Chelle's Dog Blog….and other stuff

Things I've learned along the way and the randomness that is my life…

The Raw Food Revolution – It’s easier than you might think

 

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I adore my dogs….no….I’m completely OBSESSED with my pups, no doubt about it. If you’re anything like me then you want the absolute best for them and want to keep them as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

That’s what lead me to start researching feeding them raw food. For years I have extensively researched food for my pups to make sure that I was feeding the best food and also because I have dealt with dogs with horrible allergies along with sensative stomachs. I’ve been dealing with allergies in my pups since my very first rescue pup thirteen years ago. She was a purbred West Highland White Terrier (Westie) named Lily and I’ve had Seamus, a westie poodle mix for eight years now and he has severe allergies and an extremely sensative tummy that thankfully I’ve been able to manage with Benadryl and food that contains a novel protein and carbohydrate source.

When I started researching feeding raw food and realized the extreme amount of benefits with feeding raw I knew that I needed to check in to it further whether I would add it to their kibble or switch them to 100% raw. I looked in to buying a grinder and preparing it myself and during this time I went ahead and started purchasing freeze dried raw food from both Primal and Stella and Chewy’s so that I could start trying it out. These are complete raw diets that contain all the vitamins and minerals that are needed if you feed only raw. These can be a bit pricy which is why I was looking for an alternative and looking in to grinding myself.

When you feed raw your dogs need not just meat but bones and organ as well as some supplements. Now please don’t let that deter you. There are really only two supplements that you should consider adding to the raw grind if you grind it yourself. I would suggest Grizzly’s Salmon Oil and Alfalfa

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Alfalfa is so inexpensive and yet has an incredible amount of benefits for your pup(s).

It’s full of protein. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, Vitamin A, B12, C, D, E and even vitamin K. There are cancer fighting agents and alfalfa has been used to fight overly-acidic urine and help stave off

I also decided to include kelp powder and I found an amazing probiotic that I use for all my dogs, including Kenzie my cat. It’s called Nzymes. These aren’t necessary per say, but have added them to help with Seamus’ stomach issues and allergies.

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I recently found out about this company here in Texas called Texas Tripe. They offer already ground, raw food and it’s ridculously affordable! In addition, all of their food is made with ethically treated animals. They also provide several different types of proteins and raw meaty bones that are essential if you are going to start to feed raw. This last time I purchased a ten pound package of chicken paws that completely gross me out, lol…..but the pups LOVE them and they are small enough that even Teagan the puppy can eat them. I give them to the pups frozen so it helps their teeth even more than just the bones. I also feed them raw chicken wings but I split the drumstick from the wing part so give half at a time.

And to answer everyone’s question that is surely going to everyone’s mind YOUR DOG WILL NOT DIE FROM EATING RAW CHICKEN BONES. We are told to never feed chicken bones but those are COOKED chicken bones, not raw. You should NEVER feed cooked chicken bones as they can splinter and they can choke on them. Raw bones are fine, I promise you! I will feed a raw meaty bone every other day because there is also ground bone in the food mixture that I give them. I monitor them the entire time they have them in case a piece of the bone looks too sharp then I remove it but since feeding the split wings and chicken paws that hasn’t happened. They eat the entire thing. You may feed more or less, it all depends…..on the poop 🙂 Yes, I said poop. If your pups poo looks white in color you are feeding to much bone….that’s a tell tale sign.

One of the benefits of raw feeding is that they actually eat so much less, it’s crazy. Your pup will only eat 2% of his/her body weight a day! That doesn’t seem like a lot of food because it’s not, however, with raw food they are fuller for longer because it takes longer for the food to digest through their system.

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Let’s take Seamus for example. He only needs 5.6 ounces of raw food a day so feeding him twice a day he get 2.8 ounces per feeding. This is to maintain him at his current weight.

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Now little Teagan, she’s still a growing puppy at just over four months old so she get 2.4 ounces morning and evening along with a high quality puppy kibble which she gets three times a day.

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Because I’m trying to decrease Lola’s weight a bit she’s getting half the amount of kibble as she used to and about two ounces of raw twice a day.

Now let talk poo…..that’s right, I said poo……a raw fed dog’s poo is so minimal and light that it will literally crumble and blow away…..and they only poo once or twice a day and that’s it! Why? Because their bodies digest every last thing they eat so there’s hardly anything left to poop out.

Now that I’ve filled your head with tons of information all I ask is you let it sink in. Think about making a change to at least add some raw food to your pup’s diet. This can be as simple as buying chicken wings or even chicken thights, depending on your pups size, and give them one with their kibble once a day….it’s a start in the right direction. Even if you don’t do raw, consider adding alfalfa powder and the salmon oil to their kibble as it will still benefit them immensly!

Thanks for taking the time to read and please feel free to comment if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to try and answer them for you.

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How has it only been two years…….

Two years ago today I brought my baby girl, Lola home. I woke up this morning to the reminder on my phone and was so taken aback because I feel like with everything that we’ve gone through and all the amazing progress she’s made that it has to have been more than just two years. I literally had to go back through my Facebook page to make sure that it really has been only two years and sure enough, I brought her home in 2013…..I was floored. Read the rest of this entry »

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They are NOT Disposable!

1920385_871640086194257_9104752869853536841_n   We’re having a baby, We’re moving out of state and can’t take him/her with us, we’re moving and the place we’re moving to won’t let us have them, I’m working a lot and just not able to give him/her the attention they deserve…….

Anyone that has a passion for animals and rescue has heard these excuses a million times. When I say excuses, that’s exactly what they are. There is nothing about any of these statements that even resembles a valid reason to dump your dog. Every single one infuriates me beyond belief and when I see them on Craigslist or a Facebook page it takes every shred of control I have to hold myself back from writing to that person to tell them everything that I’m about to write in here.

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Family pets are not disposable……EVER! Having a pet is a commitment…..a LIFETIME commitment….and they are worth it. We’ve seen it time and time again; news reports where a dog goes after an abusive babysitter, dogs going after an abusive boyfriend, cat tearing in to dog that was attacking a child…..they would lay their life down for their family members over and over. That is how loyal they are to us and yet we feel that they can just be thrown away when they are no longer convenient. After all they are JUST a dog/cat right?!

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I guarantee you that prior to getting pregnant that dog or cat WAS your baby. I would NEVER move somewhere that I couldn’t take my dogs, not ever. As far as moving out of state, I have moved out of state and you know what, my dogs made the trip just fine. I’m working a lot …… well tell me, when you got this dog/cat did you have a job, I’m sure you did. I have worked since I was 15 years old and have dogs nearly my entire adult life and guess what all of my dogs have had enough attention and have lived wonderful lives.

People need to understand that they deserve the same amount loyalty that they give to us.

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Realization of a Dream – Fostering

20141212_155648   I think I have finally found what I should have been doing all my life. I moved to Canyon Lake, Texas last September from Arizona. It was a move that I chose to do in order to be back with my best friends since they had both moved to the area from Arizona over the last few years. To put it in perspective we have all been friends for nearly 20 year and they are more than my best friends, they are my chosen family and, quite frankly, I was miserable without them. Thankfully my amazing company that I have been working for, for 10 years allowed me to make the move and told me that I could just then work from home full time…..I know, I am EXTREMELY lucky. It doesn’t happen to me often but when it does I’m always very grateful.

With the ability to now work at home full time it finally freed me up to do something that I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember……fostering. I have always been a huge advocate for rescued animals having rescued a total of six of my own over the years and have always wished that I could help more by fostering but working outside of the home and mostly living in apartments it made it nearly impossible. When I moved her one of my friends that lives here had just adopted a dog from a local rescue in San Antonio called Animal Defense League and she raved and raved about how wonderful they were so I decided to check them out. Boy was she ever right! They are a relatively large rescue, having their own shelter, hospital, second hand store and a campus that’s about the size of a city block.

While I didn’t start off with a set of bottle babies I quickly found that I absolutely adore taking them. My first set were three of a litter of eight that were brought in be a woman that said she found them and there was no momma dog. One of the seven was already extremely ill and ended up passing away within the first few hours.

Since it was my first time and I had no idea what I was doing I ended up taking three of the remaining seven.

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I had a boy and two girls

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One of mine did end up getting sick as well with pneumonia but I caught it really early and she recovered rather quickly with antibiotics and regular breathing treatments. The woman that took the other four ended up losing two of hers to pneumonia.

I have learned now that it’s really difficult when they are “found” this young, they more than likely did not receive the mother’s colostrum which provides them with such benefits just like human babies so when they don’t receive them they are so much more susceptible to all kinds of infections so it’s not abnormal for them to get sick, especially if they were outside in the elements.

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It was such an incredible experience to watch them grow, watch their little eyes open and that moment when I realized they could finally see and hear me. They truly do end up seeing me as their momma. I noticed this when I had them with me over with my friends and they would be holding one of them and they would be calm, I would walk by, even when their eyes weren’t open yet, and all of a sudden they would start wiggling all around because they actually smelled me. It’s just amazing.

I loved watching them grow and discover the world around them

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You really get to see how much of what happens with them as they grow is instinctual and how alike they are at this young age to human babies. They can be fussy and you can pick them up, let them suckle on your finger and they will calm right down and go back to sleep.

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You get to watch them starting to walk around, how they end up, completely on their own going away from where they are sleeping to go potty. Watch their little wobbly legs trying to run and learning how to play with each other.

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Getting them switched over to mush, transitioning to food, watching and listening to them “teaching” each other about acceptable play. That was probably one the hardest parts because they actually do hurt each other and it’s so hard not to intervene but that’s the only way for them to learn what is to hard and what is okay play wise.

These little ones melted my heart from day one and when I ended up taking them back to the rescue at nine weeks old to be spayed/neutered and put up for adoption I let the foster coordinator know to contact me when they had any other bottle babies. I know that it’s hard to find fosters for them since they are much more time consuming than puppies that are actually eating on their own but I loved every lat minute of it.

These three little ones were adopted nearly immediately and though I cried like a baby when I took them back I know that they have all gone to amazing homes

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Choosing the Right Dog for You

423701_3929537070852_878253556_nI have always been madly in love with the red and blue merle Australian Shepherds…..they are probably one of my all time favorite breeds of dogs……but I would never get one. Why you ask? Me getting that breed of dog would more than likely be a nightmare for me and unbelievably unfair to the dog. The reason for this is because they are an EXTREMELY active breed and I currently do not have an active lifestyle. These dogs need a tremendous amount of exercise or a “job” of some sort or they can become very destructive, let alone very unhappy. This is not a lay around your house, go for a walk a day dog. This is a running dog. The reason you see these dogs doing agility and such is because they are so active…..they live for activities like that!

I think one of the most common mistakes people or families make when getting a dog is going completely on looks and not doing their research first. So often, people will like the “look” of the dog or especially if it’s a puppy…..people gush all over nearly any type of puppy. I mean, seriously, I can’t even think of a puppy that I have seen that is not ridiculously adorable. So this puppy is brought home whether purebred or rescue (I’m sure I’ll touch on this subject in a future post) with the person or family having no idea the characteristics of this breed. As the dog begins to mature it becomes extremely destructive because it’s not getting the amount of exercise it needs. Keep in mind this can also happen if you bring home an adult dog. If the adult dog is an “active” breed and you are not providing it with the activity it needs they can become destructive. I can not tell you how detrimental this can be for both you and the dog. Also, this is NOT the dogs fault, it is 100% YOUR fault! I truly believe that we would have less dogs turned in to animals controls or shelters across the country if people just KNEW about the different types of dog breeds or characteristics of certain breeds so that you know whether or not this dog would make a good fit for your family and lifestyle. This MUST become an integral part of choosing a dog for your family prior to actually bringing a dog/puppy home. This can even be helpful if you are choosing a mix breed dog….just to know what you’re getting yourself in to as far as temperament, ease of training, even how much grooming a dog will need. Since almost everyone has a smart phone you can have this information literally at your fingertips.

One extremely helpful site is the Dog Breed Selector from Animal Planet which can be found here: http://www.animalplanet.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds.html

You can search different dog breeds based on ease of training, energy level and the like. They also have a 10 question quiz to assist you with dog breeds that fit your lifestyle. It asks questions regarding if you want a couch potato or a runner, how much grooming you are willing to do, etc. I just took this quiz myself and based on my answers these are the breeds that would be best for me. A 96% match was the Miniature Schnauzer – and I have rescued two of these. Other breed matches for me were the Westie (right on the money of course), Norwich Terrier, Border Terrier, Australian Terrier, Miniature Poodle. Taking this quiz myself and seeing these results, this quiz is most definitely accurate! As I stated above, this can also be extremely helpful even if you are selecting a mix breed dog. Let’s take Seamus for example, our best breed guess for him (including my vet) is westie/poodle. When I look up the characteristics for both breeds, Seamus exhibits characteristics and personality traits of both breeds.

I know that the majority of people I know already have dogs, most of my friends do, however, this information will be invaluable for others so please share with anyone you may know that is thinking about adding a dog to their family.

I hope that you enjoyed the first post, thank you so much for reading! I already have a list of topics that I want to write about so please follow and share if you like it. Until next time…..

~Hugs and nose nibbles

 

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