Homemade cooking for my pup!

homeade pet food dogMore and more people are cooking for their dogs these days.  They cook every meal their pup eats to attain some desired effect that they cannot get from commercial grade regular dog food.

Most clients I run into cook because of health issues.  Allergies is a big reason.  Many dogs suffer protein and grain allergies. A huge part of almost all commercial dog foods.   I think most people try multiple types of pet foods first in hopes they will land on the miraculous brand that satisfies all the dog needs.  But he also has to like the taste of the specific food and not grow tired of it as days pass by.

Other reasons for cooking dog meals are cancer, skin conditions, and irritable bowel syndrome.  I am sure there are many other medical conditions that force owners into thinking about being a private dog chef.   Some people do it just to see the dog reach optimum health –  shiny coat, sparkly eyes, weight control.   These are all things you can control as you tweak and design the perfect food for your little guy.

I think many of us do small variations of this throughout a dog’s life for small problems that may arise.  Any frozen vegetable works well to replace a portion of your dog food if you are looking to shed some pounds.  They get to eat the same amount of food but half the calories.  If you have ever had a dog that won’t eat most vets will recommend rice and hamburger to keep the weight up and get them back on track.  And everybody is probably guilty of throwing some cooked people food to their dog as they make their own meals.  I personally cook a scrambled egg for my little girl weekly.  I feel like it makes her coat shinier than without.

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So what makes a perfect dog food?  That is a tougher problem to solve but usually home made dog meals consist of some form of protein (think outside the box here as chicken, beef, fish, etc are all acceptable forms of protein for a dog), vegetable (almost any fresh vegetable is good for dogs), and some form of carbohydrate (rice typical here, but again various options).  Do your research online with reputable sites.  Ask your veterinarian for information.  Own the responsibility of realizing you are now the sole provider for your dog’s health and take it seriously as she/he is counting on you.

With a little perserverance you can come up with a recipe that works for your dog and probably several other options/add ins that will give them some variety day to day.  If it saves them from taking daily medications to achieve the same health goal I think its very worth it and would naturally extend their life span.

 

Benefits of dogs for retirement home!

Just owning a dog has so many health benefits!  They have even done studies that prove that pet owners in general have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels reducing the chances of a heart attack.  Many of my peers and I have discovered that in the last decade a lot of senior folks are continuing pet ownership despite their age.

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It makes perfect sense.   Dogs provide a companionship in a retirement home environment that even frequent visits from family can’t provide.  They stave off depression by simply being around and providing hours of enjoyment for their owners.

Pets are also perfect for socialization, meeting friends, and generally “breaking the ice” with strangers.  In a retirement home community the dogs attract so much attention from other residents and staff alike frequently the dog owners are well known throughout the building as well.  It opens up many social options an older person wouldn’t necessarily stumble into on their own.

They are also great for forcing a bit of exercise onto owners who may otherwise choose a sedentary lifestyle.  Dogs have to go potty several times a day and require walks and exercise regularly.  The benefit this can have on older people is extraordinary.

That being said the struggle to keep their pup on consistent schedules may eventually become a problem.  That is where a dog walking service like Jo Co Barking Club comes into play.  We have helped many retirement home residents with pet ownership issues throughout the  years.

There is also the memory loss situation that comes up frequently.   Many health issues can leave the older owners with memory gaps, loss, confusion that can leave the pet in a precarious situation.   They need to be fed regularly and let out on a routine and may have their own pill(s) to take on a daily basis.   It is best to either work with a company like ours to have that handled or the nursing staff within the retirement home.

Families should allow their senior members to continue dog ownership if they know it was a constant throughout their lives.  I’m sure they can tell the difference when they visit their loved ones.  Just make sure that the pet is being well cared for so that both parties benefit from the relationship.

Mandy, the dog pictured above, was with her senior parents for 6 years before both passed on within 6 months of each other.  She has now found a new home with one of our staff and is adjusting to life outside the retirement community, but I know that she helped them live whole and satisfying lives in her time with them.

 

 

3 Things holding back puppy potty training!

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Doing a service industry means we are invited into homes on a daily basis.  I am always shocked when I see somebody who has allowed the dog, usually small, to just potty where ever it likes for years.   This is so unhealthy to live in and it CAN be changed…    ….albeit with some hard work!

Most dogs just get off to a bad start and don’t ever get the correct set up for success.  The most common issue is whether you believe the dog needs to be kenneled or not.  Kennels will not harm your dog, especially if it is the correct size for them.  Kennels help potty training by restricting access to the whole house.  If they have several rooms to roam around in they will treat one area as the bathroom and use the rest to hang out, sleep, eat in.   Since most dogs will not potty where they do other things a kennel encourages them to hold it.

Next biggest issue I see a lot is unrealistic expectations.   A 12 week puppy is only capable of holding his bladder for 3-4 hours maximum.  So if you work an 8 hour shift and have half hour commutes to get there you can bet on the puppy needing out twice!  This is not the puppy’s fault.   By only arranging one let out for the little guy you are asking for an accident…   …and you will likely get one.   Soon enough he will grow bigger and be able to hold it longer but he needs nurtured up to that point.  Once accidents start, stopping them is very hard!  This is what dog walking businesses are all about.  This is a lot of their business.  Contact one to help you out so your puppy is off to a good start!

The last thing I see frequently is inconsistency.  Dogs are routine animals.  They love their routines and come to expect certain things in certain orders and even at certain times.  So just because you are off work on Sat and Sun does not mean you should wake up 3 hours later than normal when potty training a dog.  While they are potty training you will have to drag yourself out of bed to take them out like normal.   If your schedule or some special occasion is keeping you from keeping the routine then look into hiring a pet sitter.  Pet sitters work at all hours and could help on weekends, evening, during work, etc.  Just ask.    The routine works in your favor most days of the week so you want them to fall into one.   Sporadic behavior is almost impossible to get a hold of to control.

Tackle these 3 huge issues holding you back and potty training becomes a bit of a breeze.  So many success stories I have seen from small Chihuahuas to large German Shepherds.  All breeds are trainable despite their size.  It’s so worth it to not have to clean up an accident every day as you return from work.  Dogs are so worth the trouble.  You will be paid back in love and affection every day.

 

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