Postings by Hazel

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Food & Nutrition > Supplementing Lower Quality Dog Food With Veggies/Meat
Hazel

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Barked: Sat Aug 10, '13 10:46am PST 
I think adding fresh foods to a dog's mid-grade kibble diet is a wonderful idea. Here's another suggestion on the kibble: if you have a Wegman's grocery store nearby, the one near me sells Evolve brand dog food, $17.99 for 15 lbs. It's really decent food for that price.

Are you *sure* you can't handle raw meat - how about a bag of frozen chicken breasts which you can immediately toss into a pot of boiling water (frozen isn't slimy)? An egg every few days would be great - if it disgusts you to break open a raw egg, then hard boil it.

Sardines (in water, not oil) are good, too - but they contain sodium, so I usually mash them up and add some water to dilute the salt a bit. I get sardines at Aldi for $0.99/can.

I have a food processor, so I usually blend boiled veggies (whatever I have on hand) with a protein (meat/egg/sardine) to make a slop which I pack in Kongs.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Darby, Aug 13 9:38 am

Dog Health > Emi keeps freaking out. Help!
Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 26, '13 2:25pm PST 
We did read the Thundershirt instructions and watched videos and paired it with food during non-stressful times, but I'm willing to entertain the thought that we still may not have used the it exactly correctly. The big issue for Hazel is that it actually seemed to make her *shut down* with anxiety; she just froze and then walked stiffly when we put it on her. I still have it sitting around somewhere; should probably go to a charity.
Anyway, Pepper is spot-on about the need for behavioral work alongside medication. Medication, if you need to use it, is not a replacement for the hard work of training and exercise. You also have to manage expectations - Hazel is still not a perfectly well-adjusted dog, but she is much better now.
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by Emi, Jul 29 2:51 pm


Dog Health > Dog with anxiety issues!

Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 8:45pm PST 
Which medication(s) did the vet prescribe, and what dosage? In my experience, regular vets can be reluctant to prescribe medications for anxiety or, if they do, they may not prescribe a high enough dose or know which drugs tend to work well together. That's understandable; it's not their expertise.
If you can consult with board-certified veterinary behaviorist, it is well worth it.
In the meantime, start working on behavior modification exercises (a behaviorist will tell you to do these anyway; medication is not a panacea). Feed all meals in Kongs and treat-dispensing toys--this distracts the dog and also tires them a bit. Practice Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol. Here is a version: http://www.dogdaysnw.com/doc/OverallRelaxationProtocol.pdf
Our behaviorist gave us a similar protocol, but instead of "sit" she instructed "lie quietly on a designated mat." For these exercises, we use a large bathmat sprayed with Dog Appeasing Pheromone, which is *only* used for relaxation.
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» There has since been 4 posts. Last posting by BoyGeorge, Jun 26 2:14 am


Dog Health > Emi keeps freaking out. Help!

Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 6:09pm PST 
We had a similar situation: separation anxiety and firework/thunderstorm phobia; then we moved to a new apartment and Hazel developed daily panic attacks with seemingly no cause.

We went through most of the over-the-counter remedies, including the Thundershirt. Do give it a fair chance, but realize that even if you use it correctly, some dogs just do not respond.

When the anxiety got to the point where it seemed like she was always on edge and could not relax, we took her to the vet. The first vet dismissed our concerns and didn't even bother to look at our written history of her behaviors and remedies we'd tried. Be persistent, because some vets don't take behavioral problems seriously! The second vet prescribed some meds to help in the short-term, and gave us a referral to a veterinary behaviorist. The behaviorist gave us a detailed behavior modification plan, as well as a new medication that has been very effective.
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» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by Emi, Jul 29 2:51 pm


Food & Nutrition > 4 Health has a new grain free dog food.

Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 5:42pm PST 
It depends on your needs. If you NEED grain-free due to allergies, and you can't afford TOTW, then don't feel bad about feeding this 4Health if it is within your budget.

Yes, it has an unnamed fish meal, and some of the protein comes from peas - but it is certainly better than some of the big brands that spend most of their money on lots of clever marketing and use more dubious ingredients.

On the other hand, if you do not need grain free, you may find that there is a food with slightly higher protein and no unspecified meat meals that is still within your budget. (Grain-free brands tend to be good quality food with higher protein (there are exceptions, however), but potato and peas are still carbs and, in my opinion, probably no better than brown rice or alfalfa for a dog that has no allergies.) Browse through DogFoodAdvisor.com for high-quality foods and then check their prices. For example, there is Whole Earth Farms, Diamond Naturals, Canidae, and others.

And, as some people said, sometimes you can get good deals online. Check with your local vendor to see whether they offer sales or loyalty rewards, too.
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» There has since been 15 posts. Last posting by , Jul 11 8:29 pm

Food & Nutrition > So, what\'s in your kong today?
Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 8:31am PST 
Resurrecting this motivational thread ...

I just finished making my batch of Kong stuffing for the week: sweet potatoes, tilapia, and eggs. I always fill ~2/3 with kibble, fill the rest with stuffing, and freeze.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Scooter, PAWS , Feb 5 7:00 am


Dog Health > How Cold is Too Cold to Walk?

Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 5:58pm PST 
You have to watch the dog to see whether they're comfortable. Hazel, for example, will happily go on 30 minute walks in the 30s or even 20s, without any sign of discomfort. But if it's windy, her ears are back and she doesn't sniff as much - she's more on a mission to do her business and get home. If we get into a cold snap in the teens, then I limit her walks to 10-15 minutes at a time. She doesn't wear booties - she would HATE them - but her feet never look irritated, and she chooses to walk on sidewalks when possible (even though I would think the grass would feel less cold). In sum, pay attention to the dog's signs and modify the walks or dress them accordingly.
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» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by Risa W-FDM/MF RE RL1 CA CGC, Jan 1 6:11 am


Behavior & Training > Car anxiety always better on the way home?

Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 6:55pm PST 
It seems believable to me that a dog could learn the pattern - that car rides usually come in pairs (going away, coming home), and he's more anxious on the first leg of the trip because he doesn't know where he's going. Do you often take him in the car besides trips to the vet?

Hazel used to have car anxiety - she would salivate as soon as she got in the car, and vomit within 30 minutes. She developed all that anxiety from one bad trip where she happened to get sick from all the stop-and-go traffic, and she remembered it! What eventually solved it was many short trips (sub-vomit distance) to a pet supply store where she got lots of attention and treats. Now she looks forward to car rides. Maybe that will work for Bunny - make sure he doesn't associate car rides exclusively with vet appointments.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Bunny, Jun 1 6:04 pm


Food & Nutrition > How do I unspoil my boys?

Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 7, '12 5:04pm PST 
Hucky, you can very easily and cheaply make a sodium-free broth for them. I know you're trying to wean them off the homecooked in part because you're tired of cooking - but broth is sooo easy, it's almost effortless. Just buy some cheap bones (beef marrow bones, pork necks bones, whatever is cheap), throw them in a pot of water, and boil for a few hours. You can make a big pot of broth and freeze some for later use.
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by , Dec 11 9:58 am

Food & Nutrition > Looking for long-lasting meal/treat ideas
Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 8:14pm PST 
Thanks for the ideas.
We made some treat dispensing toys by cutting holes into old plastic containers (gallon milk jug and a large yogurt container). They work just as well as the Twist N Treat, Nibble Kibble, etc. that we already had, in fact, I think she likes them better because they're so big and fun to kick around! Now I'm going to keep my eye out for other things around the house that can be used as interactive toys.
Also, she has finally graduated to eating frozen Kongs while we're gone - she would never do that before starting anti-anxiety medication (too anxious to put in that level of effort, apparently).
Now we're able to stretch her morning meal out to 30-60 minutes. happy dance
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Hazel, Dec 5 8:14 pm

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