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Food & Nutrition > is there a healthy and grain free food without chicken?

formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 4:01pm PST 
We try to avoid chicken, grains, and eggs when possible. Here is what we have tried:

- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
- Wellness CORE Ocean
- Avoderm Trout & Pea
- Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free and Poultry Free (Salmon)
- Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison, Sweet Potato and Venison
- Canidae Pure Sea
» There has since been 8 posts. Last posting by , Dec 24 3:35 pm

Food & Nutrition > What amount of kcals per cup is your super active dog on?

formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 8:22pm PST 
Zack isn't as active as he used to be, but he stays pretty thin so we've kept up with the higher-calorie food. From the brands I've looked at, it seems like the ones with duck or other game birds as a major protein source tend to have more calories than a lot of the other flavors. Blue Wilderness Duck has ~415 kcals/cup, 34% protein and 15% fat; TOTW Wetlands is only about 375 kcals/cup, but has 32% protein and 18% fat.

Cody will tell you that he is too short for his weight laugh out loud, he eats low calorie food (and about half the volume of what Zack gets) and still looks like a hippo. And he loves to walk more than any of the other dogs.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Dec 17 2:09 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > The most challenging breed?


formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 4:59pm PST 
Playful disobedience? Yes, we have plenty of that here.

Zack likes making fools out of people when he gets the chance. At home, he always begs for table scraps, but elsewhere he'll go into the next room when people sit down to eat. And some days he goes into "miss manners" mode and will only follow very detailed commands given in complete sentences with please and thank you. "Sit" gets no response, but if you say "would you please go over there and sit down," he'll do it every time. He insists "down" means nothing, but ask "Please lie down in your bed and go to sleep," and he'll do exactly that. And if you forget to say "thank you," sometimes he goes right back to naughty mode.

He's also a big tease in the yard. He will run away from you as long as you are chasing him, and he won't come closer than 20-30 feet, no matter how many times you call. But if you go in the house without him, he'll stand by the door and whine until you let him in.

Cody has decided that he is too cool for that "trick" business. He knows "sit" and he comes when you call. But that is it. He just plain refuses to learn anything else. Bianca can do a ton of tricks - Cody will watch her and then give you his "If I make her do that twice, can I have a treat too?" look. Cody also appreciates a good challenge - you know those cheap plastic patio chairs? Cody insisted that his 80-lb. self could share one with me - and he was right.

Is it a challenge? Yes. But for me, challenging = fun.

ETA: I have no clue what breeds either dog is. I was told that 43-lb. Zack is a boxer/GSD mix and Cody is a boxer/pit mix. But I don't really see it.
» There has since been 10 posts. Last posting by , Dec 10 7:03 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > Article in the Dogster Blog About ONLY Adopting Shelter Dogs


formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 4:20pm PST 
If you put some thought into it and made the choice you feel is best for your family, then it doesn't matter much to me where you got your dog.

But if yesterday your small child told you he/she wanted a puppy for Christmas, and so today you're calling everywhere to ask if you can get one before Christmas (not because you want a puppy, but because you must buy your child everything he/she asks for) then I do have a problem with that. Especially when you've never had any desire to have any kind of pet before. And yes, that really happened. silenced
» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by , Dec 11 11:04 am

Choosing the Right Dog > "Pure Bread Golden Retreevers"


formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 9:21am PST 
free roster to good home

Rehoming a list of names? Maybe the election people would take it and register the people to vote - for their preferred candidate. laugh out loud

Still have Sharpie Puppies.

Sharpie pups can be a challenge to rehome - I wouldn't want a puppy that pees permanent ink either . . . laugh out loud

Looking to find a home for my friends pit bull puppy. Hes 4mnths old. Hes got all hes shots up to date. Hes half blue nose and half brindle. Still full blooded pit bull.

Wow, I bet this dog could be fantastic at scent discrimination, if it is half nose. Plus, good camo for hunting if the rest of him is brindle. laugh out loud

I'm glad it's full blooded - because if it was a half blood, my neighbors the Malfoys would totally disapprove . . . laugh out loud
» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by , Oct 28 1:25 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > "Pure Bread Golden Retreevers"

formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 8:49am PST 
Okay, this one isn't really funny, it's just sad:

My 8 year old daughter wants to be a vet. She has been traumatized by the loss of 3 hamsters and 1 bug in the course of a year. She brings home random damaged bugs (broken legs, brocken wings) and takes care of them, however when they die she is a again devastated. We wanted to get her a puppy to love, they have a longer life span and theya re great companions. she has so much love to share with a pet we can;t get her anything else who doesn't have a t least a 10 year life span, or she would be truly traumatized. We cannot afford to pay the high cost of adoption fees or the high cost of purchasing one from a petstore or breeder. We would be able to provide a samll donation if someone is looking to give a puppy a good home to a little girl that has so much love to give. Only serious inquiries only. Thank you.

For right now, let's set aside the fact they've lost three pets in one year (maybe it wasn't their fault) and that they seem to think a pet with a longer lifespan is a better solution and that puppies are invincible.

I understand being on a limited budget and wanting a dog. I know people who make it work. But people in this area who state upfront that they can't afford "the high cost of the shelter" have not done their research on local shelter fees or what it really costs to own a dog. When I see statements like this, it makes me wonder if they just haven't looked into it, or if they know/think the shelter won't approve them.

I know of shelters that will let you adopt a puppy (yep, a puppy) for $150 or less, and that includes the cost of the spay/neuter, shots, 30 lbs. of food, heartworm test, and a vet check. If they cannot afford that, I am not sure how they are going to afford all of the other things a puppy/dog needs - especially considering if they get a "free to a good home" puppy, they are going to pay out-of-pocket for all of that other stuff. The vet visit, shots, and registration alone are likely to cost that much. Of course, they could just be like some people I know, and not take their dog to the vet . . . ever . . . thinking
» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by , Oct 28 1:25 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers


Graceful as a- moose
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 2:53pm PST 
I would agree with Niki, first be sure that you are living in a place where you can keep a pit bull. Not just where it's legal, but also where insurance companies will insure you and your neighbors will not throw a fit. Most people here actually like pit bulls, but there are a few people who don't, and trust me, you would not want to live next door to them with a pittie. They would spend every waking minute trying to figure out a way to make you move or get rid of your dog. They don't care that your dog is not aggressive, that you have a CGC, that their dog bit someone and yours never has - it's a pit bull, and they don't want it in their neighborhood. And if they have the right connections and you don't, it can make your life very difficult.

The second thing I would suggest, is either find someone who is very pit-savvy to help you or work with a rescue that really knows the dogs. Especially if you will have children or other animals in your house. Pit bulls are a great breed, but many in rescues are mixes of several breeds (not purebred AST or APBT), and some dogs labeled as "pit bulls" do not have any AST or APBT in them at all. So you really have to be able to evaluate the dogs individually, because many of them will not fit breed stereotypes.

Pit bulls are amazing dogs. One of the first thing that strikes me about them is their (generally) undying devotion to humans in general. I've seen pit bulls come from terrible situations, where people did unimaginable things to them, and yet when someone else takes them in, they still greet the new person with a friendly wagging tail. The way they work is remarkable, you can see how hard they are trying to do everything right; and the look on their face when they know they haven't pleased you, makes your heart sink too.

One thing you should know about pit bulls, is that many of them are leaners and/or lap dogs. They want to be as physically close to you as possible. They don't sit next to you, they sit on you. And when they can't sit on you, they sit as close as possible and lean into you. This is something to consider because not every dog owner likes this. You also have to be careful when training them around visitors to your home, pitties love everyone and do not understand that some of your visitors will not appreciate being sat on. Many of the pit bulls I know also love to give "kisses," again not something everyone is really a fan of.

Another thing to note, is that most of them are "power chewers." They may or may not chew everything in sight and can be trained to chew only their own toys/treats, but even when they only chew acceptable items, they can destroy them in seconds. We have not found a squeaky toy that lasts more than five minutes. Stuffed animals are out completely. And we even have crumbled Kong toys. Most chewy treats are a 5-10 minute project.

Pit bulls are also smart - in some cases, too smart for their own good. Bianca learned what will get her a treat, and in some cases will start doing tricks spontaneously just to see if you'll get her a reward. She has also learned how to "sing" until she gets what she wants. My dad plays a game called "Later," where you put the treats in plain sight and announce they are to be eaten "later." This results in an all-out pit bull concert, complete with a three-ring circus, until the designated "later" time arrives. You can also put a treat or toy out of sight, but if she sees you hide it, she will not forget that it is there. Not even three days later. Bianca is also smart enough to know when/to whom she has to listen and when she can get away with more. I don't live at home anymore, but I am a lot like my dad (who is "her person"). She seems to have picked up on that and listens to me almost as well as to him, even though she doesn't listen to other people who spend more time with her.

I think others on Dogster are more qualified to give advice on the animal reactive/ aggression tendencies of this type of dog, but I will say I've seen the whole range - from dogs who think every animal is their friend, to dogs who cannot be on the same property as any other animal. Which is why I think it's especially important to work with people who know the dogs and can help you pick out one that is the best fit for your family. Different people can manage different degrees of reactivity.
» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Oct 8 5:12 pm

Food & Nutrition > Hamster diets?


formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 9:33am PST 
Interesting. I never had hamsters but I did have rats, we generally had to mix our own food as I lived in a very rural area and there just weren't any places that sold "rat food."

My rats loved to hoard food, they would empty their entire dish in minutes and hide it all over the cage. A few times we tried mixing in some different things, including alfalfa pellets. We might as well have used those for bedding, the rats wouldn't touch them. They wouldn't even take them out of the bowl and hide them with the other food. It was like they were saying "this isn't really food." laugh out loud But I don't know what hamsters think of them.

You do have to watch, my rats would always choose the least nutritious, fattiest thing they could get their paws on first.

We did try some of the block/cube type diets, the rats ate them but tended to get bored with it. We mixed in some other things to give them a variety, they liked rummaging through their "cache." You just have to make sure it's mostly healthy stuff and not too much other stuff. And clean out their hoarded piles frequently to make sure they're not "stocking up" and then only eating the less healthy stuff.

Rodents are so much fun - I always thought pet rats were about as entertaining as having a pet monkey, but without all of the issues (financial, behavioral, and otherwise) that come with actually having a pet monkey. laugh out loud
» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by , Oct 4 3:55 pm

Food & Nutrition > Accidentally bought Puppy Food!


formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 8:25am PST 
The return policy depends on the store - you can call and ask. Some stores will take returns of open bags for the simple reason of "my dog doesn't like it," so I doubt they would have a problem with returning it because you picked up the wrong formula.

I once returned a bag to TSC because I realized it was going to expire in just a couple of days and I would not use it all before then. It was open, and they happily exchanged it for a full bag with a later expiration date.

Some stores might have stricter policies though, so if it's that far away I'd call first. And you would probably need a receipt, unless it's small enough the store person remembers you. They'll probably only give you store credit or an even exchange, but at least you could get the right formula.

I doubt it will cause a lot of problems though - the only thing I'd be worried about is excess calories, and even then, only if your dog is overweight or close to it. Or if you notice your dog is having any trouble digesting it, then you might want to think about taking it back.
» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by , Oct 7 9:18 pm

Food & Nutrition > The best cheap food for small dogs?

formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 8:11am PST 
If you have a Tractor Supply (TSC) near you, they carry a brand called 4Health that is pretty good and is not too expensive. Not too sure about Diamond Naturals anymore, but it used to be pretty good and was inexpensive. I've seen it at TSC and Menards. Also, if you have a Petsmart or Petco nearby, be sure to sign up for their store savings card and check for deals - sometimes they have good sales on the more expensive brands, especially the small bags.

Rural King (another farm supply store) sometimes also has good sales on decent brands of dog food. One time they had a rebate for an entire bag, free after you bought only one bag, plus what I wanted was on sale. I got two big bags of Taste of the Wild for about $40 - normally it costs around $50 per bag here.

Because of my dog's allergies, we are pretty limited to only the more expensive brands, but for them I generally find the best prices at smaller, independently owned feed stores. I'm not sure if that's true for the cheaper brands as well, but if you have one nearby it's worth a look.

Also be sure to ask if they have a frequent buyer program - some brands/stores have promotions that if you buy so many bags in one year, you get one free or something like that. I'm not sure if it only applies to big bags (in which case it probably wouldn't help you), but it's another option to look into for saving money.

If you find a brand you want to try, you can also email the company and see if they have any free samples or coupons to send you. Some companies will go as far as giving a coupon for a free 4-5 lb. bag, just to get you to try it.
» There has since been 16 posts. Last posting by , Oct 14 8:59 pm

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