Saturday, October 14, 2017

Black Cat After Dark #ChewyInfluencer

My sleek black kitty Noelle can be both elusive and finicky. It's fitting that she is a black cat. What better food to offer her than Tiki Cat After Dark, from our friends at chewy.com.


We are Chewy Influencers. I was provided with complimentary product, but all opinions are strictly my own.

I am a huge fan of wet food in a cat's diet for a variety of reasons. It provides much needed moisture, is less processed, and even the pickiest of cats seem to enjoy wet food.

We were sent the 6 flavor variety pack of Tiki Cat After Dark. From the chewy website "a selection of gourmet recipes that are carefully designed to mimic a natural prey diet." As someone who feeds her dogs a prey model raw diet, and has attempted multiple times to do the same with her cats, this makes me happy.

It contains 6 different flavors, all chicken based, with broth, meat, and organs as the primary ingredients.


It looks good enough for me to eat.


Sleek Noelle (can you believe she is almost 12?!) will sometimes attempt to cover wet foods with her paw if they do not please her. That was not the case with Tiki Cat After Dark.


I love watching her lap up the broth, and devour the food. Cats tend to not have a strong thirst drive, as they are meant to get moisture and fluids from the food they eat. So I love the broth in this food.

I love that it is grain-free. Juice kitty seems to have food allergies, and this has not aggravated them in the slightest.

I am glad to include this in my girls' wet food rotation. It is a wet food made from real ingredients, is grain-free, provides ample moisture, and they love the taste!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Embark DNA Testing and Wolfdog Misrepresentation

I spent my own money to purchase all the Embark DNA kits I have used, and my experiences with them are not at all influenced. To save $30 on an Embark DNA Test for your own dog, click HERE.

To read about Faolan's Embark DNA results, click HERE.



Wolfdog misrepresentation has always been a hot topic in the wolfdog community. There used to be groups based solely on this premise. Want to see tempers and opinions fly? Misrepresent the wolf content of your dog or wolfdog, and refuse to listen to any education or criticism about it.

There are many negative consequences of misrepresenting one's "wolfdog." There can be legal consequences, as they are not legal in all localities. There can be consequences of an intense animal falling into the hands of unprepared owner, among other consequences.

Courts are using DNA testing of dogs more frequently now. There are several states and localities where it is illegal to have a "wolfdog" be it 90% wolf, or 10% wolf. Improperly labeling an animal that has ZERO wolf content could *potentially* cost that animal it's life if DNA testing is not used.

Wolfdogs are typically divided into three different content levels - low content, mid content, and high contents.

  • Low contents typically possess mostly dog traits, but with some visible wolf traits.
  • Mid contents should be a pretty even match of dog traits and wolf traits.
  • High contents should display mostly wolf characteristics, with a few dog traits thrown in for good measure.
I think my Faolan is a decent example of a low content wolfdog.

I adopted Bruce 6.5 years ago from a local Siberian Husky/northern breed rescue. He was adopted out as a Malamute/Husky mix. Though he is a rescue, I was able to track down his breeder, and provided with his lineage. 

I was told that Bruce was the product of purebred Alaskan Malamute dam and a "high content" sire. I was told his sire was 84% wolf, and that Bruce was 42% wolf.

I have always known that Bruce had heavy Malamute influence.


I ordered an Embark DNA test. Like Faolan's test, I am again incredibly pleased. I have nothing but nice things to say about the process and the company.

It was a smooth process, approximately 6 weeks from sending off the test to receiving results.

The Results

Bruce's health results came back all clear. I have received his breed results. 


Big shocker, he is a mostly Malamute. 

His wolf content (percentage) came back at 1/3 of what he was represented as. He also has some German Shepherd and Siberian Husky present, which is no surprise as these breeds are very commonly present in wolfdogs. 

I never once thought or believed that Bruce was 42% wolf. But actual purchasers of similar animals might truly believe their animals are. This could be problematic, because a wolfdog with that content might present challenges that the owners' are ill-equipped for. Those animals could end up in a shelter, where they are rarely adopted out, or even worse. (I truly hope that none of Bruce's littermates have the issues that he has.)

Did Bruce's breeder intentionally misrepresent he and his littermates, and their sire? I have no way of knowing. 

Some who learn that an animal has less wolf content than what they previously believed might be angry, embarrassed or sad. Some become defensive. For some, the amount of wolf present is the most important thing, and this is unfortunate and only about ego. 

So is Bruce actually a wolfdog at all? Some would say yes, Bruce is a low content wolfdog. Some would say no, he is a dog with recent wolf heritage. To me, it is semantics. 

No matter what Bruce is, I love him.

To view Bruce's actual Embark results, click HERE


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Happy Birthday Faolan!


I call today Faolan's birthday.

I don't know when it actually is. I adopted him on July 5, and the shelter guesstimated him at 9 months old. So we celebrate it October 5.

He is now 6, supposedly officially middle-aged. He hasn't received the memo, though.



He is joyful, energetic, and fun loving. He is as sweet as candy. Sometimes he is a little shit though.

I'll say it time and time again. This "little" dog has impacted me more than words can describe. I sometimes wish I had known/gotten him as a true puppy. How much more amazing he might be then he already is. He came to me slightly damaged, and maybe I love him even more for it. Because of how far he has come. Because of how far he has brought me.



Happy birthday sweet boy. Here's to so many more.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Easy Pumpkin Dog Treats (You can eat them too!)


It is finally fall. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons. Mostly due to the cooler weather and snow, but also due to the flavors of the seasons.

Pumpkin is an iconic fall flavor, showing up in everything - coffee, pie, pasta, etc.

Pumpkin has a variety of health benefits, for both humans and canines. They are high in fiber, vitamin A, beta carotene, and vitamin C.

My dogs are hot natured, and love cold treats. I decided to make them some frozen pumpkin goodies.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain, unsweetened yogurt.
  • 1 can pumpkin. The can should read puree or packed, and contain 100% pumpkin. 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon.

Method

Mix all ingredients together. You can use a blender, hand or stand mixer, or spoon. I had no difficulty mixing them together with a spoon.


Place silicone molds on a large baking sheet. I have these silicone molds, and LOVE them! Spoon mixture into molds. Try to resist eating the mixture. I wasn't very successful, it is quite delicious!

Place sheet in freezer, and remove when frozen.

Put individual treats into freezer safe bag or container, and offer to your dogs. Or yourself. I am not ashamed to admit that I have eaten almost as many of these as the dogs have.

If you're interested in a pumpkin treat recipe that is baked, click HERE.

Please note that large amounts of pumpkin can cause diarrhea and/or constipation in some dogs, due to the fiber content. Like everything else in life, moderation is key.

What is your favorite fall flavor?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Happy Birthday Bruce!

Though he is a rescue, I know that today is Bruce's 8th birthday. I adopted him when he was 1.5 years old, so he has celebrated his last 7 birthdays with me.


His face and muzzle are definitely getting lighter, and he is taking on the appearance of a distinguished older gentleman.

It's hard, but I have to remind myself that he is a senior dog. He doesn't act like it. He is strong, fast, agile, and willful. I love watching him run around like a puppy, enticing Faolan to chase him, or getting the zoomies after chest scritches from me.

Having a fall birthday lends itself to "fall-ish" photos, so I had to get the obligatory photo with the bale of straw and pumpkin.


Bruce lives for food, so what better way to celebrate than with a 2 lb chunk of beef, garnished with greens?


Not surprisingly, he ignored the greens.


Happy birthday, buddy, and here's to many more.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Honest Kitchen Perfect Form #ChewyInfluencer

I cannot recall the last time Bruce or Faolan had any gastrointestinal upset. (Not counting the occasional hunger puke from Bruce.) Neeko had a horrible time with GI issues as a puppy, which is what prompted me to switch to a raw diet for my dogs.

90% of the time, she has an iron gut. However, she will sometimes have a loose stool or two. I don't worry about it unless it happens for three consecutive poops.

If she has other symptoms, such as lethargy, signs of dehydration, or mucus or blood in her stool, I would seek veterinary attention. Otherwise I treat it at home. Sometimes I fast her and offer additional bone broth, or a bland diet - boneless chicken only.

I now have another choice if Neeko encounters GI upset - The Honest Kitchen Perfect Form from our friends at chewy.com.


I am a huge fan of all of their products, so I had no problem accepting this product. It contains papaya leaf, plantain, slippery elm, organic pumpkin seed, pectin, papain, and fennel.


  • Slippery elm coats and soothes the gut.
  • Papaya leaf helps to break down proteins, making them more easily digestible.
  • Plantains contain highly fermentable fiber, which is beneficial for good gut bacteria.
  • Fennel is said to aid digestion and help with stomach pain and bloating.
Perfect form comes in a powder. The powder has a pleasant, earthy smell, and Neeko was attempting to lick the dry powder when I let her smell it.



Simply mix equal parts powder with water based on your dog's weight to form a paste.


The princess readily ate it, and licked the bowl clean.


This makes a nice addition to the medicine cabinet. Perfect Form is made by a company I trust. It contains quality, whole ingredients, all of which provide benefit to a dog's gastrointestinal system. 

I was provided with complimentary product. All opinions are my own.