Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dog Food

May 20 - May 30 (11 days) - Humbug Mtn. State Park, Port Orford, OR
Tick update: The tick on my calf was discovered Friday night. It was very irritated and then the dreaded red bulls eye appeared. Saturday, I called 4 numbers with no luck. Monday was Memorial Day, so Tuesday I was on a mission to find a Doctor. To add to the problem, we have no cell service at the campground. So I had to go a few miles just to get cell reception to call Doctors.
I called a number that was supposed to be right in Port Orford. They stated they had a walk-in clinic. Halleluja! I asked for the street number and it was not what I had. Ends up, this clinic was 50 miles away! Huh? So I asked if they knew where I could go closer. I was told the only place for a walk-in would be the ER in Gold Beach, 22 miles away.
So off to the ER I go. Do I have to contact my insurance provider for an emergency visit? I'll call them when I get there. As I'm heading into town, I pass David & Suzi of Beluga's Excellent Adventure heading the opposite direction. Just before where I'm to turn I see "Walk-ins 10am -4pm". Is that for the Vet clinic? or maybe for the hair salon? Nope, it's a Doctor's office! Halleluja!!!
An hour and 15 minutes later I see the Doctor for 5 minutes. Nice office staff, nice Doctor. I wonder if she (Dr.) doesn't get many tick bites. She said that I need antibiotics. I said yes. She said she had to check what kind. I said Doxy. She said she thought so. She said a 2 week duration is norm. I said not for tick bites. It's a 3 week duration. She said she would verify.  I was right.
With prescription in hand, I said I had to find a pharmacy. The Doctor said, right across the street-the only pharmacy in town! I hope they take my prescription plan.
All worked out. $10.00 co-pay for the Dr. and $3.00 for the prescription. Now I have to hope that this works against contracting Lyme Disease.
FYI, if you're ever in this area.
North Bend Medical Centers 94180 2nd St., Gold Beach OR 97444 541-247-7047
They accepted my Horizon BC/BS
Corner Drug 29670 Ellensburg Ave. Gold Beach, OR 97444  541-247-4544
Accepted my Express Scripts/Medo plan
Dog Foods
When I was a young dog owner, I'm sorry to say, I wasn't a great dog owner. I worked the midnight shift and used to keep my dog outside all day while I tried to sleep. I had a Keeshond at the time and they are known to be barkers. Of course I didn't know that. She would bark and bark and bark. My neighbors never complained, but I'm sure they must have hated me. I also used to feed her Gravy Train because of the "nice gravy" it produced when you added water.
It wasn't until I met Scott and his two dogs (I was dogless by then) that I started to become more educated.  I was so impressed at how well behaved his labs were. They waited to eat, they came when called, they laid down when told to, etc. From then on my attitude toward dogs changed. I always enjoyed dogs, but didn't have that connection with them like I do now. When we bought a Flat Coated Retriever from a well respected breeder, she told us about what quality dog food was all about. From then on, my attitude towards dog food changed. Education, education, education.
The breeder suggested Innova. She explained that there were no chemical preservatives, no protein by-products and a variety of vegetables added. Unfortunately, at the time, the only way to get the food was via distributors (the breeder). So I began my research.

The first HUGE thing I learned was about protein by-products. Some of what is included in protein by-products is just thought to be distasteful or gross to a human's mind. But other portions of protein by-product is unhealthy and I do not want to give to my dogs.

Animal Digest: This is the dry by-product of rendered meat. During rendering, all usable animal parts (including fetal tissues and glandular wastes) are heated in vats and the liquid is separated from the dry meal. This meal is covered with charcoal and labeled "unfit for human consumption" before processing it into pet food. Digest can also include intestines, as well as the contents of those intestines, such as stool, bile, parasites and chemicals.

Chicken By-products: These are ground parts from poultry carcasses such as feet, heads, feathers, intestines, necks and undeveloped eggs and can included any rendered material.

Meat By-products: Pet grade meat by-products consist of organs and parts not desired or not fit for human consumption. This can include organs, bones, blood and fatty tissue. It can also include brains, feet, heads, intestines and any other internal parts. Unbelievably, by-products can also contain cancerous or diseased tissue containing parasites, euthanized animals.

From there, I learned there were better ways to preserve the food without harmful chemicals.
I learned how corn is used as a protein in many cheap grocery store brands. How much protein by weight is actually in corn compared to an animal protein? Not much.

I could go on and on, but I won't too much longer.

From the Whole Dog Journal  I've learned, "With most dogs, the more you change foods, the more robust and capable their digestion becomes."  You should be careful if your dog has a sensitive stomach or if you've been feeding them high fat, low protein grocery store dog food.
We change dog foods quite often, without our dogs having any digestive issues. We usually stick with our one regular brand, and then every once in a while use a different brand. It not only helps the dogs get a variety of ingredients, but also lets us find out what foods our dogs really like and maybe switch them to that for a while.

Our present dog food is Taste of the Wild, Pacific Stream Dry (Salmon). But as we travel, we do try to mix in other brands along the way.  We recently tried Instinct Raw. It is a dry food, but also has freeze dried raw protein pellets mixed in. We give this to our dogs in the morning when we feed dry. They "wolf" it down.

We've had "sticker shock" at the price of decent canned dog food. We only add canned to their main dry at dinner, just to give them some variety. It is difficult to find a canned dog food I am comfortable with for under $2.00/can! So I now have been adding cheap tuna, mackerel, etc. to their food. It gives the food the added zing of an enticing aroma and taste, it's cheaper than canned dog food and if you watch the salt in the mackerel, sardines etc. it's good for our dogs. We only add enough to taste. This not the bulk of their dinner.

My next post will be just a food grade rating chart for you to try on YOUR dog food.
You start with a score of 100 and then subtract for certain ingredients and add for other ingredients.
Anything from around 90  to 100 + is good. Our food Taste of the Wild, Pacific Stream Dry, scored 103.

For more info: Dog food analysis
Whole Dog Journal  
My rating 5 out of 5

I've subscribed to Whole Dog Journal magazine for over 10 years. This magazine is not only an educational magazine about your dog's health, but also your dog's behavior and training. They do not accept ANY advertising, so like Consumer Reports magazine, they can be totally unbiased and state their opinion about products without outside influence.
Annually, in February, there is a large article on acceptable, healthy dog foods.
Whole Dog Journal has helped me with coping with one of my dog's renal disease, have educated me about vaccinating dogs, etc. Every 3 yrs is better than annually.
Not feeding pets table scraps
Old wives tale that your dog will get fat if you feed them table scraps. NOT TRUE. If you feed them table scraps + their full dinner + dog biscuits through out the day, yes, they will get fat. 
The majority of the time, we save the last bite or two of our dinner for our dogs. We add it to their dinner and give them less kibble. Also, even though our dogs are about 60-70 pounds, they get miniature sized dog treats. They NEVER get a whole sized biscuit. Since we are constantly rewarding them through out the day for good behavior, they would be fat (like Mom). Our treats are broken down into ONE BITE sized pieces. It's like me eating a cookie or two with coffee, then tea, then milk, etc. That adds up to a lot of cookies. But, if I would eat a 1/2 a cookie at a sitting, I would still take care of my sweet tooth, with 1/2 the calories.
Expensive brands names are considered the best.
You silly, silly designer and name brand people! I am NOT saying all name brands are bad. Many times, they are higher quality. L.L. Bean clothes are really well made with great materials compared to Walmart brand clothes. (I still shop at Walmart). But, when you buy an item simply for the name, that is ridiculous. It's a fad, it will soon be taboo.
You women with the Coach pocketbooks. Ugh! They are ugly!!!! I thought they were faux leather because they were so ugly. I did research and they are made out of real leather. But they are still ugly. Plus, I don't want someone else's initials on my stuff. I can get beautiful leather handmades and wallets for 1/4 the price of Coach. I just don't see the draw. 
I have a Suzuki Intruder motorcycle. I don't want a Harley Davidson simply because that is what is "expected" when you say you have a bike. They sound disappointed when I say a Suzuki. What is so great about Harley's except their name, which is just been ingrained into our minds. I'm not saying Harley's are not nice bikes, but why do I need to spend $15,000. on a bike, because it's a Harley, when I can get a similar bike I like for $8000-$10,000? 
Sarah's KeySarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Historical novel:
I am fascinated by the history of both Black enslavement & prejudice and the holocaust. I cannot understand the mindset of any race or religion feeling so superior they feel they have the right to take over the lives of others. I am neither Black nor Jewish.
This book opened my eyes to a whole other series of tragic incidents that coincided with the Germans kidnapping the Jews. I had no idea the French did the same thing. Thank you Ms. De Rosnay for opening my eyes.
The book alternates the telling the story of two females, Sarah, a French 10 yr. old Jew separated from her family & taken to a concentration camp in 1942 and Julia, a 40ish American, living in Paris in 2002.
The two families are connected by the apartment that Sarah lived in and where Julia will be moving in to.
This audio book held my interest completely. The narrator did a great job of both female and male voices.
The author reminds me of James Clavell, who wrote Shogun. He did a lot of research of the Japanese Samurai to right his historical novel. I feel Ms. De Rosnay also must have researched the history of French Jews to right this novel. Bravo.
View all my reviews
May 31 - Jun 13, 2013 (2 weeks) - Diamond Lake RV Park, Diamond Lake, OR
June 14 -23, 2013 Armitage County Park, Eugene, OR
WA, ID, MT, ND, SD, WY, then south for the Winter of 2013/214

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