Sunday, August 31, 2014

Black & White Sunday

Faolan, near the decorative grass that needs trimmed.






Friday, August 29, 2014

It is Too Hot

We have actually had a very pleasant, mild summer in central Indiana.  But, the last two or so weeks have been very hot and humid.  It makes me and my dogs all grouchy.

I have to drag Neeko outside.  I even have to close off the gate to keep her from going back inside via the doggy door.  I never force her to stay outside for more than 10 or so minutes.

The following pictures were taken the other day, as she stood by the closed gate and gave me dirty looks.




We are all ready for fall.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Recent Raw Meals

After the break are photos and examples of raw meals for dogs.  I feed mostly prey model raw, but do occasionally use some dehydrated raw and premade raw.

These are just a few photos of some of my dogs' meals over the last two weeks.

My crew mostly eats the same meals as each other, with the same portion sizes.

 I feed as much cut and protein variety as possible.


For additional photos of raw meals for dogs, click HERE.

Useful links:

How **I** Feed Raw

Raw Feeding Resources


Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 2014 BarkBox Review

We received our August BarkBox earlier this week.  Reviews of previous and or current BarkBoxes can be read HERE.


The Goods

Petrageous Lobster Toy.  Cute toy that squeaks and floats.  Unfortunately, it does not feel very durable, so I do not think it will stand up to my crew.  This will be going in the shelter donation box, so it can be given to a dog who can appropriately play with it.  Receiving this does encourage me to find a more durable floating toy to toss in the pond for my dogs, though.





Grandma Bowser's.  Biscuit type treats with decent treats.  These do contain cheese, so I am hoping that even picky turd Faolan will eat them.  I am certain that both Neeko and Bruce will with no hesitation.













Jolly Pets Romp-N-Roll.  Approximate retail value $11.21.  My dogs LOVE Jolly Balls.  We have four of them.  This combines a Jolly Ball with a rope, which they also enjoy (under supervision.)  This is certain to be a big hit.  Guess what??  It floats!  I found my more durable floating toy for them!






Bocce's Bakery Lobster Roll Treats.  Approximate retail value $9.49.  We have received treats from this company in the past, and all made of quality, very simple ingredients.  These are no exception. They contain organic barley flour, lobster, organic kelp and parsley. However, I am deathly (anaphylaxis) allergic to shellfish.  Sad face.  I am a little paranoid about this, so I will not handle these treats.  Instead, they will be either donated to the shelter or another dog I know.










This month's BarkBox is not bad, but two of the four items I cannot use for my dogs.  Other dogs can easily use them, though.  I am a bit disappointed that it only included four items, though.

To try BarkBox for yourself, and to save 10% off your order, click HERE.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Return of Fearful Faolan

I recently posted regarding how Faolan wears his heart on his sleeve.

He really does a good job at expressing his every emotion.

We dealt with his fear issues for a solid year and a half.  The last six or seven months have been fantastic, with no fear issues at all.  Until last week.

I first noticed it when I went to put his leash on him for a walk.  He took a very submissive posture, and peed on the kitchen floor.

I thought it was a fluke thing, and carried on.  But it wasn't.  He is now back to submissively and fear urinating on a daily basis.  Nothing has changed, and he has not had a bad event or experience to trigger this.

It is so pitiful, like it was in the beginning.  I can tell when he is going to do it, by his super submissive body language.

He is not fearful all the time.  Just randomly.  I feed my dogs in crates due to resource guarding.  This is the only time they are crated.  I asked him to get in his crate, and opened the door.  He flopped over and peed over his head earlier this evening.   Other times he is his normal, happy, joyous self.

Back to square one, and time to buy stock in enzymatic cleaners.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Completely Edible Raw "Kongs"

 Stuffing a dog toy with a soft food item and freezing it is a popular way to to feed a dog, mentally stimulate a dog, and give the dog something time-consuming to do.  

I have stuffed Kongs with cottage cheese, mashed banana, canned dog food, and ground raw meat.

I thought to myself, "Why not stuff the raw meat into something edible?" Thus the idea for a completely edible raw Kong type project.


I chose beef trachea as my item to stuff. Trachea is good for dogs to eat, and a natural source of chondroitin. For the stuffing material, I used some Tripe SuperMix from My Pet Carnivore, but one can easily stuff trachea with any ground meat, ground tripe, canned tripe, or canned dog food.


Take beef trachea and...
  • stuff with meat or meat mixture of choice,
  • freeze; and
  • feed to dog.
My dogs LOVE these.

I stuff them tightly, but leave a bit of room at the ends to prevent overflow when stuffing. Pop them in a Ziploc bag and freeze, then watch your dogs enjoy themselves.

Do your dogs enjoy stuffed Kongs?  What is your favorite Kong stuffing?



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Faolan Wears His Heart On His Sleeve For Bravo! Crunchy Delights

I have said it time and time again: Faolan is exuberant.  If he is experiencing an emotion, it shows.  He is the antithesis of stoic, and has a terrible poker face.

Happy, excited, anxious, fearful, angry, antipathy; he shows them all.

His personality is overall wonderful, and makes me laugh on a daily basis.  I regularly call him a silly little boy.

He is a notorious treat snob, known to snub his nose and walk away from treats that aren't good enough for his picky palate.

We are trying out some Bravo! Crunchy Delights, and the little treat snob LOVES them. 


As a raw feeder, I am familiar with and a fan of the Bravo! company.  These new treats are not raw, but baked goodies that are made in the USA with all natural ingredients. 

http://www.newbravopetfood.com/crunchy_delights_family.html

These biscuit type treats do have a strong, albeit pleasant smell, and are easily broken into a smaller size.  (Don't tell my dogs that I break their treats...)

I am always happy to see him so excited about a treat, because I know that they will work well as a "distraction" treat, if he is willing to focus on food instead of something else while out and about.  These types of treats are always needed in my house.

Find Bravo! on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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

Monday, August 18, 2014

Beauty Goes to the Dogs: Posh Pet Box Review and Discount Code

My name is Rebekah, and I am addicted to subscription boxes.

I was recently introduced to the Posh Pet Box

Posh Pet Box is a monthly beauty box for dogs.  They offer designer dog clothes, toys, treats and accessories for the most discerning pet parent.  Members fill out a pet profile, identifying the posh level of their pet, and select a custom (directly benefits the needs of their pet) or curated plan.  

Three plans are available, starting at $29 month, based on how picky and posh one's pet is-Plain Posh, Picky Posh, and Posh Boss.

We were sent a Picky Posh Box to try out, and their info card is the nicest I have seen!

Posh Pet Box review

The Goods

ABO Gear Bully Sticks.  Approximate retail value $3.99 each.  Bully sticks are always appreciated in my house.  Always.










Etta Says! Crunchy Duck Chews.  Approximate retail value $8.99.  These made in the USA treats have already proven a hit with Faolan.  We have received various products from Etta Says! in the past, and they have all been successes. 













The Farmer's Barket Pork Chow Chips.  Unknown retail value.  Two ingredients-hog liver and golden flax seeds.  What's not to like.  I just wish this bag were larger.  









Aussie Naturals Wiggly Monkey.  Approximate retail value $15.49.  One of the cutest toys I have seen.  Eco-friendly, features three distinct smells, and contains no squeaker.  This is too cute to let my dogs destroy.  Decisions, decisions...













The Watering Hole portable dog bowl.  Unknown retail value.  This is a great idea.  I am a fan of reusable, collapsible, portable dog bowls.  This can fold and snap around a leash or collar, taking up no extra room.  It doesn't hold a ton of water, but is ideal for small to medium sized dogs.  






  My Doggy Apple Honey Cookies.  Approximate retail value 12.99.  Soft cookie type treats that are made in the USA with simple ingredients.  I am a fan already, and don't even know if my dogs like them yet.















I am impressed with the Posh Pet Box.  High quality treats, toys, and gear.  I cannot wait to see what sort of clothing articles are available for smaller dogs.  

http://www.poshpetbox.com
Posh Pet Box is taking extra special care of their first 250 subscribers, giving out extra surprise selections in addition the posh goods.  Use code ROTTENPOSH250 to receive $10 off your first Posh Pet Box!  (Good for first 20 readers using that code only.  If 20 sign up using discount code, a $5 discount will be given after 20.)

Find Posh Pet Box on Facebook and Twitter.

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


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Inadequate Arguments Against Raw Feeding


I have heard all sorts of reasons why I should not feed my dogs a raw diet.  Some are ridiculous, some border on paranoia, and some are truly valid concerns.  Following are some common arguments people come up with against raw feeding, and my thoughts and responses to them.

What about Salmonella?
Salmonella is not necessarily present in raw meat, just as it is not necessarily present in kibble.  However, I hear of far more kibble recalls for salmonella than I do for raw meat.

Healthy dogs have short, fast, acidic digestive tracts, designed to move food through quickly, reducing the risk of bacteria illness.  

I do not fear contracting salmonella (or any other food-borne illness) from handling my dogs' raw meat.  I practice good hygiene, washing all surfaces that come in contact with raw dog food or raw people food, the same as people should do when preparing their own food.  

It's a Fad
For some reason, many people think that giving a dog fresh (raw, cooked, homemade food, etc.) is a relatively new thing, a popular fad if you will.

What many people do not realize is that kibble has only been around for about 60 years.  Canned dog food is only a little older than that.  What did people feed their dogs prior to the invention of kibble?  They fed them table scraps, raw meat, and other fresh foodstuffs. 

I love this video of Jack Lalanne describing what he feeds his dog.  It's a raw diet.



You Don't Have a Degree in Canine Nutrition.
This one kind of makes me giggle.  You wouldn't eat nothing but donuts everyday, would you?  Give your dog variety.  Different proteins, different cuts.  See HERE for more information on balancing a PMR diet.  Give the dog some bone, some meat, some organs (and some fruits, veggies, grains if that is how you do it.)  It is really not difficult.  Besides, it's unlikely your parents had a degree in human nutrition, and you turned out alright.

It Will Make Dogs "Bloodthirsty."
Plenty of dogs have a high prey drive, including mine.  Feeding raw hasn't made it worse.  Plenty of livestock guardian dogs are fed a raw diet of sorts, and still able to guard the animals that they have been entrusted to do so.  

It will not make your dogs "turn on you."  I regularly offer my dogs my hands to lick if they are nearby when I am prepping or portioning out their raw food.  They gently lick my fingers, and know that my fingers are not food.

Wolves Only Live to be 6 or 7 Years Old
Sadly, this is true.  However, it is not the diet of wild wolves that causes them to have a shortened lifespan.  Wild wolves die of starvation, attack by other wolves, injuries and disease (source.) 

Captive wolves regularly live to 12-14 years old or older.  Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana, is a captive wolf educational facility.  They have several wolves who have lived to be 14+ years old, including Kiri, who was 19 years old (!) when they made the decision for  him.

Many other arguments against raw feeding exist, and I have heard some of them.  Fortunately, I have yet to have a vet question it.  Instead, it is always other dog owners.  Many dog owners, while not raw feeders themselves, are supportive of those who do feed raw.

I do not attempt to pressure or push people to feed raw or fresh foods.  I just make information available.  If one researches what is best for their animals, and are doing what they feel is best, than I support them.  However, I will encourage including some fresh (raw or real cooked foods) in any dog's diet.

Further Reading
5 Raw Feeding Myths by Kimberly at Keep the Tail Wagging
Raw Feeding Resources
How I Feed Raw 



Monday, August 11, 2014

Recent Raw Meals

Lesson learned today-don't delete photos from your phone until you are sure your email has gone through.  I take these raw meal photos with my phone, then email them to myself to upload for these posts.  I am several photos short because of this error.  Boo.

After the break are photos and examples of raw meals for dogs.  I feed mostly prey model raw, but do occasionally use some dehydrated raw and premade raw.

These are just a few photos of some of my dogs' meals over the last two weeks.

My crew mostly eats the same meals as each other, with the same portion sizes.

 I feed as much cut and protein variety as possible.


For additional photos of raw meals for dogs, click HERE.

Useful links:

How **I** Feed Raw

Raw Feeding Resources


Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Feline Friends of My Rotten Dogs

Little known fact-I have two cats.

People may question why I have not posted about them before.  There is not a reason.

I have heard all the horror stories of how all wolfdogs and northern breeds are small animal aggressive and cannot safely live with cats.  And that is why I disagree with broad, definitive statements, because they are usually untrue.

Neeko is the only of my dogs that I trust completely unsupervised around the cats.  Faolan is fine with them, but I do not trust him implicitly.  Bruce must always be supervised around the kitties.

It's not a hassle or a problem to do so.  It is simply a matter of being accountable for where all animals are and making sure that the appropriate doors are shut when we are not at home.

Juice
Juice is nosy, wants affection on her terms, and full of attitude.  She will be nine next month.  I got her as an approximately three month old kitten.  A friend's brother saw the kitten she was with get hit by a car, so he stopped and scooped her up.  I took her in.

As one can see, Juice is a bit chunky, though I try to cut back her portions.  She is vocal at times, and also my puking cat.  Certain foods don't agree with her, and I am made aware of this by finding a pile of cat vomit.  Gag.  Although she can be bitchy, she is usually kind enough to puke on a hard floor surface.

Noelle
 Noelle is sweet, shy, and skittish.  She is also incredibly affectionate if she trusts you, and finds you worthy.  She will be nine in December, and came to me as a three month old kitten, "free to good home" on my former employer's private, online employee bulletin board.  Same scenario as how we came to get Neeko.  I eventually quit perusing the employee classifieds...

She was supposedly born right before Christmas, and had no name, thus I named her Noelle.  Noelle is sleek, agile, and slinky.  She can open cabinet doors to hide in them, and will find the most out of the way places to hide.  When we first moved in here, I didn't see her for three days, because she was stressed and hiding.

My cats are both spayed, but they are NOT declawed.  I do not agree with mutilating an animal as a convenience for an owner. 

I have tried multiple times, unsuccessfully, to switch the girls to an all raw diet.  They are incredibly picky, and unlike dogs, you cannot "tough love" a cat into eating something.

They eat mostly canned food, some raw, but it has to be room temperature or slightly warmed, and a tiny bit of kibble.

They are funny and sweet, and have distinct personalities, and I consider myself lucky to be able to share my life with them.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dr. Tim's Genuine Freeze Dried Treats




I am not sure who enjoys getting new treats to try-me or the dogs.  Seriously.  While I usually don't eat them myself, I get giddy about new treats for them.

Having said that, I must admit that I am picky about what treats I will offer them.  Neeko and Faolan can both be somewhat picky about what treats they will eat.

Chewy kindly sent us some Dr. Tim's Genuine Oxtail Chips to try out.  


Upon opening these, I realized they immediately met one of main criteria for treats-They are sourced and made in the USA!  These are also single ingredient, which I always appreciate.


These are sliced beef oxtails, which have been freeze dried. My dogs are big fans of raw oxtails.  As many know, I am opposed to cooked/roasted bones for my particular dogs.  However, these are not cooked, but freeze dried.  To ease my mind, I cut and sawed through one of these with a sharp knife, and it did not splinter at all, but crumbled.  I felt perfectly safe offering these to my crew.

Did the Dogs Like Them?
Short answer-yes!!  Neeko sang, Bruce howled, and silly Faolan danced around, couldn't sit still, and then barked at me to hurry up and give him one.  Needless to say, some funny photos were taken while trying to get Faolan to calm down for a treat...

"Give me that treat now, momma!"
All three dogs LOVED these.  These are decent sized treats, and lasted longer than I expected, probably about 40 seconds each.  They were all willing to work hard for one, but Faolan was getting a bit impatient with me.  He wanted some delicious goodness. 

Bruce licking his chops afterwards.
So to summarize-single ingredient (meat) treats that are made and sourced in the US that my dogs love.  I am very pleased with them.

These treats are currently on sale via Chewy.com.  

I received complimentary product.  All opinions are strictly my own.




Monday, August 4, 2014

Writer's Process Blog Tour

I am honored to have received an invitation to join a virtual blog tour in which bloggers share their writing process with others.  I was invited by two of my favorite bloggers, Ann from Pawsitively Pets and Jen from Dogthusiast.


Not surprisingly, my favorite cast member from Pawsitively Pets is Shiner, the resident senior dog.  What is great about Ann and her site, is that it is not dedicated to one particular species or facet of animal care.  As a former vet tech and current SAHM, Ann provides well-rounded posts about dogs, cats, and exotic pets, including her two pet rats.  There are product reviews, giveaways, health tips, and entertaining/funny stories and photos to be found.


DOGthusiast is such a great name.  I absolutely relate to it. Jen is a tech-savvy graphic designer (Jealous!) who values many of the same things I do when it comes to caring for our companions.  She is pro-rescue, feeds raw (!!), and is open-minded.  She lives with Mort, who seems to have quite the personality, and Tig, whose sweet face reminds me of my girl.  Jen is all about training, and active dogs.  For a chance to be featured on DOGthusiast, use #activedog on Instagram, and tag @stylishcanine.  


What am I working on?
At any given time, I have multiple ideas in my head, and on post-it notes, but not all of them come to fruition.  At the top of priorities list is to edit my Bone Broth and Beef Lung Treat posts with better images.

Why do I write what I do?
I am passionate about dogs eating real food, be it raw, some raw, homecooked, or kibble supplemented with raw or homecooked.  This is the major basis for many of my beliefs and posts.  I am an advocate of wolfdogs and northern breeds, and believe in allowing a dog to have an enriching, full life, without pushing the dog too far or making it uncomfortable.

How does my writing process work?
I really wish I was better organized in regards to this blog.  I can pound out a post quickly if necessary, but sometimes spend a great deal of time researching and gathering facts.  I also like to cite sources to back up facts that may be considered controversial.  I do not work far in advance, but instead write and post about what strikes me as important and relevant at the time.

My favorite blog hop is Black & White Sunday, which I always participate in.  I sometimes participate in Wordless Wednesday and Tasty Tuesday blog hops as well.

I am inviting...
This has proved difficult.  Many of the blogs that I would like to invite have already participated.  Some didn't email me back.

DM from Dachshund Nola.  This blog is fun, funny, truthful, and features beautiful photography.  Nola is easily the fittest Dachshund I have ever seen, and rules over Pike, a Miniature American Shepherd, and her minions.  DM is sarcastic, witty, and honest.  She is addicted to collars, and dare I say that her addiction is even more severe than mine?  She feeds homecooked and fresh food, and features training tips and videos.  As someone who needs to work on my photography, I appreciate that she often posts the camera settings used to capture some of her stunning images. 







http://thedoggerel.wordpress.com/
Abby from Doggerel.  The Doggerel has a vintage, artistic feel to it, which makes sense, given that Abby is a calligraphist. She has two beautiful GSD's, Pyrrha and Eden, and has dealt with her fair share of reactivity and fearfulness from her dogs, which she writes about with integrity and honesty.  She features poetry, vintage photos, training tips, and product reviews.








That's it for me.  If anyone has any tips on how I can improve my efficiency, productivity, or organizational skills, I would love to hear them!


Friday, August 1, 2014

July 2014 Expenses

The first day of a new month has me calculating how much I spent on my dogs in the previous month.  Some months the numbers are low, others are a bit much.  Previous posts about expenses can give one an idea about how much it costs to care for three large breed dogs in the Midwest.

I do these posts for a few reasons.  I have seen a few other bloggers do them, and it is a good way for me to keep track and be accountable for dog related expenses.  Also, it is a fairly accurate example of the costs associated with caring for three large dogs.  Some argue that raw is expensive, but in my opinion and experience, it is no more expensive than feeding a good quality kibble.

July 2014 Expenses

Food-$229.51
Health-$200.85
Treats-$52.00

Total-$482.36

Food expenses included a large My Pet Carnivore order of green tripe, tripe supermix, lamb hearts and whole whiting, a coOp order, and some gizzards, chicken leg quarters, and ground turkey from the grocery store.

Health always includes Bruce's $8.00 prescription, and last month Faolan went to the vet for his yearly wellness visit, which dramatically bumped it up. 

Treats are the July PetBox, which we have yet to receive, and some cute specialty treats that I purchased at a pet carnival with Faolan a couple weeks ago.

Subtract the money spent at the vet, and this was an average month.  I count on these vet expenses three times a year (once for each dog), and feel that annual check ups are an important part of a dog's care.