Hello & Happy Winter!
I am here to try to make your life easier, and teach you my dog walkers hack to putting on PAWZ DOG BOOTS. Here is a video, thanks to my demo dog Sadie, but I also tried to write out instructions with pics (thx Frankie)
Get the right size for your dog. A lot of people buy too large, because they are hard to put on so they size up - but this will lead to boots falling off. If your dogs are like mine, you may need one size for their front paws, and a smaller size for the back paws.
Have the boots ready, and your dog in front of you.
Take your index & middle finger from one hand, and your index/middle/ring finger from your other hand and shove em on in the boot & streeeeetch!
Using the index finger from the 2-finger hand, and guide the paw toward the boot. Take the paw and press it against the inner top part of the balloon (the part of the balloon closer to your face). Your goal is to make the balloon hole much wider vertically (with our fingers we just make it wide horizontally). Your goal at this point isn't to get the boot on.
With the middle finger from the 3-finger hand, press on the back of the paw and guide the paw into that nice big hole you've created.
Remove your fingers by lifting upward.
Marvel at how wonderful you & your dog are.
PRACTICE. I have done this THOUSANDS of times, you will find the right angle to press the paw onto the balloon and the right finger manoeuvre to get the paw into the PAWZ.
I am so very excited to be reviving the Blog's World! For my first post, I wanted to go with a topic that changed my literal life: Sadie! My reactive little ladle.
There she is in all her glory. Cute, cuddly, and a former reactive dog.
Most of you know who Sadie is, and have probably had the pleasure of seeing me avoid you by running across the street when I see you and your dogs approaching. This isn't because I don't want to say hi, it's because it's what Sadie needs. ANYWAY. Not to get too deep into the actual training side of things, I want to talk about how this reactivity changed my life and made me a better person (and made my business what it is today).
Lets go way back into a brief history of how I found Sadie. I moved to Toronto in January of 2013, with my co-pilot Frankie! I worked really long hours - and thought "Frankie needs a friend to keep him company!" (note, future Kelsey would tell this Kelsey that this is not a good reason to get a new dog, but alas, past Kelsey did not know this). So I started searching for fosters & dogs to adopt. On a fateful Monday morning at my new job, I was searching on the Toronto Animal Services website and they posted 4 ADORABLE 11 WEEK OLD SHIH-POO PUPPIES! I couldn't believe it. It was so rare to see puppies on TAS, and these dogs were insanely cute. 3 boys, and one Sadie. I wanted that little tri-coloured pup SO BAD. I called my mom, and she told me to take the rest of the day off work (my first sick day at the job) and taxi to TAS to get there for when it opened. I took her advice. However, I got really lost trying to find the building, and ended up getting there about 8 minutes after they opened. I walked up the stairs, and the staff knew why I was there - for those ridiculously cute puppies. They warned me "we only have one pup left, and its the girl". I WAS LIKE OMG FATE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not even 30 seconds later a mom and daughter came up the stairs hoping to secure a puppy, but I was there first and Sadie was MINE. Sorry kiddo. But it really felt like fate. And I had no idea how fateful it would be.
Long story short, Sadie is the reason I became a dog walker. I realized a puppy needed a break during the day, so I needed a dog walker. I got a dog walker. And I became obsessed with the idea of being one myself. So a year later, I did.
That's a brief history. But kind of far from the point. Let's focus!
I will be honest. When I started my business, I didn't know much more other than the fact that I loved dogs - and they loved me right back. I had a knack for entrepreneurship, some really loyal customers who believed in me from the start, and was able to build a fairly successful business right off the bat. But I knew nothing. And I thought this was fine. I was blissfully ignorant. I cared for the dogs, loved the dogs, but I also really cared about being the best dog walker. I cared about that status.
Things were going great, but I noticed Sadie "out of no where" started barking at dogs (*note, reactivity doesn't come out of no where - but that's for another post). It was pretty embarrassing. Here I was, a dog walker determined to be the best.. and yet my own dog was a disaster. When she would bark I would be like "SADIE! stop!" This did not help. Obviously. It got way worse, she would bark at dogs across the street and waiting for the elevator became an extremely stressful event for us. Would another dog be in there? If so, Sadie would make a scene and I would be embarrassed.
This is where I know I have changed. Sadie was suffering, and I was concerned about myself and my status. Makes me so sad when I think about it.
I honestly didn't know what to do, and eventually got a prong collar for her (UGH). It didn't help either (OBVIOUSLY). As fate would have it, around this time I was registered for a Dog Walking Certification course with Dog*Biz. It was at the TCCE and it was an eye opener. We learned about positive reinforcement, on top of MANY other things. I came home after the first day and literally could not stop crying. Not only did I realize how little I knew, but I realized I was hurting Sadie and making her life pretty scary. I completed the course (with 100%) and made it my mission to learn everything I needed to make Sadie's life better.
From here, I was able to get a volunteer position with When Hounds Fly. Andre took me under his wing, and being able to watch him teach foundations and puppy socialization was so incredible. After a few months, Andre learned of Sadie & the issues I was having with her. After the dog*biz course and my volunteer experience, I was definitely on the right track. I was using treats on our walks, and got rid of that awful prong collar. But she was still reactive. Andre offered to come and walk with Sadie and I - and give advice on how to help her. Again, this isn't a post about training, but this meeting was life changing. He made me realize that I am Sadie's advocate. I am responsible for making her feel safe and happy. And after this, there was a switch. And I would never be where I am today without that switch.
I was on an absolute mission, my objective wasn't to have a less embarrassing/less barky dog - it was to make Sadie feel better. That was it. That was all I cared about. When we saw other dogs, we would cross the street. If I had to, I would pick Sadie up and carry her. If Sadie did have a reaction, I wouldn't shush her or get embarrassed or flustered. I would praise the crap out of her, while adding distance from the dog, and give her ALL THE FOOD IN THE WORLD! I didn't give a fuck what other people thought. I am sure I came (come?) across as being cold, never socializing with neighbours and literally running away from them - but I didn't care. I didn't care that maybe I was turning away potential customers. Old Kelsey would be mortified. Make excuses. Try to sell myself and make sure they know that Sadie doesn't define my business. Not new Kelsey. Nope. New Kelsey just wanted her Sadle Ladle to feel safe and loved.
Overtime, like, a year later - I started noticing Sadie was healing. She could get surprised by a dog and not bark (WHO IS THIS DOG). She wasn't perfect, but as long as I had treats and an escape route we could avoid a reaction. Add another year onto that, and Sadie is almost healed completely. Of course there will be times when we can't escape situations, but for the most part she is so happy and relaxed on our walks. As am I.
So what changed?
One, I learned so much about Positive Reinforcement and learned I wanted to be a dog trainer. I now work as an instructor at When Hounds Fly, and in 2019 hope to earn my CPDT-KA title.
Two, Instead of being selfish and caring about how good I looked as a dog walker, or if I had the most customers - I cared about making sure the walks were the best experience for the dogs. On our walks, we WALK! We are in our own world. I don't need to impress the general public or other dog walkers, because I know in my heart that the work I am doing is amazing. And honestly - this is WHY someone should want to be my customer. I care THAT much, that I would put Sadie's health and happiness (and every single dog I walk) before schmoozing.
Three, When I had customers who were overexcited or stressed, I knew how to handle them. I was able to advocate for them like I would for my own Sadie.
Four, I gained a confidence I never had before. Before, I didn't know much - and because of this I was really insecure. Obviously. I didn't know why I was insecure, but now I know. I cared so much about my reputation, and less about the actual work I was doing. Now, I couldn't care less about my rep. I know I do the absolute best for my customers, giving them world class walks, and I am SO proud of the work I do. I know I make a difference. I know I advocate for the dogs. I know I do incredible work. I have a priority to my customers. When I am confident, I am focused - and the dogs sure benefit from it.
Five, my priorities changed. Not just with dog walking, but with life too. I care so much about giving my dogs the best life possible - and I love spending time with them. Instead of taking courses to make myself look knowledgeable and impressive - I take them to LEARN. I am obsessed with learning.
Finally, I gained an empathy that I never knew I was missing. For that, I am forever thankful. I am so thankful for all my mistakes, because from them - I was able to grow into the dog walker, trainer, and advocate that I am.
Sadie, I am so sorry the world was so scary to you. I am sorry it took me so long to realize that that was how you felt. I am sorry for every time I got frustrated with you, or embarrassed by you.
Sadie, thank you. Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for making me a better dog walker. Thank you for helping me change the future of dog walking & be able to impact and improve other dog's lives like I was able to with you.
This is the first selfie of Sadie and I on the day I brought her home.
I am so very excited to announce that Dog's World Blog's World is going to back in action. I have my first topic ready to go (it is about how having a reactive dog changed my life), but I would love to hear from YOU about what you'd like to hear more about.
Comment here letting me know what kind of things you'd like to hear about (and why)! I look forward to starting this blogging adventure back up, it's been 2.5 years - and so much has changed! I have so much to talk about now!
As humans, we know how important it is to carry ID. Without it, we wouldn't be able to drive, buy beer, get healthcare, or be indentified if anything was ever to happen to us. Dog's don't know these things (and dogs can't buy beer), but ID for dogs is just as important, if not more so. Dogs can't speak and tell us who they are, or who they belong to - so it's our job are dog parents to Identify the crap out of our dogs. This isn't because we expect anything bad to happen, this is because we are PROACTIVE. You can be the most diligent person on the world.. but just to give some examples to convince you that you need to use ID for things out of your control.
- What if you were in a car, got in an accident, and the dog ran off in a panic?
- What if you were walking and medically something happened to you and you lost consciousness?
This isn't about carelessness.. accidents happen and dogs get loose. So we need to equip them with the power to be found.
My Suggestion for How to Properly ID
Of course, by putting ID on your dog in general - you are taking a step in the right direction. However, this is what I suggest to just totally protect your dog.
Designate a collar for ID ONLY.
This collar is never to have a leash attached to it. This is for ID tags, and ID tags only. I personally choose to leave my dogs ID collar on at all times, even when we are at home sleeping. I just think the benefit outweighs the cost (their "comfort").
This is because if they slip out of their harness or leash when on a walk, they still have obvious ID on them. Here are 3 examples below of dog's who do this already. Stan wears a cushy harness, but has a collar with his ID. Leroy has an EZ walk, but his ID is on his own collar. Misiu, you have to look carefully, but she uses a martingale collar and has a separate collar for her tags. All perfect examples. Frankie and Sadie both wear Freedom harness, and have a separate collar.
Get your dog microchipped
This is becoming standard practice more and more, but honestly - I have 2 dogs and only 1 is microchipped and it's only because she came like that. I am getting Frankie microchipped ASAP. It is nearly painless, and it places a unique chip with a number. If your dog is lost you can call in that number, and any found dogs will be scanned and compared to that. It is just another method to identify your dog. Toronto offers microchipping in a variety of locations - and it is around $35.
Click here to see the Toronto Chip Truck Dates and Locations
Want to smile again? Here are some ways to make ID tags super fun!
I will admit, this is a pretty depressing topic. It makes you think of all the what ifs that are out there, and its sad. So, here are some awesome ID tags you can get for your dogs.
I found these "bad" boys while creeping around on instagram, and fell in love. I immediately bought Sadie one that says "Shady Bitch" and Frankie the "Lil Fuck" one. The backside is completely customizable and you can enter the text that you would like. Their name, phone number, etc. The shipping does take about a month, though.
Click here to Shop
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten year old Irish wolfhound, named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa and their little boy Shane were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer.
I told the family there were no miracles left for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog. Ron and Lisa told me that they thought it would be good for the four year old Shane to observe the procedure.
They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few moments, Belker slipped away peacefully. The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion.
We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I had never heard a more comforting explanation.
“People are born so that they learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The four year old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”
Goodbye my half off princess. Thank you for the unconditional love and memories. Count your life by smiles, not tears.. You made me smile, and I will forever miss you. Give Millie, Buster, Rosey, and Pooshka a kiss for me.
We all love a good party – but sometimes it’s hard to know how to throw the perfect party. You want your party to be unique enough for people to remember it, but not too crazy that planning it drives you insane. Well, stress no more – because I am here to give you some tips to throwing the best PAWrty.
Lets just take a step back – don’t know what a Pawrty is? Well, seeing as we live in Liberty Village, I think you could guess. It’s a party, but for dogs. You might ask ‘why would one throw a party for a dog?’, to which I will counter with ‘why not?’. But realistically, our dogs provide our lives with so much happiness and joy… why not give them a night to celebrate their little tiny lives? Also, since moving to Liberty 2 years ago, some of my closest friends are friends that I met at the park while we were walking our dogs. So really, why wouldn’t you throw a party for your dog?
If you are going to throw a pawrty for your dog, you have to do it right. And that’s what I am here for:
You need a dog. Don’t have a dog? Feel free to borrow my dog, Sadie. She LOVES to PAWrty.
PARTY SUPPLIES. You can’t throw a party for dogs and NOT get party hats. You just can’t. I recommend going to the dollar store right in here Liberty Village. They have an amazing selection, and the prices can’t be beat.
Invite all your doggy friends. Tell them to bring their party pants. Aren’t sure who your dog’s friends are? Ask your dog walker. As a dog walker, I would be happy to relay the invitation to all your pup’s bffs (as long as I am invited to the pawrty too!)
A facebook invite is a great way to get the word out!
Get some cake… for the dogs, and for the humans. As for the humans… Humans are easier to please. I usually just go to Metro and get a slab cake (“usually” I say, because lets be honest, I’ve thrown my share of dog parties). However, if you are feeling fancy – there are some places in Liberty to cater to that. Check out the Golden Apple for example.
Believe it or not, that delicious looking cake is for DOGS. Made by the one and only Brown Hound Pet Treat Company
It’s time to party. You need to prepare yourself for this one. Having more than 4 dogs in your condo at once can get a little overwhelming. I recommend blocking off the doorway (especially if people are coming in an out). Baby gates work well. I also recommend placing pee pads around the house, as the dogs are going to be EXCITED – if there is an accident, wouldn’t you rather it be on a pee pad? Another crucial part of planning: make sure you have water dishes. The dogs are likely going to be crazy excited and expel a lot of energy, so we want them hydrated. Other than that – you just have to sit back and watch the magic happen. Dog’s are a lot like use humans at party. Shy at first, and hang around with the people they know.. but by the end of it, some unexpected friendships might form.
Most importantly. Take pictures. Have fun. Remind the dogs how much you love them. We in Liberty love parties, and we love dogs. So why not bring those 2 things together? A dog lives his life trying to please others. Seriously never wishing any harm on you. And all we have to do to earn their love is just be there. They don’t go around expecting something in return. They want you to be happy, and maybe give em a little belly rub.
A dog will listen better than most people will. A dog KNOWS when we are upset, and will tailor to your needs. And most importantly, a dog will be there for you when others turn their backs on you. Ready to be there, and make you happy, and take care of you.
So why not give them a special day in return. Sure. They probably won’t remember it years later, but the humans will. And even though it is silly, it’s something special that we did to the most special creatures in our lives.
Have some party tips? Be sure to leave them in the comments.
Hi Guys Hi, My name is Rupert Allan Kulcheski. My ‘moms’ said that everyone should have a middle name, so when I am in trouble they call me Rupert Allan. I also go by Ruppie, Rup, Roo, Rupscoop and Rupescoope. I am an Olde English Bulldogge who is a gentleman and I always keep my fur clean. I'm 2'1 83 lbs (few extra winter pounds) brindle fur, brown eyes and single. My teeth don’t fit in my mouth all that well and my mamas say that braces are too expensive.
I was born on a farm west of London. I was only there for 8 weeks, enjoying life when 2 crazy girls showed up at the farm, kidnapped me, dressed me in a red hooded sweater that was way too tight and drove off with me in a black SUV. They took me to a really tall building in the middle of a really loud city, up 27 floors and into their pad. I was pissed.
They got me lots of toys, a bowl of water that I immediately assumed was my bath, and a big fuzzy blanket. They passed me around and invited all of their friends over to tug at my fur coat. I just wanted to sleep. Bed time came and they put me in this jail cell. I cried and cried and cried and cried, until one mama came out and got me (suckers). They put me up in this big fluffy bed thing, and got up with me every 2 hours so I could pee. That is where I continue to sleep. In bed with my humans.
I travel in the car a lot, but I get to ride shotgun. Every weekend my mama’s get together and take me somewhere. We go to see my grandparents a lot. Grandma and Grandpa 1 live in Ennismore, which I love because its right on the water and there are no rules there. Grandma and Grandpa 2 live on Wolfe Island; its also wonderful because my cousins Bullet ad Gunner live there and those two pups have free reign over the lands. Last time I went to visit, we went hunting and each got our own deer leg. My mama was so mad when I got home because I had the poops for 4 weeks!
I am 2 years old now. My one mama moved to the west end last year, which isn’t so bad because now I have two homes and there is more room in the bed for me. I reside in the city with my other mama. We have a pretty nice place, a king size bed and lots of toys plus my homie Frankie is close by and my Girlfriend Sadie.
I wake up every day about 9am, I am not a morning pup. My mama gets ready for work while I lay in bed a little longer. I have to go in my crate when she leaves because I ate the couch a year ago and I'm still not trusted. One would think that we could move on, but apparently the couch was really expensive.
About 12:00pm every day I hear the key bustling in the door, and in comes my best friend Kelsey. I get soooo excited when I see her. Sometimes I am so excited that I wag my nub of a tail so hard I worry it might just blow right off. Kelsey kisses me and hugs me, and right away I get a treat for doing nothing! Even better, this means I am going to see all my friends. We call ourselves the Pups of Anarchy. Pretty much the hottest pack in all of King West, heck in all of Toronto.
Over all I think I have it pretty good being part of Dogs World Walking.
Almost nap time again so signing out!
What did I tell you? I said that 2016 was going to be a year of new and exciting things. It's in writing, you can quote me on it. So, I could continue to ramble - but I would rather just talk to you about the AWESOME NEW THING #1:
When I was thinking of things I could do to make Dog's World Walking even more "professional, affordable, reliable, and adorable", the first thing I wanted to tackle was the affordable section. I mean, we are already outrageously adorable. Even though my prices are some of the lowest in the area - I wanted to offer more than just a weekly discount. Bulk pricing seemed to be the answer. Buying in bulk is always the way to go. I order my insurance that way, and also, my candy.
You can see the prices above in the screen shot, or by going to my website (http://www.dogsworldwalking.com/bulk-pricing-new.html) But I wanted to elaborate a bit more on how much of a deal each package is!
20 Walk Package
$310 for 20 walks (15.50 a walk)
This gives customers who aren't looking for every day (M-F) walks an opportunity to save. I have a handful of customers who use me 1-2x a week, and have been loyal and are regular customers - so I figured adding a bulk 20 walk package that equated to the weekly rate was a great option! It gives you the ~14% discount that the weekly customers use, but you don't need to have every day walks! This saves you $2.50 per walk (a regular walk with HST comes to $18). That's a chocolate bars worth of savings per walk! THINK OF ALL THE CANDY YOU COULD BUY!
40 Walk Package
$600 for 40 walks (15 a walk)
This package gives a great discount for both weekly customers and here and there customers. It cuts the walk to $15/walk, so you are saving between $0.50 to $3 a walk depending on how regular you are. For M-F customers, this saves you $20 every 2 months. $20 that you know you are spending anyway. Over the course of the year thats over $100 of savings! As for the less regular customers, it's obvious savings immediately - and 40 walks will go quicker than I am sure you realize. It's great savings for everyone.
60 Walk Package
$840 for 60 walks (14 a walk)
This is obviously the best value - as with most things bulk, the more you buy the better the savings. Well, duh, because what is the point in buying in bulk if it doesn't offer any sort of benefit? Anyway. This package is huge savings for the regular customers and irregular customers.
Regular M-F customers who already have a 14% discount. This adds another ~10% off! Let's put it into numbers. 60 walks is 3 months. So $840 for 3 months of walks. With the regular weekly discount, you are paying ~$930 every 3 months for 60 walks. So in just 3 months you have saved $90. Over the course of a year, you are saving about $360. You can get a flight to Cuba for that much!!
And again, for irregular customers this package is a bit high. I am sure 60 walks will be used over the course of a year, but the ~$4 savings per walk is nothing to joke about. After just 10 walks you've saved yourself $40.
I get that shelling out bulk amounts of money at a time isn't feasible for everyone, but it's a new option I am proud of offer! If you are interested, shoot me an email at email@example.com
This offer is good for everyone, both new and existing customers!
It's a Dog's World.. We're just Saving Money in it!
Sup humans! Sadie here.. My humom asked me to start blogging when I have extra time. I was like "ha.. like I EVER have time with the raging social life I lead". My mom was like "tru, you are the coolest dog ever..." (paraphrasing), but she said I could do product reviews, so obviously I said yes. I like to think I know what's what in the doggy world, and I want to make sure all the dogs are in the know so they can live lives like mine. I know, so generous.
I pulled myself off of my leopard bed (the cool thing is to not lay INSIDE the bed but to sprawl across the whole thing), and am now here typing to you humans about winter jackets.. because, even though I am all about being "cool", when it comes to winter: being warm is the coolest. Man I am funny!
So, that's good and helpful - but there are a TON of coats on the market. So I thought I would let you know about the best coat I have ever had. Because I have had a few, and since this one, my mom said she doesn't think she will ever need to buy me a new one again!
So, it all started with Rupert (what doesn't). He came to the pack one day with this ridiculous bright orange coat. Even though we kind of laughed at him for looking like a pylon.. he was SO warm. His whole body (including his neck) was covered in tight fitting fleece, with a water resistant shell. His belly was warm.. he was warm.. and I was COLD. I had a cheap jacket from homesense, and although that works great on 0 degree days, it was around -15 with the windchill and I wasn't feeling very warm, which as we know, isn't cool.
My mom started to notice a few dogs in the hood with these jackets as well, and they all looked so content and warm. So she asked a lady at the DOLA where the jacket was from, and the next day took us to Timmies on Queen Street to try them out. They are called Chilly Dogs Great White North Coats,
My mom then noticed the price.. for our 14" coats, the price was $85 each. That was a bit shocking for her. The man at the store explained that is because they are all hand made in Ottawa, and designed for Canadian winters. Fair enough.. and also - no wonder they are so warm!
According to the website (http://www.chillydogs.ca/index.php/product/index/30) they are designed for temperatures -10 degrees to -30 Celsius. Although it isn't recommended to stay out for very long with these temperatures, it helps protect us so we can play just a little bit longer and not be uncomfortable in the time we do get to enjoy the outdoors!
My mom was sold. She got Frankie the pylon colour to match our bestie Rupert, and I asked for all black. My mom said no, I needed to look like a girl. I asked for Purple.. they don't make it in purple (INSANE), so she got me pink. I must admit I do look adorable in in.
She then convinced our other best friend, Mulligan, to make his dad buy him one. Mulligan is a beagle, but he was able to get a jacket that fit perfectly too - because they are designed so brilliant. Rupert Allen is like 5x my size and weight (but hes all muscle), and his ALSO fits him perfectly. I don't think many other jackets out there can do that.
I mean, look how great we look. One - we are the most adorable squad ever. Two, we are warm.. which makes us THAT much cooler.
Winter coat shopping is hard. I hear it isn't super easy for you humans either. My mom told me that even though $85/jacket was painful to spend on a dog, she equated it to quality. Some of the best winter jackets for humans have a higher price tag. My mom spent the last few years replacing cheap winter coats, and this year finally invested - and now has the warmest coat she has ever had, and it is holding up against dog walking/the cold. So she thought it would be the same for us pups.
I am not saying this is the ONLY winter jacket out there that is good. Canada pooch sells really nice thick coats with good belly coverage, too. But this one is form fitting for all sizes, fits snug and tight so it doesn't let in those cold breezes, pretty much has a built in scarf (I refuse to call it a turtle neck), and is machine washable.... which is good for my mom, because like i would EVER do the laundry!!
What do you guys think? Like, I know we look good... but I want to hear if you have a coat that you swear by or thing is top of the line!
As my mom always says: "It's a Dog's World...", and I am just reviewing products in it!
My dogs were always on a combination of Kibble and Wet food. Usually I went with Fromm sweet potato and duck kibble, and merrick wet food (they have hilarious and awesome flavours, like "wingaling" and "thanksgiving dinner"). I felt like I was giving my dogs food they really LOVED... and they did. They gobbled it up in seconds flat. But I noticed their poo was always soft, bordering runny. And when I started dog walking, I noticed theirs just wasn't as healthy as some of the other doggy doodoos I was picking up.
Side note - how awesome is my job?
As weird and gross it is to talk about, poo is a huge indicator of health.. in humans and dogs. If a human had borderline diarrhea every day, they would go to the doctor and change something. So I decided to change my dog's diet as a first step. There was a huge raw food craze going around, and I had boarded several dogs on a raw diet. What I noticed was that their poo was SO SMALL. SO DRY. SO BEAUTIFUL (well.... for poo). I took this as an indication that they were absorbing so much of the food they were intaking, that there was very little waste left over. Compared to my dogs who had mega waste... I thought, why not. And switched them to big country raw.
I would be lying if I said they didn't LOVE it. They were getting to eat RAW MEAT. I am sure they felt like their badass wolf ancestors. And they very quickly had bowel movements that were dry and looked healthy... but, overall, I didn't like the results for one main reason: bad breath. Frankie literally began stinking up rooms because his breath was so terrible. He never had this issue before. After talking with Anita, and doing googling, I realized it was because raw food doesn't scrape or help clean their teeth.. so he had a build up of nastiness in his mouth.
With humans, mouth health is one of the ways to determine overall health. I am sure the same can be said for dogs. I decided to put them both back on kibble.
So anyway. Frankie is 4.5, Sadie is almost 3... and it took me THAT long to figure out their perfect diet. They are having great responses with the vet as well, Frankie is FINALLY shedding some weight. I found their correct diet through trial and error, which I don't totally suggest. Vets exist for a reason, and you can definitely consult them.
It's a dog's world.. It really really is.