Choosing your dog food

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.


What to feed puppies

Ash likes water

Ash likes water

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?

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food 35 lb. Bag
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!

Natural Balance Potato & Duck Dog Food Allergy Formula 17 lb. Bag
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!

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food 35 lb. Bag

Natural Balance Potato & Duck Dog Food Allergy Formula 17 lb. Bag

Puppy chow pictures

These pups are just a riot when they eat!  A messy riot, that is.  Here are a few “puppy chow” photos for your amusement…

puppy chow1

puppy chow 2

puppy chow 3

July 15, 2009 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: nutrition, pups • 1 Comment

Annie is a Good Mama Dog

The puppies had their final nurse on Sunday night. I was shooting video, trying to capture the beauty of nature – how everything works as it should. Pups suck and milk lets down so they can drink deeply and fully. You can even see the milk dripping from the open nipples, and hear the deep gulps of the drinking puppies. As I was marveling at the sight, Annie regurgitated her latest meal for them. I was amazed and excited but Mike was (understandably) grossed out.


Heavy Workload

Bless this mess.

It feels like I am constantly going now. Once I feed the pups then I have to take care of Annie’s food. Then I have to clean up the food bowls and let Annie out. Then I play with the pups to give them some stimulation and get them used to being handled and of course Annie’s right there needing some attention too. Then I have to clean up the wet papers, mop the floors and put down new papers. Hopefully at this point the pups are starting to fall asleep. Before they do I have to change their bedding, put the soiled bedding into the washer after taking out the wet bedding and putting it into the dryer after taking out the cleaned and dried bedding and folding it. Once the bedding is laid one pup invariably walks on it and pees. I try to pretend that it doesn’t happen. You can’t ever get the room cleaned – you just try to keep (more…)

December 23, 2008 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: Annie, nutrition, pups • No Comments

Puppies Doing Puppy Things

Annie’s pups are blossoming before our very eyes.  They are learning to romp, play, and eat and making progress each day.  Here is a video of, well, puppy mealtime.  Fun to see how they just walk over each other, get distracted, then re-direct back to another bowl of chow. Their disregard for decorum and hygiene is refreshing and very cute indeed…

December 22, 2008 • Tags: , , • Posted in: pups, video • No Comments