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Food? Did you say FOOD?

 

Food is a big thing in my home! Seven labs and a little one with a big appetite! Are you kidding? I have a friend who came to my place not long ago, and cracked up when he saw 8 food bowls on the drying rack. He told me that in his kitchen, it more like pots and pans on the rack! 8 mouths to feed Darling! And I know a few people who never cleaned their dogs bowls, but this is so gross…. Would you eat in the same plate over, and over again without washing it? My point!

Years ago, I never really thought about it. I had a Collie, then a Shepherd and a Golden. They were not crazy for food, and when I said that I learned from my dogs, I did!  – I have to stop right there to take the fifth or sixth break of the morning, and it’s quite early but Jackson is sulking outside since I threw his frisbee on our roof, and he is literally stalking the roof or trying to learn how to levitate the darn thing off it! When he gets too frustrated, he starts barking at it, but breaking news, the Frisbee doesn’t bark back! Then, he goes back under his favorite tree, depressed, lying in the grass, eyes lost in a world where his person gets to the roof immediately to retrieve anything thrown there inadvertently, or even better, a world where his person knows how to throw a ball or a Frisbee! -  Jack sweetie I feel really bad, and I am not kidding but you are going to have to wait.

To go back to food, I was never really concerned with the food BL (Before Labs). But then, Zeus arrived into my life like a tornado and suddenly I became aware of food rationing. The darn dog could have eaten a 30 lbs. bag with no problem. My house will never be totally lab proof since they even have more imagination than I do and if you ask my daughters, they will tell you how worried I am when they are on the roads, or planes, or anywhere they can get hurt by others, which is basically anywhere. I made mistakes with Zeus. He was my first dog because I was his person. All the others in my life were shared with my daughters. Zeus was mine from the minute we saw each other. And I made the mistake with him to show him love with food and treats. He was a rescued dog, but he rescued me in many ways as well. A year after the “rescue”, he had gained  50 lbs. Yes he was underweight before, but suddenly,  he was obese, and I remember taking him to a new vet, Barbara, and she clearly without caring about our feelings wrote: obese. Then, she was surprised telling me that usually obese animals come with obese people. That day, I saw the light! My life with healthy labs started with a big safe trash can where the food was stored in its original bag with a measuring cup.

Barbara was not big on dogs’ diet food. She always thought that it frustrated the dogs. Who wants a frustrated puppy? She suggested green beans, and Zeus had only 2 cups of food a day but a lot of steamed fresh green beans. He lost 30 lbs, and until he dropped dead, he stayed at a healthy 90 lbs., hey he was a big Lab with a big head and those eyes….. He was my dog. I was his person.

With him, I started reading labels. Hey, I read them for human groceries. It is just amazing to see the amount of sugar there is in any treat for dogs. Now treats are carrots, crispy green beans, cookies I make – at least I know what’s in it, and they love my peanut butter carrots cookies! -  In summer, I freeze fat free chicken broth in ice cubes racks, and they are not fancy, but they reach their goals. It makes my mutts satisfied.

From years ago, I became more conscious of what to give them as food.  When Pouch, our Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with Leukemia, I started researching food, treatments, etc… It was then that I switched them to a grain free food. It does make sense. If dogs were in the wild, they would eat like lean meat from deer as well as the digested plants found in their intestines (Am I too graphic here?). Most commercial diets have omega 6 fatty acid excess. This is the type found in corn, fatty meats, as well as vegetable oils, and not only it can contribute to cancer, but if you have already a dog fighting cancer, the cancer cells love those omega 6 crap! An excess of omega 6 in your dog’s body kills the cells which are vital in the body’s natural cancer fighting ability (Natural Killer cells and cytotoxic T cells).  That’s when I started giving the mutts a grain free organic food.

From my experience, no veterinarian has been really helpful with food. What I found, I found it on my own after reading and reading at night until I couldn’t read anymore. Did it help our Golden? I do believe so! Our gentle dog passed away being attacked on every front by cancer, but he survived until almost the age of 14, and for a Golden Retriever, and a big dog, it’s really a record!

I was talking to my vet not long ago about cat food and raw diet.  I tried to switch my cats to raw diet. I would do it for the dogs too if I could but 8 mutts, I just can’t afford it!  My issue was that the cats would have died of hunger before eating a chicken or beef patty, and I am not kidding. No wonder, they don’t go after the mice which are cozily in my garage! I switched them to a grain free food, but to go back to my vet, she told me to forget the raw diet, that she was at a conference not long ago, and that there is nothing conclusive about it, that’s it’s just a fad. I respect her, and did not want to argue, and I am not a vet but raw diet makes sense. A cat in the wild gets a mouse or two a day if they are lucky, not the junk that we give them and which makes them fat!

Yes, grain free organic food is more expensive, a few more dollars each time, but since the mutts have been under it, my visits to the vet are basically only for their annual checkup except accidents of course. Maia, my beautiful black lab had allergies, and for the last five years, I had to give her a shot every three weeks. Despite of the vaccine, she was still itching, and the dermatologist suggested a shot every ten days instead. Thanks to USPS, the vaccine got lost in the mail, and before I received the new one, I realized that Maia had stopped chewing on her paws and that her hair was growing back around her eyes. The only explanation I have is the food. She has been under grain free for over 3 years now. Don’t get me wrong, I am keeping a close eye on her, but so far so good!

Jack is having a fit outside as I typed this, and is on the verge of calling PETA for Frisbee cruelty. Life has to be good in Muttstown, so frisbee here I come!

Dominique

 

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3 Responses to “Food? Did you say FOOD?”

  1. John Caisman says:

    Just discovered your blog through my assistant! You just rock Lady, you and your mutts! Count me among your followers! Forgot to mention I have 3 yellow labs, and yes, I am their person. Love that expression!

  2. Hollie says:

    I happened upon your website while doing some searching on dog supplies. You have a very cool site here. I cannot believe you have that many dogs. I only have two and sometimes even with just the two I feel like my walls are going to crumble around me, lol. Just kidding, I love them both to death! I do not have full labs. One German Shepard and one lab mix, who truly is a mutt, lol. I hope to keep up with you on your site here to see what will happen next, lol.

    • Dominique says:

      Thank you! I used to have a German shepherd. Her name was Douchka, and she was so perfect that I could never have another one. It would not be fair! Two could be handful too!

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