it’s a fuzzy fuzzy world…

life in the heartland… with dogs… and cats…

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Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

Damp house… confused critters…

Since I moved into this house, back in July, my primary living space has been the huge walk-out basement. My bedroom is down there, and my big-screen TV and comfy squishy sofas, perfect for lounging on with dogs and cats while working (or playing) on the laptop. There’s easy access to the backyard, by way of the screened porch, and it’s just an altogether more convenient and pleasant “critter space” than the upstairs. (It also allows me to keep the upstairs relatively cat-free, since I have friends and family who are allergic to the feline members of the Reddogs clan.)

Last night, having spent most of the day upstairs doing laundry and unpacking books and generally doing rainy-day chores, I headed down the stairs to grab a laundry basket and realized that the carpet looked funny. Then I got closer and realized the carpet was drenched. Oops! The basement was flooding

As I started the process of contacting the insurance company (who ultimately didn’t cover it because it was a “groundwater incursion” for which I’m not covered) and moving furniture to the dry side of the basement, I also relocated all the animals to upstairs. The cats all got caught and stashed in the small bedroom, where they’re safe from the possibility of escaping while workers are in and out of the house. Conveniently, that room opens onto the main upstairs bathroom, so I can go into the bathroom, close the hall door, then open the bedroom door to go in and feed/water/snuggle cats, letting the bathroom act as a kind of “airlock” to keep kitties from escaping.

Then I drug all the dog crates upstairs and stashed them in the master bedroom, which is my temporary sleeping space (on a twin futon… bleah) until the Big Noisy Fans are gone from downstairs and I can have my room back. The dogs have taken this in stride, ’cause they’re pretty much just happy to be wherever I am, and they can still hang out in the living room with me (Thunder the English Setter looks very elegant sprawled on the leather sofa). The cats, however, are extremely unhappy about this turn of affairs. They’re used to being able to sleep with me, and to snuggle against me while I’m working on the laptop. They do not like being banished to a single room, but we’ve got at least three more days of contractors being in and out of the house to finish drying out the basement and I can run the risk of freaked-out kittie escaping through an open door. 🙁

I want my bed back… and my DVR (it’s hooked up to the big TV downstairs)… and I want my house to not sound like I live in a wind-tunnel. But we can all survive a few more days of this, and the good news is that the water was limited to the floor… the walls aren’t wet, and the carpet is probably okay (yay for really good water abatement crews!), and in a few days life will be back to normal.

The dog food dilemma

I’ve fed Eagle Pack Holistic for several years, and until recently I was happy with the results. The boys maintained good weight and had great coats.

Since the move, though, and especially since fencing the yard, Drummer’s on the skinny side and Thunder is positively gaunt. The Eagle Pack doesn’t seem to be nutrient-dense enough to keep the BusyBoys at a good fighting weight while they’re running running running in the new yard. I’ve also been unhappy with (not to put too fine a point on it) the volume of doggy “output” that I’m having to pick up in the yard. Since our standard lamb & rice formula didn’t seem to be suiting Thunder, I first tried a different Eagle formulation, but the fish & oatmeal didn’t help, so the next phase of the quest was to find something completely different. This time the goal was no grain, minimal carbs, and more protein and fat.

[lj-cut text=”food, food and more food”]

The last time I read all the bags at my favorite purveyor of pet food, they didn’t have anything substantially better than what I was already feeding. This time, though, I found two possibilities, one with 10% more protein than the Eagle Pack and the second with 20% more.

COMPARISON

               EAGLE PACK          BEFORE GRAIN 3          EVO RED MEAT
Protein        22%                 32%                     42%
Fat            15%                 15%                     22%
Fiber          4%                  3%                      2.5%
kcal/cup       403                 383                     487
1st ingred.    lamb meal           buffalo, deboned        beef
2nd ingred.    ground brown rice   chicken meal            lamb meal
3rd ingred.    ground white rice   potato, dehydrated      potato
4th ingred.    chicken fat         turkey meal             egg
5th ingred.    oatmeal             canola oil              sunflower oil

So… current plan is to feed a mix of the BG and Evo, starting w/ mostly BG and converting over to mostly Evo by the time the current 6.6 lb bag of the BG runs out, then I’ll feed the Evo for a couple of months and see what happens. Since both have more fish oil in them than the Eagle Pack had, I’ll reconsider which supplements I’m adding. I think I’ll keep adding probiotics for now, at least until Thunder’s perpetual yeast infection in his ears finally clears up.

[/lj-cut]Things I like about the Evo Red Meat: After the five ingredients listed above, four of the next five are meat (and the fifth is oil), and four of the next five are fruits and vegetables. Only thing I don’t like about the Evo, at least so far? It’s 50% more expensive than the Eagle Pack, which was already pricey. Ouch. I hope they do well on it!!

Entertainingly, this experiment in food means that the dogs are now eating a higher-protein kibble than the cats, who are of the opinion that the dog food smells really really good now.

So, dog-people… what do you feed, and why? (And yes, I’ve heard all the arguments for feeding raw, and that’s not a path I’m ready to go down.) Anybody with experience with either the BG or Evo Red Meat?

soon… a fence!

Having recently moved to a new house in TinyLittleTown, IN, the dogs and I have been anxiously awaiting the day that they can actually enjoy the two-acre yard.

Well, that day is getting closer. Over the last week, corner posts were set, then everything was trenched (I’m having the bottom six inches of chain link buried to discourage digging) and the rest of the fence posts went in. Today, they started pulling chain link, and it’s looking great! With luck, they’ll be finished by the weekend and Drummer, Thunder, Snickers (my sister’s Shiba) and Secret (niece’s Shiba) will finally be able to run and play to their hearts’ content. I guess it’s time for me to either find the Flying Squirrel or buy a new one, so I’ll have something to throw for Drummy!

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