Denny and Charlie (and the rest)
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Doggie Diet!

Friday, 31 May 2013 15:44 by robbi

We get asked a lot about the diet we feed our dogs. We meet a lot of people through pug rescue that are looking for some answers to their dogs’ issues, and we try to share things we have learned over the years. I have always meant to write something up for this blog to share with people (and I even took photos to share a couple of years ago) but I’ve never quite gotten around to posting the information. But today that changes and I’m going to do a walk-through of the diet and supplements we give our guys. This is by no means an answer for everyone, but this is what we have found works for our furkids.

Meals:

  • 1/3 cup Natural Balance Fish & Sweet Potato, add water added to soften & make gravy (most dogs on a dry food diet do not get enough water)
  • 3 tablespoons of our homemade mixture of rice and steamed vegetables (I use the large bags of frozen veg from the supermarket; I was using the mixed vegetable bags until I discovered one of my guys is allergic to corn so now I use a peas & carrots mix along with cut green beans. Any vegetables will be fine as long as it is not a stir-fry mix that includes onions)

Dinner!

Additions include scrambled eggs, sardines and yogurt – rarely all at one time, usually one of these are added at a mealtime for additional nutrients. The eggs and sardines are excellent sources of protein and Omega oils; the yogurt is a natural probiotic which helps keep “good” bacteria in the stomach which prevents stomach upset, gas and can even help prevent yeast infections. I prefer Greek yogurt as it is higher in protein but lower in carbs and sodium.

And of course the old stand-by of canned pumpkin every now and then to keep stools firm and prevent anal gland issues.

The diet has changed a bit over the years, as I’ve found new things to add and dropped some things from their daily diet. I used to make my rice, and then add it to a large skillet to stir-fry eggs into the mixture.

Eggy Fried Rice

As we discovered the Natural Balance kibble worked well to provide the basic protein for our dogs’ diet, we dropped the eggs from their daily meals. Now they just get scrambled eggs as a treat every now and then, or if I have run out of dry food. If any of my guys get an upset stomach, I skip the kibble at their next mealtime, feeding them the rice mixture with scrambled eggs – the simpler protein seems to help soothe their tummies. 

I use basmati rice, simply because it doesn’t clump together and is easier to dish up at dinnertime.  However, any white rice would do.  I would highly suggest investing $20 or so for a rice cooker though, as it is a great timesaver and is very easy to clean up.

Rice cooker

Now, to the plain rice I add the steamed vegetables. Any vegetables are good, as long as they are simply veggies with no added sodium or sauce of any kind.  Over the years I have used chopped spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and lima beans.  But the basics have always remained: carrots, peas and green beans. Just remember – NO onions!

Steamed Veg

I always make a big batch once a week and divide it up in Tupperware containers.  They can easily be frozen if you want to make up a bunch to last for more than just a few days.

Glad containers

Supplements:

We give our guys several daily supplements. Some of ours have specific conditions that we are trying to treat, so not everyone gets the same.

Lecithin granules – a pinch (approx. 1/8 tsp.) in everyone’s bowls every morning. This was recommended by our vet to help prevent/combat anemia. Lecithin helps red blood cells live longer, thus keeping the red blood cell count higher.

Flaxseed – a pinch in everyone’s bowls every morning. It is loaded with Omega 3, lignans (antioxidants) and fiber.

Salmon Oil – 1 squirt over food every morning. Contains natural Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids – excellent for skin & fur, also helps immune system. http://www.petco.com/product/106293/Petco-Salmon-Oil-for-Dogs.aspx?CoreCat=firstinresult_PETCOVitamin

Multi-vitamin – 1 tablet every morning. I get Petco’s own brand. As they are a bit large, I break them in half for my guys. They eat them like a treat right before breakfast. (I need to get a picture of my guys all lined up every morning waiting for their tablets – they think it’s treat time!)

Brewer’s Yeast tablet – 1 tablet every morning. I get the ones made especially for dogs, they are meat flavored and our guys take them like a treat before breakfast. It helps prevent flea infestations; my guys haven’t needed a topical treatment in years.

Bladder Support – 1 tablet (broken in half) for Maggie every morning to help support her bladder function (she has urinary incontinence controlled by prescription medication – this is just a supplement to prevent deterioration) She takes it as a treat right before breakfast. http://www.petco.com/product/108271/NaturVet-Senior-Bladder-Support-Time-Release-Tablets-for-Dogs.aspx

Joint Supplement – I have 2 supplements I use:

1 tablet (broken into 4 parts due to size) taken every morning by Maggie to combat arthritis and joint deterioration. I prefer the Petco Level 3 as it has Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Cetyl M and Hyaluronic Acid as well as green-lipped mussels – it seems the most complete for the money. http://www.petco.com/product/105698/Petco-Joint-Support-III-Tablets.aspx?CoreCat=firstinresult_PETCOVitamin

¼ oz liquid joint supplement poured over Denny’s food every morning (he used to take the same tablet as Maggie but started refusing it suddenly last year, this is the best liquid I could find as it contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM http://www.petco.com/product/111107/NaturVet-Joint-Health-Supreme-Level-3-Hip-And-Joint-Supplement-for-Dogs.aspx )

Cranberry capsule – 1 capsule in Phoebe’s bowl with her food every morning. As she is prone to UTIs, we give her this to lower her urine pH and help prevent infections. We use the ones for humans sold at any pharmacy; I prefer the higher concentrated ones (4200mg cranberry) with added Vitamin C http://www.naturesbounty.com/product/004349

Those are all of the daily supplements my guys take. I also use assorted herbal and homeopathic supplements for specific ailments, but those are only on an as-needed basis.

What are the benefits of all of these things? It’s hard to put into quantitative terms, as I don’t have a dog that hasn’t been getting these things to compare with, but I really believe it has made a difference over the past few years. Phoebe has only had about 3 UTIs since we’ve had her (6 1/2 years) compared to the multiple infections she had before she came to us. Maggie’s urinary incontinence is well controlled and she hasn’t had any side effects of her medicine in the past 4 years. All of my guys have gorgeous, soft coats and do not suffer from itchiness. They are not gassy at all (defying the common myth that ALL pugs are gassy!) And of course Denny’s and Charlie’s allergies are controlled completely without using any steroids.

Their diet may not work for every dog, but it has worked for them. Hopefully this will inspire others to do some experimenting and see what works for their furkids.

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No more road trips! Please!

Thursday, 16 May 2013 15:39 by Denny

What a ride that was.   We never knew why Daddy and Momma were leaving us with our best friend Cindy for 10+ days last year and this year – but we found out on the 1st May 2013.   Another road trip….to our new home here in North Carolina.

I’m done with all that travelling now, what with visiting most of the UK with Daddy when we lived over there and then the Sea and Road tip across the Atlantic to Texas back in 2007 – I’m done with it – really, no more.  Please!

We now live in a wonderful place, somewhere where I can roam around in my cart while Charlie, Phoebe, Maggie and Stewpot can run and bark to their hearts content.    We don’t need to keep looking now, we have found the perfect place.  This is it.

I have a nice private office where just me and Daddy spend the day too.   He starts work at 8am and I spend the whole day with him upstairs away from the hooligans. 

WP_20130516_00120130516161107

I’ll write more soon.   Just wanted to say hello.

Denny

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Stewie Turns 3!!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012 22:51 by robbi

Incredibly, against all odds, that boy has managed to survive to see his 3rd birthday!  Amazing!

Stewie April 2010

Firstly, the little guy has a really bad habit of eating absolutely anything.  And I mean anything!  The amount of times I have had to pry open his jaws and do a finger sweep… (ah, the thing we “parents” do for our babies)  He has a particular fondness for cardboard and wood, but he’s not all that fussy.  Although he has developed a real penchant for footwear, as demonstrated by his obsession with Granddad’s slippers.

StewieSlipper

Secondly, Stewie has turned out to be slightly more sensitive than we realized.  He’s actually had a couple of instances where he has had severe allergic reactions to certain things, necessitating trips to the emergency vet and multiple doses of Benadryl.

Stewpot Swollen

But through it all, this little guy has demonstrated the most incredible personality.  He’s a lover, a sweetie who just wants to cuddle.  He’s extremely eager to please (and strangely the least food-motivated pug I’ve ever met!) He’s smart – he can figure out things for himself, and he’s got a fantastic memory.  He can be a bit of a loner, hanging out by himself in a corner of the room but when he wants to cuddle he is in there with the best of them.

Stewie N Samantha

He’s a cutie who has definitely grown on me – I was the one who was dead set against a puppy when he came into our house.  But he won me over and by the time he had to go for his neuter surgery to get him ready for placement through PugHearts I knew I couldn’t let him go.

Stewie's first Christmas 2010

So here’s to my sweet little StewPot.  Thank you for sharing the last 2 1/2 years with us and here’s to many, many more!

Stewies 3rd birthday 110312

Restricted Access

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 00:17 by robbi

It’s been a typically hot summer here in Houston. Probably not as bad as we’ve seen – last year we had a stretch of weeks with temperatures soaring into the 100’s. This year has been a bit more typical with average temps in the high 90s with the normal high humidity. Not nice, but normal for this area. And of course with the high temperatures we’ve seen the disturbing reports of idiots leaving kids and pets in their cars. Far too many deaths due to stupidity.

Closer to home, our local rescue was notified that one of our dogs adopted out here in Houston had suffered a heat stroke by being left outside all day. She was a young, healthy pug.

It scares us. It doesn’t take long for anyone to get overheated in these conditions. Add to that a fur coat and a tiny little smushy face, and you’ve got a recipe for a tragedy. Throw in the fact that Denny isn’t as mobile as he used to be and cannot climb through the doggie door anymore and also the fact that Maggie is too stubborn/ignorant to realize she’s getting overheated and you can see why we worry about our guys. We usually leave the back door open so that the furkids can get in & out through the doggie door as they need to. But this year we’ve repeatedly closed the door to prevent them from going out unsupervised. If we’re home but upstairs we’ll close the door. It’s just that little extra precaution that makes me feel a bit better.

I love these guys, but they are dogs after all – not humans. They are not able to think as logically as a human and therefore don’t always make the best judgment calls. Anyone who says “instinct” will guide them to keep safe has obviously never heard about the sheep that plunge over a cliff just because they were following the sheep in front of them. These guys need us to use our good sense to make sure they are safe. It’s no different than a baby needing an adult to decide what’s best for them.

Charlie on his raft

Plus of course there’s the fact that if given half a chance Charlie will go unsupervised into the pool and then drip pool water all over our new wood floors….