Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Growing Pains

Titan is 6 months old today, and last week the vet weighed him in at 74 lbs. That's a lot of struggling puppy to lift into the back of a truck -- like a big bale of hay with attitude.

I took Titan to the vet because he went completely off his food for a couple of days. Tilley, Willow and Watson are on a raw diet, but Titan mostly gets GO! Natural kibble because we didn't want to buy a third freezer for our pets. He has never been really enthusiastic about food, but he learned early that we have an eat-it-or-lose-it policy around here. On the day he stopped eating I had corrected him firmly a couple of times for crashing through gates without permission (he and Raven are birds of a feather) so I didn't think much of it. He is a sensitive dog, and harsh treatment* has always left him feeling low. On the second day we began to worry and on the third day I dropped everything to get him to the vet.

Dr. Fanous checked his mouth, his gut, his eyes, his ears, his temperature and his pulse. Her only concern was a slightly elevated temperature (39.2) and his only concern was eating as much canned food as she was prepared to offer him. That night I mixed a can of salmon with his dinner and he's been hoovering plain kibble ever since. We still don't know what the slowdown was about (blood work revealed nothing), but I'd wager he's gained at least five pounds since he started eating again.

*I am no monster, but I am very black and white with my dogs. Undesired behavior is swiftly and firmly corrected. Any dog that bursts through passages without permission will find its head trapped in the door or gate by a growling crazy woman until they back out. They learn very quickly that sitting and waiting politely will get them what they want.


Daun said...

Yay! My three dogs are on raw, too and have been for 7 years now. It would take a novel to list all the benefits I have seen (and completely scary things when we went on vacation and my family fed them kibble for a week).

I really enjoy your thoughtful posts!!

dp said...

Thanks Daun!

We switched to raw in 2002 because Reuben had such bad skin problems, and I have never looked back. David and I took Tilley and Willow on a road trip down the Baja peninsula last year and we fed them kibble for that. Bad news -- Montezuma took much revenge on my dogs.

I forgot to mention in the post that we will switch Titan to raw once this bag of kibble is finished (freezer #3 will have to live in the garage). I just hate picking up kibble poops.

Funder said...

Wow, I knew I liked yall for a reason ;) I started feeding raw in 1999. For a couple of years, I tried fancy premium kibbles, but even the best kibble is still kibble. I switched back to raw two years ago and now I'm kinda thinking about feeding the cats raw - they sure love getting a bite of Cersei's dinner as a daily treat.

Also, Titan is aptly named.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Hi dp. I enjoy your blog. (Saw a link from the comments page at the Three Woofs site, and have been checking it out every few days.) I love it that you have given Tonka such a good life. There was a horse in my past, and one day, will write about him. Your raw food comments interested me - I just wrote some of my thoughts on taw in a recent post. If you couldn't feed raw for some reason, I'm wondering what would be your next best choice.

dp said...

Funder: Our one cat loves to lick the dogs' plates after dinner, but we have kept the cats on a high quality kibble thus far. The dogs get their food frozen so that it takes more than 10 seconds for them to eat it, and so that I don't have to remember to thaw it. I'd have to remember to thaw food for the cats, and that might not work...

Carol: I sent you an email about this, but there are lots of options available for those who can't feed raw. Innova Evo is probably the best kibble available, but very expensive. A pet-store owner friend of mine suggest that Canidae is the best combination of quality and value. There are also some dehydrated raw foods on the market now so that you don't have to worry about freezer space.