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Author: Sam

Caretaker of Yuki and Bacio
The Worst Morning Walk with Dogs

The Worst Morning Walk with Dogs

Everyone has their own morning routine right? Well my day always starts with a quick morning walk with the dogs. Usually before I do much else, I am out the door with the dogs. Now I’m pretty comfortable where I live. I don’t feel the need to look spectacular whenever I go out, but I do try to look like a functioning human.

Yuki's morning stretch

One particular morning I was in a pair of tattered, old, almost see through sweatpants (they probably should be tossed but they’re just so comfy). I was not ready to be awake or much less put on a bra. But alas, the dogs need to wee, so morning walk we must! In any other PJs or sweats I’d walk the dog without much thought, but these are not for the feint of heart sweatpants. I knew that I should change but my half awake self was saying,

“Just take the dogs out quick, to the alley and back, they didn’t do their business last night on the long walk so they’ll probably be quick. No one will notice you….”

Off we went.

The street was pretty empty, Bacio did his business, Yuki did hers, just had to throw the bag out in the alley and get back inside! That is when my luck turned. A car pulled up, presumably to look at an apartment for rent. They got out of the car and were just standing there for a while when Yuki decided to go for round 2. Literally right in front of them, pretty much staring them in the face as she was in her squat. If that wasn’t awkward enough, I conserve poop bags, and usually pick up all the morning presents with one bag. Well the bag was almost at capacity, but I didn’t bring another bag because this was supposed to be a quick little 2 minute jaunt to the alley and back.

I managed and got everything picked up. Now here I am in an outfit that looks like it came from Zoolander’s Derelicte campaign, with my bonus gigantic plastic grocery bag of poop accessory. It was going to be ok, only 2 more houses left to get by on this awkward morning walk and I’d be at the alley. I’d only been seen by a few people, and I don’t even know if they ended up living on my street or not.

Once at the alley I went to flip open the dumpster lid and thats when things really went downhill.

A squirrel JUMPED out of the dumpster when I opened it. Startled, I threw the bag of feces.  It made a loud thud against the inside of the metal dumpster and triggered the lid  to snap closed like clapping cymbals. At the same time I was creating a dumpster symphony, Yuki was singing her opera to the squirrel, and while trying to not be attacked by a jumping squirrel I stepped on Bacio. He let out a big yelp and I think everyone on the block now knew I, in my sweatpantsed and braless glory existed.

So much for going unnoticed.

poop-emoji

Allergies begone! Hello Nutrazinc!

Allergies begone! Hello Nutrazinc!

My last post left off talking about Apoquel for Yuki’s allergies.  I’d never ordered pet medication by mail and I had no idea how long the process was going to take.  It took about 3 weeks by the time I received the medication.  Unfortunately for Yuki (fortunately for her mama) I had a long trip to Panama scheduled in January. I didn’t want to start her on new meds, and be out of the country if there was an adverse reaction.

Nutrazinc  (Image from Howling Dog Alaska)
Image from Howling Dog Alaska

I had started her on a multivitamin/probiotic blend before I left and switched her to a different dog food. While I was in Panama I was thinking about my pup, and found a forum post about zinc deficiency.  The poster had said that the ZRD manifested in her dogs paws, not her facial hair loss and mentioned a Nutrazinc product she used. I ordered Howling Dogs Alaska’s Nutrazinc right away!

When I returned home from Panama her paws were looking less inflamed, but there were still sores.  I started her on the Nutrazinc and wanted to give it at least a couple weeks to see if it helped before starting medication.  She’s been on it now for about a month and a half.  I have her dose doubled from the daily maintenance dose. Guys…. her sores are all dried up! They don’t burst open anymore, they aren’t growing.  There are still scabby spots on her paws, but they are hardly noticeable unless you are scouting them out.

I'm so amazed at the improvements!
I’m so amazed at the improvements!

As far as her tail spot goes, I did buy a detachable shower head just for washing my dog.  I hate to admit it but I’m still not diligent about washing her tail.  Its just such an ordeal every time.  I have washed it about once a week, but don’t really see much of an improvement with the specks on her skin. The hair seems to be growing back.  I will have to be better about washing her more often.  I dread it.

If you never hear from me again its because Yuki ate me in my sleep from giving her so many baths.  On the plus side her tail will probably be better.

Yuki’s ongoing allergy problems

Yuki’s ongoing allergy problems

Healthy Yuki
A healthy Yuki on a camping/hiking trip, the allergies hadn’t progressed as much to her paws yet.

As I mentioned in the last post, for the past couple years we’ve been dealing with ongoing skin and paw issues with Yuki, thought to be allergies.  It started with a little abscess on her paw, which grew until it was covering half her toe.  With antibiotics and diligent cleaning that finally went away after a few months.  But as that was healing, she started to develop a rash under her chin.  She was always trying to scratch it and if she did it would bleed.

I tried Neosporin for a while.  Whenever I’d apply it these granular reddish brown flakey pieces would come off of the affected area.  There was little improvement with that idea. Then, one of the followers from our Instagram page suggested trying a zinc supplement as huskies and other northern breeds are prone to zinc deficiencies.  We talked to the vet about it and he didn’t see a reason not to try it.

After little to no improvement with a zinc supplement from Whole Foods, we looked into a dog specific zinc supplement and had another trip to the vet.  He gave us a flushing solution and Panalog to be used twice daily.  The rash started to clear up thankfully, but her paws started to become infected again.  So back to the vet we went.

After number trips to the vet, blood work, and a couple rounds of antibiotics, I finally decided it was time to see a specialist.  We made an appointment with a doggie dermatologist.  First was the consult, he did some skin scrapings, and took a look at her sores.  Looked at her blood work results and all that.  I walked out with an enormous bill and more antibiotics.  When I went in for the follow up appointment, the paw sores were a bit better but not healed, so more antibiotics… I was disappointed.  The specialist did nothing that my current vet couldn’t and hadn’t yet done, yet charged me 10x more.

Yuki Skin and Paws
Symptoms of Yuki’s allergies. The top is the patch I found on her tail, its about the size of a quarter, but she doesn’t itch at it. The bottom is one of her paw abscesses that is healing. there’s another in between that tow and the next one in. They are all over her paws 🙁

With her labs coming back clean and showing no indication of anything out of the ordinary, no thyroid issues, nothing to indicate cancer, no levels offs (the vet said if you looked at her blood results she looked like the perfect picture of a healthy dog), the only answer after over a year of troubleshooting was that it was probably allergies.  Yuki has dealt with food allergies in the past, but they created itchy paws and hot spots.  Never blisters and rashes on her face.  But she is older now, and her allergies may be to something in the apartment, or something environmental.  I feel like we’ve tried everything for her.

Just a few months ago I noticed a patch of fur missing from her tail and the skin was blackish looking.  The vet recommended an anti fungal/anti microbial shampoo everyday…. EVERYDAY… I admit I have not been able to do that.  Bathing a husky is something I need to mentally prepare for.  I need to train for it and have a warm up and stretch session beforehand….  I tried to just wash her tail and feet but even that isn’t doing anything.  We also tried putting her on Zyrtec, and it didn’t help and made her incontinent.

Last week I finally ordered Apoquel, and I sit here anxiously awaiting for it to be delivered.  I’m really at my wits end, and her paws are just getting worse.  Everyday she’s bleeding or a new sore pops up.  I feel so bad for her and I really don’t know what to do anymore.  🙁  If anyone has dealt with something similar PLEASE PLEASE contact me.  Comment, email, find us on Facebook or direct message us on Instagram… whatever is easiest, we are just so lost with this.

Dog Allergies, pinched nerve, and a worried me.

Dog Allergies, pinched nerve, and a worried me.

About a week after I revived the blog, I was going to post about all the ongoing health issues we’ve been dealing with here with Yuki.  We’ve been battling toe cysts/abscesses for about 2 years now, a recurring rash under her chin, and sometimes her eyes get all crusty and itchy. The week I was going to post about it, she was having incontinence issues and I suspected it was from the Zyrtec we were trying.  Around that time the Chicago Cubs were also in the MLB post season and as a life long Cubs fan, that was a pretty big deal so most evenings I spent on the couch wrapped in a blanket in disbelief.

I told myself to post after the World Series (Holy Cow! It finally was our year!), and that got pushed off until after the election, to after an out of town wedding, to today.  So lets get up to speed.  Our vet suspects Yuki has developed allergies.  For the last 2-3 years we’ve been treating numerous symptoms.  We’ve had blood work done multiple times, seen a doggie dermatologist, and tried numerous ways to combat her symptoms.  Her blood results don’t show any abnormalities to make the vet or the specialist think it is anything other than allergies.  I’m at my wits end she’s been on antibiotics, steroids (which we had to stop because she lost all bladder control), and allergy meds.  The next suggestion is to try the prescription allergy drug Apoquel.  My vet doesn’t sell it so I have been looking for an online retailer I can trust.  In the meantime Yuki’s paws get soaked in epsom salt as often as she will let me.  Whenever I think they are healing, another sore pops up on a different toe.  I feel so bad for my pup.  If anyone has any suggestions please contact me! PLEASE!!!!

So rewind a little to us stopping the Zyrtec for Yuki.  I was going to call my vet about it, because I wasn’t noticing any changes and she was having accidents almost everyday.  The day I decided ok, if it happens again, I’m calling the vet today, Bacio has this freak accident or something.  I still to this day do not know what happened.  We went out in the morning and he did his business and ran up the stairs.  He didn’t eat his breakfast but sometimes he doesn’t so I didn’t think anything of it.  After getting some work done, it was time to take the dogs out for a longer walk.  Yuki got up all excited to go out.  I put her leash on, and called Bacio to come over.  He didn’t come, but whatever he’s weird sometimes so I went over to him and put his leash on.  Usually he’ll pop up and be all excited to go out after that, but he just laid there….

I tried to coax him up and as he tried to lift himself with his front legs, he started trembling.  He could barely get himself up.  Ok maybe he slipped earlier going up and down the stairs, it happens sometimes, he always goes way to fast.  I carried all 65lbs of him down the stairs to see if he would start feeling better once he got in the fresh air.  By the time I was at the bottom of the stairs with him I could barely walk anymore… (This dog mama needs to not only update her blog more often, but also hit the gym more often).  I got him to the sidewalk and he started slowly walking.  He only made it 2 doors down before he walked into the parkway, sat, and then laid down and wouldn’t get up.  Queue the panic, but trying to stay as calm as possible for the dog.  I immediately called the vet, of course it was 12:02pm and the vet closes for lunch at 12.  As soon as I could I called them, and they got me in ASAP.

A photo posted by Yuki and Bacio (@my2whitedogs) on

Dr. Andy did a full blood panel and X-rays of his shoulders.  He could see that the dog was in very visible pain.  The X-rays shows some minor arthritis but nothing to make him react in the way he did, so I opted to have the films sent to a specialist for further review.  Maybe it was a tear or a pulled muscle?  He was also running a fever, but I was told that could have been because of all the pain he was in.  He got a shot of Rimadyl and was prescribed lots of bed rest for the rest of the night while we waited for the other test results.

When we got home, it was almost as if he was getting worse.  He actually yelped in pain, something he very rarely does.  The only other time I remember him yelping like that was when he fell on the stairs after his surgery.  Queue panic numero dos.

So by now the vet is closed, and my options are to wait it out with him or take him to an ER.  My friends came over to keep me company keep me sane.  For the first time in the whole day Bacio finally drank a little water.  He also was able to fall asleep.  I set up a bunch of blankets and had a slumber party with him on my living room floor, prepared to take him to the ER if he woke up in anymore pain.

I woke up the next morning and immediately called the vet to tell them about the yelping, and also that I noticed that Bacio wasn’t turning his head to the left.  He seemed to be physically unable to do so.  By the time the vet called me back, Bacio was able to sit up without shaking in pain.  He said the only other option we had was to put him under anesthesia and do an MRI, but since he was sitting up and drinking water, he recommended seeing how the next day or two went and to keep him on the Rimadyl pills he prescribed.  The good news was that he did not believe it was his spine, because he’d seen that in his own dog, and Bacio would have been in constant pain, with no improvement.

Towards the evening of that day Bacio was standing on his own when he felt like it and ate all his food.  His blood work came back along with the specialists review of the x-rays.  The X-rays showed no visible damage to bones or muscles, as far as tears went, but it did show muscle deterioration which is a bit concerning.  His blood work showed low thyroid levels.

Bacio is now on a thyroid medication, and in another month we will test his blood again to see if his levels are improving.  As far as the freak accident, we just assume it was a pinched nerve, and the anti inflammatory meds helped it heal.  We’ll never really know I guess?  It was scary nonetheless and I hope it never happens again!

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’ta left ya.

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’ta left ya.

I know my most recent posts have been severely lacking with crazy amounts of time in between them.  I could apologize again and say I’m trying to work on it, but I’m sure any readers out there have heard it enough.  The truth of the matter is after Bacio’s surgery and recovery I was able to refocus my life on me a little bit and got caught up in my own life for a while.  The dogs have been fairly good.  Yuki is having allergy issues, but like the FHO surgery I could go on and on about that, and maybe in the future I will. I miss writing about the little fluffballs.  So over the course of the next few months I am going to try and make some changes to the site, and make it easier for those going through the FHO surgery or recovery to contact me if they’d like.  

For those reading this, who are considering, or are going through the process, and want another update on Bacio, let me tell you… This dog LOVES to hike.  He jumps over fallen trees, runs up rocky inclines that his momma trips and falls on, and oh man if he sees water… SPLASH.  I do keep a harness on him for hiking just incase I need to grab him up in an emergency.  It is amazing how far he’s come.  He still doesn’t like to play with other dogs though, he likes to go say hi to them, but then he runs back to me and leans on my legs.  I assume he’s afraid of getting knocked over.

If you would like to see pictures more often of the dogs and our adventures you can follow them on instagram @my2whitedogs.  As I said I plan on making some changes to the site over the next couple months, if there are topics or areas that you’d like me to write more about please drop me a line in the comments, and if you’re pup went through FHO please get in touch with me and we can share experiences!

 

Puppies

Puppies

Back in October we lost Seek, my dad’s black and white husky.  Seek was with us for over half my life.  It was hard, but she went quickly and gave my dad kisses goodbye.  Seek was a talker, a lover, and the queen of my dad’s house.  As a dog owner you always know that someday the inevitable will happen, and you just take it when it comes.  It took some time, but a house without a dog doesn’t seem like a home.  When it felt right, my dad slowly started looking around at breeders, but he knew that no dog would ever be half the dog that Seek was…. So he got two.

A very young Yuki, and Seek.

Seek was always short for a very odd way of spelling Sequel.  Seek was our second husky, and when we got her my dad insisted we could only have another dog if it was a Sibe, and if we named her that.  Now that my dad is on round three of the Husky saga, one of the puppies, the black and white pup, is living the legacy with the name Trilogy, and the other pup is an all white pup, Karma.

Karma and Trilogy on their way to their furever home!

They’re both cute and rambunctious pups, but it reminds me how much work puppies are.  Bacio and Yuki are growing to tolerate them when we visit.  At first Bacio was terrified of them.  I think because of his hip issues, he’s very cautious and wary of these balls of energy constantly flying at him.  All the pups do is jump up on him and try to lick his face.

The pups inspecting Yuki

Yuki sort of wants to play with the puppies, but she’s also very  annoyed by them.  Yuki will be 8 this year and doesn’t get around as fast as she used to, but sometimes I can tell she wants to just run and chase Trilogy.  It took some time for all 4 dogs to settle and be ok with each other to the point where we didn’t feel like we needed to keep an eye on them.  When I visit, I like to take all 4 dogs out for a walk.  I will have them all stop and sit and stay along the route so they know who is boss and it helped them get along better off leash too.

We just got back from spending a weekend there.  Bacio and Yuki were pooped out when we got home last night.  To be honest, so was I!  The dogs are still sleeping while I write this, but they’re going to have to get up because its time for our walk now!

 

 

RIP Seek! 10/21/99-10/1/14

Preservatives and Ingredients in Pet Products

Preservatives and Ingredients in Pet Products

Last week a reader thanked me for the info on flea and tick medications, and let me know that many big name pet stores still sell treats made in China that can be hazardous to a dog’s health.  I don’t feed my dogs too many bones or cookies, but I decided to do a little research anyway. “Made In China” on pet related items has been a red flag since they had a pet food recall around 2007.  In this case, the reading the label wouldn’t have helped the consumer, the Chinese companies had been dishonest about their product.  Years later, there were increased reports of illness and death, believed to be cause by chicken jerky treats, “Made in China”.  Tests were run on the treats, and no specific cause for the illnesses has been found.  More recently, antibiotics have been detected in jerky made in China, but it isn’t something that could cause illness and death in dogs.

As of this year it has been reported that Petsmart and Petco have stopped selling treats made in China.  That seems like a win, but manufacturers can still use ingredients in their products and still say it is made in the USA.  The other half of the problem, it still hasn’t been determined why these jerky treats have been causing dogs to get sick.  It’s a mystery, just like the raisins… and after what I went through there, why even take a chance?

Now, I’ve never run into the safety issue with the jerky treats because Yuki is allergic to chicken and I’ve never kept them in the house.  Bacio also has a bit of a corn/grain sensitivity, so I am always reading the labels on dog treats.  There are some ingredients to watch out for in dog treats (sometimes even your own food too!).  Milkbones were something I’d always give my dogs, the ingredients seemed rather harmless, except for two ingredients, sodium metabisulfite and BHA. Both are preservatives and both are, as you may have guessed, terrible chemicals for humans and dogs alike.  BHA has been linked to kidney damage as well as certain cancers, it’s close relative BHT is actually banned in the UK because of how toxic it is.  Sodium metabisulfite, another preservative, is listed in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as a hazard chemical.  It is used as a disinfectant and bleaching agent, and can cause breathing and gastrointestinal problems.

Rawhides too are a questionable treat.  They can be really good for your dog.  Bacio needs them to keep his hyperplasia under control.  These treats can be safe if you are buying good quality treats.  I try to only buy made in USA, as other rawhide has had arsenic and formaldehyde found in it.  I even read that Thailand was exporting rawhides made from dog skin!

Here’s a few more ingredients, most of them preservatives, to look out for:

  • TBHQ- derived from butane, at little as 5 grams can kill a dog
  • Artificial colors- Just like they have started banning them in our food, they have been found to cause cancers and illness in pets too.
  • Copper sulfate- used as an herbicide
  • Calcium proproinate- mold inhibitor
  • Sodium nitrate- usually used as a fertilizer or to make gunpowder, but it will preserve colors too!
  • Propylene glycol- the chemical in antifreeze…
  • Ethoxyquin***- preservative, which causes kidney and liver damage

***Now while reading up on this I found out that the pet labels are a bit deceiving, if a manufacturer buys a product to use in their treat or food, they just have to list that product.  They are not require to list what the ingredients have been treated with.  That seems incredibly scary to me!

I know this post has gotten quite lengthy, but the last thing I wanted to touch on is “by-products”.  I will be short and to the point, because this is already long and its also really gross. Pretty much by-product means the leftovers. It is the carcass of the animal, used grease, spoiled supermarket meat. By-products are anything left after the usable meat is taken for human consumption.  This also includes 4d grade meat,  dead, dying, diseased, and/or disabled animals, which are rendered by “extraction by melting that converts waste animal tissue into usable materials”. This is your by-product meal and fats in your pet’s food.

So, be mindful of what you’re feeding your pup, and yourself. And lastly, there is no FDA definition for “natural”, it is completely different than using the word “organic”.

Some of the articles I referenced in writing this: https://goodnessgracioustreats.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/where%E2%80%99s-the-beef/ http://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_pet_food_for_your_pets_sake http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/AnimalFoodFeeds/PetFood/default.htm

Raisin Toxicity in Dogs

Raisin Toxicity in Dogs

The past month has been rough for my dogs and I.  2014 ended with Yuki escaping from my grandmother’s house.  While we were on the beach waiting for the New Year’s Eve fireworks, a neighbor called to let us know that the front door was wide open and a white dog was outside.  I panicked. I ran back to the car and headed back to Yuki as fast as I could. My grandmother’s place is a cul-de-sac off a 6 lane road with a 45 mph speed limit that no one obeys.  I was terrified she’d run and get hit by a car.

The good news is that Yuki didn’t try to run, she just waited in the driveway for me to get home.  Bacio was hiding inside behind the couch, afraid of the fireworks.  The adrenaline rush wore me out.  Because of this incident leaving Yuki home alone at my grandma’s became a chore.  We had to lock every door in the house including the bedroom doors.

After successfully leaving her alone, my grandmother and I decided to go to dinner and a movie.  Unfortunately, after not being able to escape, Yuki turned to other destructive behaviors.  She got on the counters, she found a tupperware full of homemade trail mix.  It was full of raisins, M&M’s, and peanuts. At first, when we got home, I didn’t notice the empty tupperware, and it seemed like she had been a good dog.  Once I noticed the tupperware, and realized what was in it, I freaked out.  Perhaps you didn’t know this, but raisins can be extremely toxic to dogs.  They shut their kidneys down.  No one knows how or why, and some dogs are more sensitive than others.  There is no way to tell.

I dug through all the cabinets at my grandmother’s looking for hydrogen peroxide.  I don’t even know how much I dumped in her mouth (I was in a panic, I usually keep a syringe with accurate measurements on it, but I wasn’t at my own home).  I took her outside and sprinted up and down the street with her until she emptied her stomach.

I got on the phone with an emergency vet, and they recommended getting her into the ER as soon as possible.  I got the dogs in the car and it wasn’t until we were already at the vet that the possibility that Bacio ate some crossed my mind.  Bacio usually doesn’t get into trouble, but this trip he had already gotten into the garbage twice.  Now I was getting upset that he was had gotten into them.  I knew for sure though that Yuki did.  We drew both of the dog’s blood, and Yuki was to stay on IVs for 2 days.

The estimate for the blood work and 1.5 days at the hospital on the IV for Yuki.

I took Bacio home with me, I couldn’t afford to keep them both on IV’s and I really felt confident that he didn’t get into the raisins.  Well, I did until about 5 am when he woke me up whining to go out.  When he got outside he had diarrhea and I got back on the phone with the vet.  I felt like garbage for not taking the precautionary measures with Bacio that I did with Yuki.

I brought Bacio back to the clinic  and they asked me to bring in Yuki’s food and feed her while I was there. Apparently, she had been given 3 rounds of sedative and still would not calm down (she’s got major separation anxiety).  When I got there I feed her and she fell asleep in my lap after about 30 seconds.  It was hard seeing her like this.

Poor thing.

Unfortunately, Bacio’s liver and kidney levels were elevated from his initial blood work.  He was put on IVs immediately.  Yuki’s blood work was clean from the first test, and the 3 tests after that.  Bacio’s liver levels went back to normal after being on the IV, but his creatinine levels stayed at 2.0 the whole time.  This is a sign of kidney disease, the only plus was that his levels weren’t raising.

The dogs have both recovered from the raisin incident now, but Bacio still had elevated kidney levels on his last blood test, indicated an underlying problem.  I brought him into my regular vet last week.  They did a full blood panel on him and checked everything they possibly could. After the raisin incident I switched the dogs back to a grain free kibble, I was making their food at home before.  The switch back to kibble has brought down Bacio’s creatinine levels to 1.7.  He’s only been on this diet again for a couple weeks.  I will go back next month to test his blood again and hopefully the diet change will get him back to normal.

The dogs have gotten quite comfortable after spending so much time here.

I feel so bad for the little guy, he’s been through so much already.  My fingers are crossed that this is only diet related and that his kidneys will go back to normal.

Moral of the story, keep raisins out of reach of dog.

Nintendo, SNES, Sega and Dogs

Nintendo, SNES, Sega and Dogs

When I got all A’s on my report card for a whole year, my parents got me a Sega Genesis.  I think I was in 2nd grade.  I still own that Sega Genesis today.  I’ve since owned a Dreamcast, Playstation 2, and an Xbox 360.  They were all played enough, but I always played the Genesis too through out the years.  In fact, I used to play the Genesis more than the 360 for the most part.  I recently added an N64, Super Nintendo, and the NES to my living room.

Why am I writing about all this video game stuff on a dog blog?  Well, here’s the thing…

These old systems are very touchy.  It takes 5 minutes of off and on, putting the cartridge in the system, and taking it back out, you know… finding the sweet spot for the game to work.  In addition to that some of the games don’t have a way to save progress.

So over the course of about a week or so, I had been playing Super Mario World on the SNES. Most the time the dogs liked the video game time.  They got to curl up next to me on the couch, and when I lost a life they got tons of pets.   Of course sometimes I’d get sucked into the game and they’d have to woof at me to feed them or let them out.  For the most part I’d oblige and pause the game to tend to the rulers of the house.

It had gotten to the point where I found all the switches, found and completed all the star levels, and I had 1 more world until Bowser’s final castle. It was an intense little time for video game Sam, but Yuki didn’t care, she wanted attention.  Ignoring her made her run to the toy box to get a squeaky ball.  If you don’t throw the squeaky ball she just pounces on it all over the room like “look at me, I’m so cute, but you’re a jerk for ignoring me and I am having fun all by myself”.  Well usually that little bit makes me grab the ball and toss it into the other room for her, but I was so close to the end of the game. 

I learned something that night.  I learned that you cannot, and should not ignore a Yuki.  When a Yuki wants attention, if you don’t give it to her, she will TAKE IT.  That night, Yuki pounced on the Super Nintendo.  The jolt froze up the game.  I restarted it, only to find that the game had erased and all the progress had been lost. It was a sad night.  All my accomplishments were gone, if I had only just thrown the ball into the kitchen! D’oh!

On a brighter note, I knew that something like this would more than likely happen again, so now I keep a folding chair in the living room and place it above the console, blocking it from dog pounces and careless trampling.  If you have a problem with a dog knockin’ into your video game console, I recommend the chair guard.  Trust me, it will save you from losing weeks of gaming.   Now lets throw back even further to Mario Bros 3! Warp whistle, warp whistle!

Homemade Dog Food, Recipes, Supplements, Suggestions

Homemade Dog Food, Recipes, Supplements, Suggestions

It has been about 3-4 weeks now since I have started making the dogs their own dog food.   I had always kept them on high quality food.  I used Blue Buffalo’s fish and oatmeal food for the longest time.  Yuki has always been allergic to chicken and Bacio doesn’t do very well on lamb. The past year has been tough trying to find a kibble that suits both the dogs.  Bacio started having head tremors last November.  Initially I thought it was from pain, he snapped one of his teeth, and it needed to be extracted.  However when last January and February rolled around he was still getting the occasional tremor episode.

I did took him to the vet for the tremors, but because they weren’t happening very regularly the vet didn’t want to put him on medication.  I was to watching him and just make note of when it happened and what went on the days that it happened.  That wasn’t leading to very promising information, and so I started sleuthing around to see if I could try and help my little bear.  I read a few articles about grain and the negative effects they sometimes have on dogs.  I decided to try a grain free food for the pups.

After switching to a grain free fish based food (Innova I believe although I can’t really recall exactly) Bacio stopped having random head tremors.  It was great! But then, 2 months after switching, he decided he didn’t like the food and stopped eating it.  I tried so many different grain free foods.  It seemed like the ones he liked to eat, his digestive system didn’t agree with, and nothing solid was coming out his other end.

In the middle of all this mess Bacio ended up getting really sick.  I had to make him a very bland diet during this time, mostly brown rice and boiled meat.  Once he got over whatever doggy flu he had, the bland diet seemed to work better with his stomach.  I slowly started him back on the kibble, but the only type of food that I could buy that satisfied both of the dog’s dietary needs was costing me a fortune every month.  This is when I started researching homemade food, and doing cost analysis.

I use ground beef, eggs, and sometimes tuna as proteins now for the dogs.  About once every 10 days I make a batch of food with brown rice, ground flax seed, beef, and a Normandy blend of frozen veggies (zucchini, squash, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli).  If I have veggies around the house that need to be used up I will toss those in as well.  For their breakfast I give them a hard boiled egg (shell on for calcium), and some blueberries with their food.  I have been supplementing the food so far with The Missing Link, but I may switch to a different multi-vitamin.  Yuki was getting some sort of skin infection under her chin before switching food. Keeping it clean wasn’t really helping, and I was suspecting it was a yeast infection, so I added some Greek yogurt to their breakfast and it has started clearing up now.

They eat better than I do these days.
They eat better than I do these days.

It is really hard to find a good recipe online for homemade dog food.  Most sites say to contact your vet, or a pet nutritionist.  I’ve been just making their food and adjusting as I go based on their reactions to it.  Bacio has so much more energy now, and his teeth look so much healthier, he hasn’t had any tremors, and he is actually excited about eating.  Besides Yuki’s rash disappearing there isn’t much change in her, but that dog has an iron stomach, as long as it isn’t poultry.

I’d really like to hear other’s recipes and opinions on homemade dog food and supplements.  What ratios do you use?  Proteins?  Has anyone used barley instead of brown rice?  Leave a comment or email me my2whitedogs@gmail.com!  Thanks in advance!