Monthly Archives: April 2013
So it’s been storming for 2 days, and someone is NOT happy! Thundershirt is on and taking shelter in the kennel!
Yes, I bark and chase away dogs bigger than me. Yes, I take on the wind, bad neighbors, bunnies, squirrels, bad neighbor’s bad cat, UPS truck, cars, etc. to protect my mommy and my house. Yes, I am fearless 99.9% of the time….unless there’s thunder and lightening! No way, no how am I dealing with that crazy stuff. I won’t even sleep on the bed next to mommy for protection during a storm ’cause I can see the window from the bed. I keep myself (and apparently mommy) up most of the night whining and being a nervous Nellie. I get too hot sleeping in my Thundershirt, so that didn’t work. So mommy has come to the rescue and figured out a solution. She moved my dog bed, so it’s between her bed and the dresser with the wall behind it, like a mini nest/cave. I can’t see the window and feel protected! I can now sleep soundly during a thunder storm. Yay, mommy!
So I’ve finished reading the BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training) book and almost finished watching disc 1 of the 2 disc training DVD set. I have to say that I’m becoming a believer! Usually Suki becomes “Cujo” on walks when she encounters a dog. I’m not talking about aggressive/biting, but she barks and lunges. The couple of times she’s gotten to the other dog (more the other dog charged her), she just sniffs and sits. Unfortunately, I’m deaf and my arm is ripped out of the socket by that time. LOL.
On our afternoon walk yesterday, I noticed a big improvement in Suki’s behavior. We encountered a few dogs in yards…and no lunging! There was barking, but no lunging at all! That’s HUGE with Suki! Instead of telling Suki to “sush”, I gave her the time to make her own “right” decision. She barked a few times, then quieted down and turned back to look at me. A click, walk away (the functional reward), praise, and a treat then we were on our way. Normally on walks, I have to use both hands to restrain her and physically get between her & the dog to quiet her down. I was so impressed yesterday! Now granted, the dogs were a little farther away in a yard then walking right by them on a walk, but we have to start somewhere.
Suki encountering dogs on leash before starting BAT:
Suki encountering dogs on a walk after few BAT sessions:
My end goal for walking Suki while encountering dogs:
Suki’s Paw Rating (1 to 4 paws):
Mommy still loves Stella & Chewy’s Frozen Raw patties, but she wanted me to have another food option for variety. Of course it has to be safe for my kidneys and low in sodium, phosphorus, and protein. Mommy found K9 Naturals, and I’m a big fan! This food looks like little sausage links vs the Stella & Chewys patty. I like to inhale my food, but K9 Natural takes me a little longer to eat which is a good thing (according to mommy at least). I love the taste! I especially like that mommy can vary my food, and my tummy doesn’t get upset. A+!
Raw food has really helped with Suki’s kidney and weight issues. I’ve tried a few different brands, and my favorite for awhile now has been Stella & Chewys Frozen Raw patties. I do NOT like raw food that looks bloody and makes me want to puke which was a big issue with other brands. Due to the higher sodium count of rabbit and bison and Suki’s difficulty with chicken, she is limited to just a few flavors of Stella & Chewys though. I wanted her to have a variety, so she doesn’t get bored or develop a reactivity to a certain meat source with long term use. I started my search for a 2nd non-bloody option and found K9 Natural. K9 Natural isn’t a patty but looks more like short sausage links. So far Suki has tried the lamb and beef flavors and devours them! The only downside I’ve found so far is that I can’t “squish” her kidney pill into them like a Stella & Chewy patty. She’s figured out how to eat around the kidney pill a few times. Crafty little girl that Suki! I do like that K9 Natural is a little easier to feed.. Suki only gets 1/2 a Stella & Chewy patty each meal, so I have to thaw a whole one each time, cut it up, and store the extra half for next time. With K9 Natural, I just need to scoop the amount I need and thaw it. The links stay in their tight form, so no mess. K9 Natural is a complete diet, so you don’t need to add any supplements or enzymes.
The feeding guidelines on the bag seem right on par with what Suki is normally fed. Suki seems to be handling the food very well and has firm small poop on it. I’m still on the first bag, so I haven’t been able to determine yet which brand is more cost-effective/lasts longest. If you’re going to feed raw, I highly recommend K9 Natural and Stella & Chewys. Because raw food is more digestible than kibble, it’s not usually an issue to rotate food brands. I like being able to alternate between the two for variety. You can find more information about the K9 Natural company and their products on their website http://www.k9natural.com/.