Senior Dogs 101: Supplementing For Longevity!

IMG_2820

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.

IMG_2859

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.

IMG_2764

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!

IMG_9872

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

IMG_9873

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

IMG_9874

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!

unnamed

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.

unnamed-1

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.

unnamed-2

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:

unnamed-3

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

Companies We Love | The Honest Kitchen

Generally speaking, we are big fans of Honest Kitchen in this household. They are a non-nonsense brand that emphasizes using fresh, clean ingredients.

I’ve been feeding Rufus their dehydrated dog food line off and on for years now. But since it can be a bit pricey, I try my hardest to make a 4lb. box last for as long as possible by supplementing it with his everyday dry kibble.

Zeal-300x300

He’s constantly getting compliments on his soft and shiny coat, and I can’t help but think a lot of it has to do with all the good stuff Honest Kitchen packs into their formulas.

I'm so fancy.

I’m so fancy.

Oh, and bonus! The treats they offer are just as wholesome.

IMG_7902

Simple ingredients that I can pronounce are a must for both me and my pup.

IMG_7903

Yep, we are both big fans of this wonderful little big company.

IMG_7905

And in case you haven’t caught on by now, these product reviews will never be taste tested accurately because this dude gets equally excited for anything and everything resembling food. If there’s ever a treat he DOESN’T devour, then I will be sure to let you know. But until then….enjoy yet another photo of Ru getting all excited about his noms.

IMG_7906

Have you tried any of their products? What key ingredients do you keep an eye out for when it comes to feeding your pooch?

*Thanks to Chewy for the treats and thanks to Honest Kitchen for being super rad. 

Treat Yo’Self! | Chewy Review – Nutro Wild Blueberry Pomegranate Biscuits

As much as I know Rufus love stinky, chewy, soft treats, I like to save those for special occasions or for training rewards. For random handouts, I like to keep a crunchier treat on hand – they’re a little bit better for his teeth and usually lower in fat.

All natural with a list of clean ingredients, these Nutro treats fit the bill!

photo 1-3

So basically you’re telling me there’s nothing weird and unnecessary in there? Ok, awesome.

photo 2-3

Rufus isn’t picky, so it was no surprise that he gobbled these up. They may not get him as excited as their stinkier counterparts (these actually smell really sweet and quite nice to the human nose!), but he’s not going to decline anything in food form. They’re a perfect size, but I usually break them in half for tinier bites.

photo 3-4

I mean…I think that you can tell from his face that he’s waaaaaay in.

photo 4 photo 5

Thanks to Chewy for offering up some delicious treats in exchange for our honest opinion. Check them out here!

Review | TropiClean Fresh Breath + Flaxseed Dental Dog Treats

chewydental

Around here, we love dental treats. Some of our favorites include Zuke’s Z-Bones and Whimzees. So when Chewy contacted us about trying TropiClean’s version of the classic breath freshener, I jumped all over it.

Rufus would’ve jumped as well if he could read e-mails and grasp basic English…but I digress.

chewydental4

Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s my speedy review in bullet points:

The Good:

-Great formula with impressive ingredients (I especially loved the addition of flaxseeds and parsley leaf).

-Freshened Ru’s breath (temporarily, but it’s a lost cause anyways so I’ll take what I can get).

-Awesome price point for the amount given (10 chews for 14 bucks).

-Rufus thinks they taste pretty darn delicious.

The Not-As-Good

-The size of the bones could be bigger. Unfortunately, they only offer two sizes right now. That being said, I think these would work really well for dogs between 25-40 lbs.

-The shape isn’t anything special. What I love about Whimzees is that you can get them in the form of spiked porcupines or scaly alligators (trust me, they totally work) – both of which do an awesome job of getting into the hard-to-reach spots in a dog’s mouth. A curved and smooth bone-shape just doesn’t do as well in my opinion.

chewydental3

My final verdict? These treats are perfect for small or small-to-medium sized dogs. I also think they would work really well if your pup isn’t a big chewer. I will definitely be using these up as they do a great job in the fresh breath department, but I think we’ll stick to other brands in the future.

Ru’s final verdict? Yum and stuff.

chewydental5

Thanks again to Chewy.com for the chance to review this product!

My Old Man: Thoughts On Aging.

Even though I’d like to stay oblivious forever, there’s no denying that my best friend is getting older.

 

unnamed

To most people that have only briefly met Rufus, he has always acted like an old man. He’s super chill, sleeps a ton, is a tad grumpy and basically wants nothing more than to hang out on the couch with his favorite jar of peanut butter.

But to the well-trained eye (mine, obviously), only recently has he shown signs of slowing down. Last week, he winced as he went up the stairs and I nearly had a nervous breakdown. My poor baby! He’s Dying! What are we going to do? 

I was being a tad melodramatic, to say the least…

It turns out that all of those supplements I had him on (and recently ran out of, waiting extra long to receive our next shipment in the mail….meaning he was without them for a good two weeks) really do work! A week back on his Missing Link supplement and Honest Kitchen formula and those joints are in tip-top shape once again. What a relief. Oh and that coat? It’s as shiny and supple as ever! He’s basically a walking shampoo commercial.

But honestly, he still has those moments in which he would much rather nap on the couch than accompany me on an evening walk. While he is still full of beans in the mornings and during very stimulating hikes, he often seems to be irritated by me when I offer that last walk of the day. Pulling at his leash in the direction of home, walking far enough behind me that I feel like a total jerk MAKING him do one more lap around the block, etc.

So I’m catering to his new exercise level because I love him and I want him to be as happy a possible. Our evening walks are now only for that last potty break and our hikes are either 1. shorter or 2. filled with plenty of breaks for him to rest up before we start again. This keeps us both very happy.

So yes, my dude is getting older but he’s far from being a couch potato. Well, at least to the well-trained eye…(again..mine and only mine) .

 

20140616-105901-39541155.jpg