Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category
The puppies are really growing. In just the last two days they have begun to play. Prior to this, their days included eating and sleeping. That was it except for an occasional crawl around to get comfortable. Now after eating they spend about 10 minutes wrestling and playing with each other. There are also a lot of tail wags. Dogs wag their tails as a social cue, now that they are interacting it makes sense that this behavior is beginning to surface.
I’ve also begun to introduce food to them, first formula and now moistened kibble. They have the hang of the formula, but they cry and basically freak out when the kibble is in the bowl. I think I’ve mentioned how overly vocal (and dramatic) this group is, so any change, anything new, they really react to. Just imagine how they’ll be the first time I take them outside!
There are some moments in time where you think, “if only I had a camera!” But I’ve found that when I feel that way I have to become very present to what I’m experiencing… then I can make a memory that is far richer than any photograph.
Wednesday was one of those nights. I’ve been coming down to spend an hour with Greta and the pups each night. For the past two nights I’ve been introducing them to the concept of eating by lapping food, rather than sucking. These guys are getting it but they are so confused! And when this litter gets confused or frustrated they whine so loud. I put a bowl of warm formula on the floor and put them all around it. They got excited and began to lap. Then they got confused and started crawling around and crying. Then they cried louder and walked through the food. Then they started licking it off of each other. Then they started lapping the milk again. Then they got confused and cried even louder. You get the picture. It was funny but noisy.
Afterward they all huddled around mama and had a proper meal. They nursed like champs for a half an hour, until they all fell asleep. They crawled around to Greta’s head and tried to snuggle as close as possible. At one point, one of them crawled right up her neck, and Greta, being the good mama that she is, just kept moving her head until she was looking straight up at the ceiling. The little pup sighed and feel asleep and Greta shot me a look that was unmistakably, “You’ve got to be kidding!” She wrestled the pup gently back down and pushed her away with her nose. Then, she laid her head on the pile of pups that had formed around her and feel asleep. Seeing all those warm, satisfied bodies all curled up into one another made me feel all warm and safe and happy inside. That was the “photo” I took tonight. Too bad I didn’t have a camera for you all to see it.
This post isn’t about puppies but it is interesting, to me at least. Did you know there is a dog food out there that is reasonably priced (actually, competitively priced) that also delivers to your home? I didn’t. It’s called Nature’s Select and I just ordered my first 50 pound bag, delivered, for $53.45 (that’s including a $5.00 discount since a friend referred me). That is a really good price and the food looks to be a really good food. I did some searching and found it in the same category as the other foods we’re feeding our dogs, Canidae and Blue Buffalo. So am I excited or what? And they were able to deliver within days of my order. AND I called at 7 am on a Monday and someone actually answered to take my order! It was Joseph, the Sales Manager, and we had a long chat about where they get the ingredients for their food (USA) where it’s manufactured (Texas) and why it’s so cheap (good business). I liked him a lot.
Anyway, I didn’t receive anything “free” for writing this post, I just feel it is a good deal and I want to share it with you all. My dogs have only been eating it for a few days now so the impact on their health is unclear. But they did finish it off immediately upon putting it into the bowls. I actually had a few bowls of the new food (Nature’s Select) and a few of the old laid out and they finished off the Nature’s Select first – so that’s a sign that this food may be a winner. We will see. I will keep you posted.
For more information about their company and the foods they offer, check out Nature’s Select Chicago. Or call them at 847-852-1700. Ask for Joseph and tell them you were referred by me, Kristin Anderson, or the CanineFostering site and get $5.00 off too! And let me know about your experiences with the food in the comments below:
I was sent this email from a friend who trains at my club, the Fox Valley Dog Training Club. It is helpful information and something to be aware of. Personally, I feed my dogs either Canidae or Blue Buffalo – just fyi.
Subject: Feeding Healthwise, Innova, EVO, Karma or California Natural to pets? Read this…
Ken and I just learned that in early June, Natura (makers of Healthwise, Innova, EVO, Karma and California Natural) were purchased by Proctor and Gamble. And at about the same time the plant where the foods are manufactured has been expanded. Google news only reveals 2 articles on this, so it wasn’t widely publicized.
Now there are many fine P&G products in our home right now: soaps; toothpaste; dish washing liquid; etc. But we spent a lot of time and energy selecting a dog food that we felt would meet our dogs’ nutritional demands. We’re worried that as P&G clearly plans to expand the distribution of these products, quality control may not remain intact, ingredients may suffer…or both.
If you’re happy with your food, don’t mind the change and plan to continue feeding these products, I’d watch the ingredient labels closely for changes, should fillers and chemicals start to creep in over time.
We’ve decided that we’ll either seek out another brand or cook for them ourselves.
Feel free to share the heads up with your friends feeding these products.
Tomorrow is the 1 year birthday party for Chloe‘s puppies. They turned one at the end of April but this is the first day where all members of her family could attend. I made cupcakes for the party and then taste tested them. All three of my dogs LOVED them and scarfed them down in seconds. My son insisted on trying one and also loved it for a few bites. Then he got a piece of bacon in one and it sort of grossed him out and he stopped eating them. That was fine by me because they aren’t the healthiest things on the planet.
Here’s the recipe I used. I originally found a recipe online, but I didn’t follow it. I have a disease – I cannot follow a recipe for the life of me. I always change it. So, here is what I did:
Cream together until light and fluffy:
1 1/3 cups of butter
8 small baby food jars of beef and broth (the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen!)
Then add to this one pound of bacon, fried until crisp. I added the bacon cut into small pieces and the fat that came out as they fried. Mix well, then I add:
1 Tbs baking powder
3 cups of white flour (or enough to make a smooth cake batter)
And mix well again. Put in greased muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Made 16 cup cakes.
For the frosting I put a med. sized tub of large curd 4% milk fat cottage cheese and one 8 oz block of cream cheese in my Cuisinart and blended until smooth. I decorated with dog food to spell out:
“Happy 1st. Birthday!”
If you decide to make these, please let me know how they turned out!! Enjoy!
The puppy appointments went well today! I really liked all the people I met (thank goodness!) and feel good about them. The puppies had a full day of outside time meeting everyone. I also introduced them to water (a small pool) and no one was very interested in it…except Ash. He sort of took to it. If someone out there is interested in a water loving dog, he’d be the best shot in this group…and what a sweetie. Anyone??
Here’s a question I got from one of my new families and my response:
1. I’m reading so many different things about what to feed puppies and I wanted to get your opinion. Soft, hard, mixed? what brand?
In terms of feeding – I like feeding dry (hard) food as it is the most cost effective and it helps clean the teeth better than wet food. I am also a big fan of brushing your dog’s teeth (with dog toothpaste only, but a human tooth brush is fine – get an “enzymatic” toothpaste either from a pet superstore or the vet.) Brands vary so educate yourself…stay away from “by products” or “animal fat”…if you don’t know what it is you shouldn’t be feeding it to your dog!
I feed my dogs Canidae and if I didn’t feed that I’d feed Natural Balance – both good foods. Nutro makes a good brand, but one of my dog’s has an allergic (skin) reaction to it. Stay away from “puppy chow”" or anything you can buy in the grocery store…unfortunately. You will pay more for the good stuff but you will feed smaller portions (compare feeding portions – they vary wildly…a poor quality food will require up to 7 cups to get the same nutritional value as 2 cups of a high quality food.) In addition, feeding smaller portions means a smaller stool size – something to really shoot for with the big dogs!
We have an update from Sweet William of Chloe’s litter…
Here’s William! He’s 25 pounds now, and while the biting is still much more than we would like, the trainer gave us some great tips, and we have seen improvement since Tuesday. One persistent problem has been diarrhea. The vet suggests that he could have a grain allergy. So we’re trying grain-free food, and hoping for the best.
The puppies are HUGE. Really, I can’t remember a group being so heavy and big at such a young age. They aren’t yet 5 weeks old and already they are topping 6 pounds. I tried to weigh them on the little food scale I have and failed – they kept error-ing it out because they were too heavy. So, I stood on my scale and then stood on it while holding them and subtracted my weight and basically ended up with just a general weight for all of them of about 6 pounds. It was stressful for someone like me who likes precision, especially when it comes to measurement and administering of medication (I had to weigh them in order to dose them correctly with their roundworm medication). Add to that the fact that the majority of them look so similar I can’t tell them apart!! I wasn’t exactly sure if I gave everyone the medication…did someone get two doses? Yikes. It was a stressful event.
I think I have 4 of them identified as individuals…there’s a red one with a red nose (got pics of her under the chair, a series of them) who I LOVE and I’m calling her Red Bud. There’s a male who is white with BLUE beautiful eyes, what a pretty boy he is! I’m calling him Oak. The only other male is also white but smaller and I’m calling him Ash. Then there is a small, white, (whiney) female with a red nose I’m calling Birch (notice the name theme?). The remainder are all female, all roughly a whitish/reddish color and all with a black nose…I think. It is so confusing! I am going to have to get a hold of some fingernail polish and paint their toe nails so I can tell them apart! Crazy.
Does anyone have any fingernail polish I can borrow?? Sadly I am not a girly girl.
The pups are eating about 3 times a day – moistened food with formula, and free eating dry food all day/night. Willow, the mama is learning how to jump up onto the platform to get outside and how to jump back in. That’s a relief. And she is finally got a cleanish bill of health…has roundworms (yuck) but that’s it. So, she can finally spend time outside with the pups in the play area. Life is getting a little easier…a calm before the storm of puppy applications/interviews. I have to get these girls and boys posted on Petfinder!