect Weight!

Enter the sweepstakes today for your chance to win – click here!

PerfectWeightSmallBreed

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight dog food now comes in a new variety that’s specially formulated to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and improve quality of life in small and toy breed dogs (which make up 40% of the dog population). It features prebiotic fibers for gentle digestion and 100% balanced nutrition.

70% of dogs and cats who used Science Diet Perfect Weight lost weight within 10 weeks!

Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

Making Time for Fitness – Scheduled Weight Time

Good Health Requires Commitment to Good Habits

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Perfect Weight 10 Week Turnaround, but WagsAhoy.com only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

In case you missed it, make sure to check out our last post sponsored by Hill’s Science Diet where we discuss the importance of nutrition awareness and understanding how portion and treat choice can impact your dog (especially if he or she is small like Gilligan!).

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Did you know that 50% of pets are technically overweight? Yikes!

The objective of the 10 Week Turnaround campaign (#PerfectWeight) is to educate parents about the importance of healthy weight for their pets. Hopefully what we share with you here will help you make a more informed decision about your pet’s health.

20150321_115003Since our last post, Gilligan has enjoyed some serious success in achieving his own ideal weight. At a trip to the vet in mid-March, Gilly weighed in on the scale as he usually does at the beginning of each visit.

This past month, we were thrilled to find that Weens weighed in at 12.9 pounds, down from a weight of 15 pounds just a few short months ago in December (for more about his last visit to the vet, check out our prior post)!

15 pounds was quoted by Gilligan’s vet as “a max” in terms of his weight, so it was clear that some remedy needed to be put in place.

Gilligan’s achievement can be attributed to a combination of healthy nutrition in terms of both food type and portions, as well as a steady routine of exercise, the latter of which we’ll discuss today.

20150321_120238Simply, Gilligan’s goal is to enjoy a walk every day, or its equivalent. For a stretch of time between Gilligan’s last two vet visits, his humans would keep track of days he’d been walked by marking them on a calendar.

In this household, Gilligan’s daily walk goal is flexible in that he may miss a day or two depending on the weather, but we try to make up for a missed day by taking a longer walk the following day. Generally, 20 minutes of walking each day is a good benchmark, and we may extend this time if a day was missed. In the event that the weather is too poor for a walk (and Gilly is fairly sensitive to rain, etc. so this is often), we make sure to play active indoor games including running up and down the hallway, and Sit/Down/Stay training using healthy broccoli for treats.

Hill’s has provided the below calendar designed for tracking purposes, so we would certainly encourage you to click on it to download and use it as part of your pet’s 10 Week Turnaround!

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Note this calendar is set to track a timespan of 10 weeks, and includes some guides in terms of benchmarking your progress throughout the process such as the weekly pound counter column. We would highly recommend this calendar or some modification as a tool within your healthy weight program.

If you’re new to using a calendar tool like the above, here are some simple steps to make the most use of it:

  1. Identify how much exercise your pet gets on a Daily and Weekly basis right now.
  2. Decide upon a daily and a weekly goal for your pet’s exercise routine; if helpful, jot these down on your calendar so you can “cross them off” as you go.
  3. Have a plan for “make-up” exercise in the event you miss something in the schedule. This is OK and happens to any busy person these days! Just be ready to adjust.
  4. Assess your progress at the end of each week, determining if there were any obstacles to meeting your goal, and whether you should make any adjustments.

PerfectWeightSmallBreed

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight dog food now comes in a new variety that’s specially formulated to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and improve quality of life in small and toy breed dogs (which make up 40% of the dog population). It features prebiotic fibers for gentle digestion and 100% balanced nutrition.

70% of dogs and cats who used Science Diet Perfect Weight lost weight within 10 weeks!

Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

Weight a Minute – 10 Week Turnaround!

Cause You’re Not Trying to be a Couch Potato!

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Perfect Weight 10 Week Turnaround, but WagsAhoy.com only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Weight control is not only important for humans. It’s important for all people. And as we discussed in a book review during a prior post, dogs can be people too!

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Did you know that 50% of pets are technically overweight? Oh dear!

The objective of the 10 Week Turnaround campaign (#PerfectWeight) is to educate parents about the importance of healthy weight for their pets. Hopefully what we share with you here will help you make a more informed decision about your pet’s nutrition.

SONY DSCIt’s been a tough winter, and Gilligan sure is glad to be back out as the thaw is setting in! Staying fit is a very important part of Gilly’s lifestyle, especially because of all the risks associated with being overweight that specifically face the Dachshund breed.

Hill’s understands the importance of proper nutrition. They will tell you how important it is to be mindful of the impact of even your treat choices on your dog’s overall health, as is demonstrated by the below chart from their Treat Translator page.

When you consider the fact that Gilligan’s owners are more than ten times his size by body weight, this seems less far-fetched (feeding him 1oz of cheese is the equivalent of his Papa eating well over half a pound!).

We’ve shared with you that Gilligan’s snack of choice these days is frozen broccoli. We would highly recommend it.

PerfectWeightSmallBreed

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight dog food now comes in a new variety that’s specially formulated to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and improve quality of life in small and toy breed dogs (which make up 40% of the dog population). It features prebiotic fibers for gentle digestion and 100% balanced nutrition.

70% of dogs and cats who used Science Diet Perfect Weight lost weight within 10 weeks!

From their handsome choice of cover model, we’re certain they understand the importance of weight control for pups like our hero Gilligan. 😉

Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

This post was part of FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life.

Join either Hop or just enjoy the links below bringing you to the other awesome blogs for the day – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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Once again we’re also participating in the Pet Parade friday Blog Hop, hosted by Rascal and Rocco, and co-hosted by Bionic Basil, M.K. Clinton’s Barking From the Bayou, Love is being owned by a husky, and Jan’s Funny Farm.

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Thaw Good in the Hood

We’re back for another FitDog Friday! And that’s because it is finally getting warm enough for successful walks around the neighborhood again! Yay!

Last time, we showed you how walks with Gilligan continued to be thwarted by the cold and mounds of snow, continuing in the fashion of our prior “Wiener in the Trenches” post, showing Gilligan’s “I give up on this walk” stance in response. Today, we celebrate the triumph of being able to accomplish a complete walk in the neighborhood again, with some special photos and video to share with you!

Well, here we are in the final week of February, and we’re finally starting to see some sunny days, and some lovely thaw. Ah, yes!

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We’ve been able to accomplish several walks this week. Check out a clip from yesterday’s before we share a few photos from today’s wonderfully sunny stroll. 🙂

Finally able to relax after catching up on his pee-mail, Gilligan started today’s walk just basking in the warmth of the sunshine.

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“Oh my DOG, that feels good!”

Now that’s not to say that the grass is back and Spring has sprung around these parts. Oh no, we’re still a ways from that. The below photo will give you a glimpse at the mounds of ice and snow that we’ve needed to tackle. Check out the bed of ice still partially present on the driveway.

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My, thank goodness for that plow!

Just think, this is the nicest it’s been here for about three weeks!

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There was still a decent amount of ice and snow around, which meant Gilligan periodically wanted to stop for a break from walking on the ice, and just sit in the sun again.

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As if today’s walk couldn’t get any more wonderful, WE FOUND TREASURE on our way home! It had been buried under ice in the sidewalk, but was just thawed out enough to retrieve now. What was it, you ask?

A pi cutter!

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See? Not a typo.

See you next time, and have a great weekend! 🙂

Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

This post was part of FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life.

Join either Hop or just enjoy the links below bringing you to the other awesome blogs for the day – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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Once again we’re also participating in the Pet Parade friday Blog Hop, hosted by Rascal and Rocco, and co-hosted by Bionic Basil, M.K. Clinton’s Barking From the Bayou, Love is being owned by a husky, and Jan’s Funny Farm.

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Too-Tall Snowbanks Conquer Too-Short Wiener

It’s been two weeks since we’ve posted on FitDog Friday. The reason?

We’ve been snowed in! Below is the image we left you with last time at the conclusion of our “Wiener in the Trenches” post, showing Gilligan’s “I give up on this walk” stance during our last post-blizzard attempt at a walk around the block.

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Unfortunately, the situation has really only gotten worse. Two weeks and four snow days later, the snow has piled up even higher, and despite today being calm and somewhat bright (though not warm…), Gilligan gave up on today’s walk even sooner than he did before, not even making it past the street corner!

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The view from the top of our front porch. There is actually a street between us and those houses… which have porches, too… AND those are all trees, NOT bushes!

As much as Gilligan was itching for a walk after several days confined to playing with toys indoors, he was immediately skeptical from the outset of the walk. The snow was piled up high everywhere, and despite the sun today’s temperatures were frigid.

Before the end of the block, there’s a “terminal” so at least Gilligan was able to check his pee-mail…

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“Yikes! I let THAT one go too long without a response!”

Then, right after the hydrant, Gilly was faced with a dark, super-scary snow-trench that came up above the corner lot fence! *gulp* 😦

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And so it was after a very long and cold 4 minutes, less than a block from home, that Gilligan sat down in defeat on the snowy path, and assumed his classic “carry me home NOW!” stance.

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Looks like it’s back to the great indoors and some choice toys… unfortunately we’re due for yet more snow on Sunday…. ROH NO!

And the moral of the story is: Be careful what you wish for!

Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

This post was part of FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join either Hop or just enjoy the links below bringing you to the other awesome blogs for the day – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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Once again we’re also participating in the Pet Parade friday Blog Hop, hosted by Rascal and Rocco, and co-hosted by Bionic Basil, M.K. Clinton’s Barking From the Bayou, Love is being owned by a husky, and Jan’s Funny Farm.

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Wiener in the Trenches – A Snowy Stalemate

We’re back for FitDog Friday!

You’ve heard the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” Well, this feels particularly appropriate to describe the events of this past week here in the Boston area. If you’ve been following some of our earlier posts, you’ll recall that we’ve pretty much been begging for snow this season. And, well, it seems that Mother Nature was listening: We received about 3 feet of snow this past Tuesday.

Today, we’re going to show you Gilligan’s initial reactions to the snow, as well as what happened on the first attempt to take a walk among the walls of snow that are the aftermath of the storm.

1. Initial Reactions

We really hoped to be able to bring you some extremely cute footage of Gilligan romping around in the snow and having a grand old time. Unfortunately, while you might be able to find some great videos of other dogs out there playing in the snow and just loving it… Gilly’s just not that kind of weenie. As we revealed early on in our blog, Gilligan is a “landlubber” who just doesn’t like to get wet. Add this to his dislike of the cold, and the equation adds up to the following reaction from Gilligan to a snow storm of this magnitude:

As a pup who was born in Alabama and raised in Virginia, Gilligan’s roots shine through with his reaction to a good old fashioned Boston blizzard! He could even overhear his Papa talking with their neighbor about moving down to Virginia while both humans were out for a several-hour snow shoveling shift!

2. Walking in the The Aftermath

Gilly wasn’t to keen on being out in the snow, but what you saw in the above video didn’t even represent half of the snow that piled up! In trying to get Gilligan out for a walk after being snowed in for a solid two days, his reaction still managed to be less than enthusiastic, even with all the precautions taken:

SONY DSCFirst things first, Papa needed to make an executive decision not to dress Gilligan in his sweater for this snowy walk. While the sweater is perfect for keeping warm in the cold, it tends to collect moisture on the underbelly where Gilly tends to “ride low,” so isn’t the best when there are puddles or high walls of snow. Plus it was dirty.

 

Instead, he equipped Gilligan with a 3-layer coat of water-resistant armor consisting of a Thunder Shirt…

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…then his Plush Air Mesh Harness

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…and finally his water-resistant puffy coat.

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This “triple threat” of armor aside, our favorite weenie had some clear hesitations, even as soon as getting to the driveway of the house…

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This portrait will give you a sense of the sheet size of the snow piles from shoveling.

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As soon as they reached the sidewalk, Gilly found his favorite familiar path had been transformed into an odd network of trenches…

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After getting about a block up the street, Gilligan put the brakes on and refused to continue.

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“Ok, this isn’t my thing… please pick me up and take me home!”
Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

This post was part of FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join either Hop or just enjoy the links below bringing you to the other awesome blogs for the day – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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Once again we’re also participating in the Pet Parade friday Blog Hop, hosted by Rascal and Rocco, and co-hosted by Bionic Basil, M.K. Clinton’s Barking From the Bayou, Love is being owned by a husky, and Jan’s Funny Farm.

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A Short Leash for a Fit Wiener

Happy FitDog Friday!

You know, it is hard to believe it but this is actually the first FitDog Friday we have participated in since the beginning of 2015! Ironically, true to the theme of “Get Fit with Your Pet Month,” we’ve been staying really active since the new year has kicked off, so we’re certainly excited to report back in today!

Mama and Papa are both participating in a paleolithic diet challenge, as well as some physical fitness challenges throughout the month. This has meant going out every day with Gilligan, and actually on at least as many runs as walks! Our host SlimDoggy shares great information on running with your dog, including on today’s post.

As today’s title suggests, we’ll be showing you a “short leash” technique designed to help Gilligan obtain a higher level of walking etiquette over time, as well as to help better manage some of the behaviors that need correction, such as Gilligan’s tendency to be distracted by emerging strangers and [especially] other dogs on the scene when out for a walk or a run. Check out the technique below!

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Another tactic in Gilligan’s training lately has involved walking him in to the middle of the local town center, where there are typically a lot of people walking around, as well as the occasional dog or two. This is meant as a sort of “exposure therapy” to help deal with some of the social challenges Gilligan struggles with. The short leash technique has come in handy here too, as it makes keeping Gilly at bay very easy, which is especially important if he starts displaying discomfort or barking towards anyone during this exercise.

 

As we’ve shared with you recently, the use of broccoli as a low value/high frequency treat has worked wonders on Gilly’s progress as well. We highly recommend it!

 

 

On a bit of a random note, we are especially hopeful about this weekend because there is, finally, some substantial snow in the forecast for tomorrow! If you’ve tuned in for a few of our recent posts, you’ll note that we’ve made some observations about how the weather this year has been weirdly warm for this area of New England. We’ve heard from a lot of you who have noted that this year has been a “warm one” for you as well, despite short spells of chilling winds that a lot of us in North America have gotten. Anyhoo, Gilly’s paws are crossed in hopes that we’ll soon have some fresh photos and video to show you of some upcoming snow adventures!

We’ll also soon be publishing our official review of the lovely Plush Dachshund Harness that you’ve seen Gilligan wearing in this and other posts, so tune in and tell a dachshund lover you know. They won’t want to miss out!

Until then! 😀

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Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

This post was part of FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join either Hop or just enjoy the links below bringing you to the other awesome blogs for the day – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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Once again we’re also participating in the Pet Parade friday Blog Hop, hosted by Rascal and Rocco, and co-hosted by Bionic Basil, M.K. Clinton’s Barking From the Bayou, Love is being owned by a husky, and Jan’s Funny Farm.

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Swan Therapy, Mimi’s House, and Latin Relatives

Happy FitDog Friday!

In posts of Fridays past (yes, we’re saying it like that because Christmas is less than a week away!), we’ve talked about the importance of maintaining routine exercise for its positive effects on your dog’s health, but also on his behavior.

An exercised pup is a content pup is a calm pup, and if you have a dog who, like Gilligan, can exhibit some social behavioral challenges such as barking or growling at strangers, maintaining daily exercise is likely to be a good tool for improving these behaviors.

This week, just in time for the holidays Gilligan had a special opportunity to meet some family who are visiting from Santo Domingo! More about that below, but first…  To ensure that he was ready for this encounter, which would occur at the house of Gilly’s “Mimi,” aka the Mama-of-Papa, he released some of his energy for the day on a walk with Papa.

Swans on the River

The walk wasn’t all fun and games, though. Papa was pretty serious about focusing on the “Heel” command, offering plenty of structure and correction that helped Gilligan see some progress throughout the walk. With it being a relatively intense training day, it helped that the walk was broken up with a little sight-seeing when the two encountered a lovely gaggle of swans on the river.

This became a meditation for both human and canine which set the tone for a nice calm evening later on.

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Whose bum is cuter in this photo: Gilligan’s or the diving swan’s?

Mimi’s house is always a real treat, and so Gilligan has become noticeably excited to travel whenever the opportunity arises. See how he reacts when the mere mention of a trip to Mimi’s house arises in this video:

More about our visitors from Central America: one of them is “Ita,” aka the Mama-of-the-Mama-of-Papa, and the other is the Sister-of-the-Mama-of-Papa (whew!), who is also the Mama to Gilligan’s older cousin Mozart, the Dominican longhair Dachshund. Let’s explore more before we show you the fun Gilly had at Mimi’s.


Dominican Dachshund Fun!
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A photo of Mozart from 2005. He was closer to Gilligan’s age then.

As the following photos of Mimi with Mozart will demonstrate: A baby ween is a baby ween… is a baby ween!

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Spanish Lessons – Some Dachshund Vocab

Salchicha: Literal translation is “sausage;” this is the popular common name for the Dachshund for Spanish speakers the world over.

Chi chi: In the Dominican Republic, this term is used to mean a baby. It can also mean a mother’s teat and is usually used in reference to a young, breast-feeding babe. There are many other uses and definitions of this term that vary dramatically across different Spanish-speaking cultures, and range from cutesy to vulgar.

Salchichi: Our very own compound word, created here at WagsAhoy.com (©2014), which translates to “baby ween.” See above photos.

Primo: A cousin, which we can use to describe the relationship between Mozart and Gilligan.


Mimi’s House

Weens was delighted to arrive at Mimi’s house, and admired the lovely Christmas decorations, including a tree that was mini, just like him…

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… a cute blue peacock-feather wreath…

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… and other lovely holiday arrangements.

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When meeting his Dominican relatives, Gilligan was on his best behavior. He listened attentively as Ita told a story of a Dachshund she had when she was a girl of 15 years old, which none of the other humans had heard before.

After he behaved so well, Gilly was rewarded with a surprise from Mimi: newly decorated human beds, one with a commemorative pillow just for him!

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“Teddy likes me better when I’ve gotten my exercise, too!”

And so it is that we celebrate a successful introduction between Gilligan and his relatives from the very deep South! Here’s wishing you and yours a warm and bright remainder of 2014.

Now you can Follow, Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on InstagramTwitterFacebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

This post was part of FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join either Hop or just enjoy the links below bringing you to the other awesome blogs for the day – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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Once again we’re also participating in the Pet Parade friday Blog Hop, hosted by Rascal and Rocco, and co-hosted by Bionic Basil, Barking From the Bayou, Love is being owned by a husky, and Jan’s Funny Farm.

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Vaccines for Weens

The latest report on your favorite wiener’s health

It’s another FitDog Friday. In past posts we’ve talked about diet, training, and exercise. Today we’re going to explore another critical piece: checking in with your vet!

Gilligan went to his veterinary specialist this week, a visit which included both his Mama and his Papa first the first time since he was re-homed early in 2014. During the last trip, in the spring, Gilly didn’t have the greatest time there, so this time he was a bit apprehensive… it might be safe to say that Weens is not a huge fan of making visits to the vet.

20141211_174832As Papa arrived with Gilly to meet Mama at the vet’s office, he wondered how well Gilly would do this time. Last time, he was barking and fidgeting pretty consistently, and Mama said he even tried to nip at one of the doctors.

As they entered, there was a large greyhound in the waiting area (no photos shown since managing this interaction and check-in was a priority). The owners of the greyhound applied a muzzle in preparation of the two dogs being in the same room. Wonderfully, Gilly did not fixate on the greyhound or really make much noise at her, and he and his Mama and Papa were called in to see the vet almost immediately upon entry.

7 Objectives

Any good plan will start with clear objectives. In making this appointment, Papa confirmed that the main reason for the visit was to get current on a couple of vaccinations. He also prepared a list of questions to check in about while everyone was there. We’ll explore how each item went, in order of what was addressed in the visit:

1. Gilligan’s weight

The very first stop was for Gilly to jump on a dog scale and take a quick weight reading. Last time he visited, he weighed in at 14 pounds.

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This time, he comes in at an increased 15.5 pounds. Now, this was not unplanned; since his last weighing shortly after joining his new family, Papa decided that Gilly looked a little too slim: his ribcage was somewhat visible and his belly came in a little too much. They have been keeping a steady regimen of nutritious food to increase weight, and exercise to improve muscle strength.

 

The vet and his assistant check Gilligan’s basic vitals and feel his body for healthiness and fat level. Their ultimate conclusion is that his weight is fine, but that 15.5 pounds represents a “max.”

 

So, we’ll just be continuing to monitor with the goal of maintaining this do-not-exceed weight. Doing so is especially critical for a miniature dachshund; extra weight on his elongated body frame can put tremendous stress on the lower back, and lead to hip dysplasia and various degenerations of the hind legs, which are issues that the breed is more prone to because of how they are built.

2. Microchip

Right around the Thanksgiving holiday, Gilligan’s aunt, Mama, and Papa were checking his skin for abnormalities, when Papa felt a strange object in his skin on his back slightly below his shoulder blades. After feeling it thoroughly and repeatedly, he came to the conclusion that this was probably a microchip, based on its traits of feeling rectangular and inflexible.

This was one item that the previous owner didn’t cover when Gilligan was re-homed (though every aspect of this process was otherwise wonderful and this is by no means a criticism of the prior owner), so a point was made to inquire about this at the vet.

20141211_175017Sure enough, a scan of Gilly’s back turned up an ID number confirming that this is indeed a microchip. The vet gave Mama and Papa the ID# and instructed them to find out which service he uses by accessing the AAHA’s pet lookup system online.

He also warned that there is a company that will try to charge you annually to maintain a record in their system. His advice? “Do NOT pay it… If [a vet’s office finds a stray, they will still scan the microchip whether or not you paid, and you can still find your pet this way]. It’s a scam!”

 

3. The vaccines

Gilly stopped by in order to get current on two vaccines: 1. leptospirosis – a bacterial infection which can become present across the skin and through the bloodstream; and 2. lime disease, which is important for Gilly to maintain because he frequently stays at his Mimi’s house where the wooded area behind the back yard has a deer population (he doesn’t venture back there, but it is good to be safe).

The specialists start with a soothing massage, but in retrospect Gilly’s expression in the below photo seems to smack of some suspicion about what’s going to happen… after all, he has gotten vaccines here before.

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“Papa! Tell them I’ll take the massage WITHOUT the acupuncture this time!”
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“Ok, this part’s not so bad…”
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“Great… acupuncture again… Thanks for nothing, Papa!”
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“Oh… I can’t watch!”
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Well, those are taken care of. Not the most pleasant thing for our little furiend. For the rest of the night Gilly whimpered a little bit when touched in the spots where the shots were administered, showing that there is some soreness, but by the next day all is fine and he is set up for better health!

4. Dental health

We’ve talked about Gilly’s dental needs in one of our earliest posts where we gave you a glimpse at our in-home brushing care. That said, we were anxious to see how his teeth checked out.

The vet was quick to highlight that Gilligan does have some tartar build-up, mostly around the major canines and on a couple of his rear teeth, making him a “candidate for dentistry” at the animal hospital. This type of operation was quoted at $400 to $600, so hopefully stepping up the regimen of brushing (the vet said up to daily) and the use of dental chews will help stave this off. Unfortunately, the vet’s assessment was that these in-home methods will help prevent further build-up, but that more intense dental techniques are needed to remove the tartar that’s there.

On a positive note, the more insidious threat to a dog’s oral hygiene is typically with infections that affect the gums. We’re glad to report that Gilligan’s gums had none of the redness or inflammation that indicates the onset of these types of issues.

5. Ears

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The vet identified a mild ear infection with Gilligan, which is noticeable when you see the appearance of darker earwax within the ear. The infection was described as about a “2” on a scale of 1 to 10 of seriousness, and the vet attributed this to the poor design of some breeds’ floppy ears, which trap moisture and bacteria naturally.

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Papa checks for this and cleans it out regularly at home, but to be thorough the vet prescribes fluid to apply to the ears to help with this.

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6. Diet

Papa told the vet that Gilly enjoys a grain free diet, and asked for input and recommendations on diet. He was quick to warn against the trendiness of grain free brands, saying he has seen them come and go quickly and that some prominent companies making this type of “trendy” food product for dogs have very little to no contact with the vetiranery world, and some have even formulated their product without having a vetirinery nutritionist on staff. He was also happy to recommend staple brands such as Purina, Science Diet, and Iams, all of whom he has great contact with and trusts.

We’ve explored a bit of the beliefs held by the authors of this blog about general nutrition for humans and dogs in a previous post. So, while Papa and Mama value the vet’s input of, “grain is not evil to feed to your dog,” they’re going to be respectfully sticking to their guns for the time being.

Please let us know your opinions on your pet’s diet, and whether you’d like to see follow-up posts that explore this topic further.

7. Leg and feet health

The doctor observed Gilligan’s walk briefly and noted that his back leg health looks good. Mama and Papa have had concerns because he tends to walk kind of funny and make “uneven” use of his back legs when he’s between slow-walking and running speeds, but it seems this is normal and nothing to worry about.

As for his feet, Papa asked the doctor if he had any recommendations about types of footgear for Gilly, as he and Mama have been considering getting this for him. The vet’s opinion was that dogs really don’t need this, and he noted that the occasions where patients he sees come in for foot-related issues due to walking without footgear is extremely rare. That said, Mama and Papa are still considering getting this just because Weens tends not to like walking when it’s cold out, and it may help. If you have any suggestions, your comment is appreciated!

How does this vet visit compare to visits you’ve had with your dog? Drop us a line in the comments section!

Don’t forget to Like and Share the joy of Gilligan with friends on Facebook, WordPress, and YouTube. Thanks so much for stopping by today! 🙂

This post was part of FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join either Hop or just enjoy the links below bringing you to the other awesome blogs for the day – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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For the first time, we’re also participating in the Pet Parade friday Blog Hop, hosted by Rascal and Rocco, and co-hosted by Bionic Basil, Barking From the Bayou, Love is being owned by a husky, and Jan’s Funny Farm.New Pet Parade button 200x200

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Lastly, we are also for the first time joining the {This Moment} See Beautiful Blog Hop, hosted every second Friday of the month by our wonderful friend Sugar the Golden Retriever.

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And because we realize that a trip to the vet may not be the best example of “seeing beautiful” (though we could argue about how beautiful Gilligan obviously is, especially at a robust 15.5 pounds), we’re going to add a landscape photo of Gilligan’s favorite park from its peak foliage a couple of weeks back. Here’s bidding Autumn a fond yet firm farewell as we gear up for all the warm tidings of the winter season!

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