- I have tried all sorts of chew toys for Big Bad Bruiser Bear. And even the ones that are ‘guaranteed for 1 year’ he managed to chew pieces off in 2 hours (or less!) Love deer antlers – they are naturally shed, so no animal is harmed. They are hard as a rock and provide hours of fun chewing without Bear making much of a dent. You can also find some with marrow exposed. They are a bit expensive but so are all the other chew toys I got that he demolished and that I had to throw away after a couple of hours of use. Plus I don’t have to worry about him ingesting a piece of plastic.
- I also like to get Himalayan chews – also pretty expensive and I use these for ‘quiet time’ for Mommy. When I need some down time to read or just chill – it keeps Butter and Bear busy for hours. The chews are made from Yak milk (who knew Yaks had milk?) – thus the reason they are called Himalayan chews. There is a cheaper version of these – they don’t last as long but serve the same purpose.
- I have used Duralactin, Dasaquin and now Phycox for Forrest and Kahuna as supplements that help inflammation. These can be expensive and I buy most of my dog treats and supplements from Chewy.com. Very good pricing there and free shipping for orders over $50. And I get my orders very quickly, within 2-3 days tops.
- How about the ubiquitous Greenie Pill Pockets? If you ever look at the ingredients of these things, you will find there is nothing but crap in them, unless you buy the hypoallergenic duck pill pockets. However, they can be a miracle in getting dogs to take medicine they wouldn’t otherwise be willing to swallow. I have used them for years on Forrest and he is 15, so they can’t be all bad. Best price for these I have found is at Chewy.com. I buy them in bulk between Butter’s allergy medicine (she gets the duck ones) and the various medication Forrest has to take. He won’t eat the pill pockets anymore but they make it easier to shove pills down his throat, especially smaller ones.
- One of the animal charities I support is the ALDF (#AnimalLegalDefense
Fund). They do a lot of good work in bringing animal abuse cases to justice and they are involved here in Phoenix with the TNR activity for feral cats. They have a very cool (literally) sunscreen/shade for your auto’s windshield with the message ‘Warning Don’t Leave Dogs in Hot Cars – Call 911 to Report’ They are only $20 and can be ordered at aldr.org/sunshade
- Green beans.……been feeding these to my labs for over a decade now. I use to buy them for .50 a can at the $ Store but have been purchasing them by the case from Costco for 8-9 years. All my dogs have willing eaten these – two cans per day (one AM/one PM), along with their kibble and sometimes some canned food. A relatively inexpensive and healthy way to help fill up a 70-80 lb lab. I claim celebrity status at my local Costco where there is now a cutout of their Kirkland Green Beans attached to every checkout. 12 years ago everyone asked me if I liked green beans. No silly – they are for my labs! Now the person checking me out nods knowingly at me and says, for your dogs? Yep!
- The food have fed all my labs over the years is Wellness brand – available at most of the big box retailers. They have not had a problem with recalls and again, all my labs have enjoyed their food. They offer a large variety (as most premium dog food companies do now) of kibble and canned food, based on your dog’s size, age, and allergies. Butter has allergies to potatoes, rice, wheat and barley, so she needs to have a grain free food. Wellness offers several types that would appeal to most doggie palates.
- Does your dog eat grass? All three of my labs go out in the morning and evening and act like a bunch of goats. I know there is a common thought that a dog eating grass doesn’t feel well and is eating grass to regurgitate. That may be one reason but sometimes dogs just like to graze, with no rhyme or reason. I look for patterns – meaning if my dogs are eating their dog food well, physically active, eliminating okay and grazing, then I don’t worry about it. If my dog is not eating, is lethargic and having diarrhea or other elimination problems, then it might be a cause for concern and a visit to the vet.
- I had someone ask me the other day what do I attribute my labs long lives to……Sierra was almost 14 and Kahuna was 14 when they died. FoFo is over 15 now – so I spent some time thinking about this. My first response is this: God’s grace has allowed these sweet things to be in my life for a long time. I also try to do my part with exercise, good food, and regular vet visits. I learn as much as I can every time a dog gets sick – what caused the illness, how did that particular dog act, what, if anything did I miss in spotting the illness? I store up articles about canine health (#WholeDogJournal), especially those diseases that are more specific and/or likely in a lab. I learn what ‘normal’ looks like on each dog – cause it is different for every one of them. I observe them constantly; when they play, when they sleep, when they eat. I look for nuances – as well as the obvious problems. And sometimes a God wink saves them and me…..like when I was laying on the floor doing sit ups when I noticed this HUGE lump on Sierra’s right rear leg. I am not sure I would have seen it otherwise or anytime soon – she was standing right next to me, so it was obvious. She has a VERY thick, curly coat so it would be easy to miss. It was a Mast Cell tumor, which was removed 3 days later and she went on to live another almost 4 years after that.
I have all sorts of random things running through my mind today. In no particular order – here they are!
Well…..that is about the all wisdom (if you can call it that!) for today!