Senior Dogs 101: Supplementing For Longevity!

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I know I’ve been mentioning Ru’s age a lot more than usual, but I guess that’s because I want to stay aware of what this next phase of life will bring. I’m lucky that as of right now, I have an incredibly vibrant and healthy old man. Rufus shows no outward signs of achy joints, cloudy eyes, or hearing loss. His coat is still beautiful and shiny and he’s fairly active. Besides his ongoing issues with his gums (which are all genetic and mostly pain-free for him), he’s a healthy guy . A healthy, salt-and-pepper senior dude.

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He just really loves his naps. Like..a lot.

It’s important to stay proactive about your older dog’s health, even when everything seems to be going pretty freaking well. That’s how we keep things on the up-and-up, right?

I experiment a lot with what I give Rufus and always keep a close eye on any changes I see. There have been a few duds in the supplementation department, but here are a few that I continue to use and love:

Turmeric

I started giving Rufus turmeric after his dental scare last year to help fight some of the inflammation. It’s helped a little in that department, but like I said, it’s an uphill battle. HOWEVER! Supplementing with turmeric has proven to help in a lot of other ways. Turmeric can aid in relieving arthritic pain as well as any gastrointestinal issues. Not to mention this little plant can be cancer-fighting as well! We juice semi-regularly in this household, so sometimes I have turmeric root on hand but mostly supplement both of our diets with turmeric powder I buy in bulk online. Like I said before, Rufus doesn’t seem to be having joint issues yet but he is a tad slower getting up after a long snooze, so I figure it can’t hurt.

Raw Feeding

Ru’s diet isn’t 100% raw, but we’re leaning more and more towards that way of living as he gets older. His food digests so well, his poops are tiny, and he absolutely loves it! Yep. This vegan feeds her dog a 50% raw food diet in the form of freeze dried mixes and frozen patties thanks to Honest Kitchen and Stella and Chewy’s. The Honest Kitchen isn’t so bad because it’s dry fish and a ton of veggies, but the patties kind of make me wanna barf. The things we do for our pets…

Coconut oil

Another supplement the whole family shares. Coconut oil is great for dogs (and humans) and helps keep their coats shiny, their guts happy, and their brains functioning healthily. Rufus goes crazy for coconut oil as well – he loves his fats! It’s also great on toast with some coconut sugar and cinnamon for us humans. Just FYI.

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Blurry but on the go!

Those are just a few of the supplements I give to Rufus to keep him happy and healthy. All of them are fairly affordable, especially since I only supplement with the raw food as of right now. I’m really happy with the results I’ve seen in the long term, so I thought it was worth sharing with all of you out there fighting the good fight. We can’t stop our pups from getting older, but we can certainly keep their quality of life from diminishing for as long as possible.

What supplements do you use for your dogs? Any tips on how to make a 100% raw diet more affordable? And maybe even less disgusting…ahem.

Tasty Tuesday | 1 Ingredient Dog Treats by Halo

Happy Tuesday! I hope all of you out there (human and canine alike) are having a great start to the week. We are sweating our faces off in the Northwest as it is all of a sudden in the high 80s!! Why?? I could go for a whole lot more of of the 70-degree range before we dive into summer, thanks.

I just thought I’d pop in and share a quick treat review with you – Halo Liv-a-Littles! For anyone that tries to keep their pup’s diet pure and simple, these are a win!

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100% wild salmon. That’s what we like to see!

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And yes these are extra stinky! But of course, this just makes them more appealing to the power of the pup nose…

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Since these are dehydrated, they’re definitely not easy to break apart and use as training treats. However, they can be used for a jackpot treat (bigger, smelly, more rewarding) or just to crumble and put on top of your dog’s meals if he/she is a picky eater.  Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll have one of those and that comment will actually mean something. Hah!

Oh, and if you happen to be a cat person, these are 100% safe for felines as well! Bonus!

Thanks to Chewy for providing Halo’s Liv-a-Littles in exchange for my honest review and opinion. I know Rufus really appreciates the opportunity. 😉

Best Bully Sticks Review | Bully Flakes Exist??

When I first became a foster dog mom, I relied HEAVILY on bully sticks of all shapes and sizes to keep the most rambunctious of foster pups busy. Since most of my fosters fell between puppy and adolescent age, they were mostly busy bodies that were constantly look for something to do….or something to get into. So, I stuffed an endless amount of Kongs, found out about the magic of puzzle toys, and bought long-lasting chews like they were going out of style. They were magic in my eyes.

So when Best Bully Sticks offered to send us some free goodies in exchange for our honest opinion, I jumped at the opportunity!

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They sent us two products: an XL (naturally shed) antler and something that was completely new to me – bully flakes! What will they think of next, right?

So on the antler front, Rufus is a so-so fan. He seems to prefer the ones that come split down the middle so that he can get to the marrow, but he will also chew on the whole thing when he’s feeling feisty. In short, it’s not his favorite thing but the dude won’t turn down a good chew when the mood strikes.

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But what about these bully flakes? Well, he loved them! Why? Because he’s a total carnivore (unfortunately for his hippy mom over here) and anything packed with protein (51% in these unassuming flakes) makes him a happy, happy pup.

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How do I use them? Basically I just sprinkle them on top of his food or mix them in with his pumpkin or peanut butter Kongs before I freeze them. They’re kind of a cool product, especially if any of you out there have dogs that are super picky about eating. However, we all know I don’t have that problem. :ahem:

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Thanks again to Best Bully Sticks for providing us with some great products in exchange for our honest review! 

Our Favorite Products | Zuke’s Z-Bones

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Full disclosure: we are big fans of Zuke’s over here! When I think of how long I’ve been purchasing products from this company, I get warm and fuzzy memories of my early days fostering pups and realizing there were companies out there that really cared about our pets’ health.

I was still in college, living on my own for the first time. It took exactly one month before I really, really started to miss the companionship of my own dogs back at home. And since I wasn’t in a place financially to take on my own four-legged friend, I jumped into fostering head-first.

And the more I learned about dog care-taking, the more I got in touch with people who had a whole lot to teach me about dog behavior, dog nutrition, dog safety, and all of those other wonderful topics I still geek out over on a regular basis. But I digress….for now…

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Enter Zuke’s. They probably stick out to me because they’re a brand that’s been around, so we’ve been able to find them in most big box pet stores for awhile now. Their training treats were my go-to for years!

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Bu these days, we stick to their allergy-friendly dental treats. Rufus absolutely loves all of the flavors, but the clean carrot seems to make him extra drool-y. And  despite this, I still love everything else about them….

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…and yes, those are jowl dribbles all over my carpet. The things we do for love, am I right??

Thank you to Chewy.com for their generous delivery of delicious things in exchange for our honest review.  Rufus is your biggest fan!! ❤ 

Keep It Simple | Sojos Simply Treats Review

For the most part, I keep Rufus grain-free. Since his allergies aren’t severe, I don’t worry too much about the occasional treat being thrown his way via the coffee shop drive-thru or when I run to the bank and the teller tosses him a little somethin-somethin’ in the dropbox.

But then a few weeks ago, I purchased some holiday themed treats from my local market and realized that maybe his sensitivity to wheat (or something else) was a tad stronger than I thought. Within a few hours, his eye boogers were out of control and he wouldn’t stop itching his ears. Of course it took me a few days to link the specific treats to his reaction, but then I immediately threw them out and all was right in the world again.

Maybe it’s his age that’s making him more sensitive to certain foods or maybe it was something in the treats I wasn’t aware of (food coloring? a preservative?). Whatever it was, we are back on track and haven’t had an issue since.

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Yes, we are going to keep things clean and simple from here on out, which is why these Simply Lamb treats from Sojos are perfect for all of those sensitive pups out there.

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With just one ingredient and limited processing, they couldn’t be more straight-to-the-point.

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And since my dog is absolutely not a vegetarian, he went wild for these. Meat and peanut butter – his two loves in life. What a bro.

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Thanks to Chewy.com for giving us the opportunity to try their quality products in exchange for our honest review. 

Product Review | Honest Kitchen Wishes Treats

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I “wish” you’d stop snapping pictures and start stuffing my face with these treats, lady.

We love Honest Kitchen in this house. Rufus has been eating their dehydrated food in “Zeal” for over a year now and I credit it for keeping his coat shiny and his energy high. We’ve also tried a few of their treats, but this was our first time trying “Wishes.”

These little bites contain one ingredient:
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You can’t get any cleaner than that, am I right?

As expected, Rufus absolutely loved these stinky treats (and yes, they are very stinky – just a head’s up!). He paces any time they’re in eye shot, waiting for me to hand one over.
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For the price, you get a fairly small amount of dehydrate chip-like treats. However, Honest Kitchen makes up for it by offering truly high-quality treats and food, so it’s worth a few extra bucks in my opinion.

Thanks to Chewy for introducing us to yet another super tasty treat. We will definitely be repurchasing these – I’ll just have to remember to plug my nose when opening the package. 😉 Oh, the things we do for our pups.

Product Review: Solid Gold Tiny Tots Lamb Jerky

When Chewy contacted us to review one of their products, I was immediately drawn to Solid Gold’s bite-sized lamb jerky treats for Rufus.

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We’re back in the training game due to some extra foot traffic on our daily walks (we’re switching up our walking routines on purpose, so we never know what/who we will bump into!)

These treats are perfect for training because they’re stinky, chewy, and just the right size for quick moments of positive reinforcement. In fact, I break them in half for even smaller rewards.

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Also, Rufus loves them. He gets those huge cartoon eyes every single time I open the bag.

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With minimal ingredients, Solid Gold’s products are easy on my guy’s stomach as well. It’s a win-win for all of us.

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Thanks to Chewy.com for thinking of us and giving us the opportunity to review such a quality product.