I think Jack & Chie are pretty spoilt.
Since it’s started getting hot (& I swear it is hotter here than anywhere else in Honolulu), Chie with her rather thick coat has been suffering. When she was a puppy & we had our first daytime car ride, you would not believe the fuss this 6 lb furball made – crying & wailing, nonstop – until I had maxed out the AC, closed all the car AC vents but one & positioned her right on top of it.
Even when we went on safaris around our rather big yard, Chie trotted along with the pack, but off on the sides, moving from bush to bush in an effort to avoid any sun. Chie does not like heat. She even prefers having a cold hosed bath in the back yard to coming inside the house to take a shower with me.
Nowadays she’s not afraid of the sun any more, but I still feel quite sorry for her on hot days. Indoors this past week has been unbearable, & outside just a little cooler.
Both Jack & Chie have grown up eating Prairie dogfood. When I first brought Jack home, he had pretty bad dandruff, & his breeder had recommended Pedigree.
Pedigree. I don’t think so. Pedigree, while having cool commercials & being the cheapest thing you can pick up in the supermarket, got the lowest rating possible at Dog Food Analysis simply because, they said, “there is nothing lower.”
My dad thinks it’s a marketing conspiracy, but I haven’t seen any dogfood companies come forth & sue Ann Martin for saying that commercial dogfood contains diseased/dying/dead livestock, roadkill & euthanized pets. While I’m not willing to get as extreme as a raw diet (did that for my cats & it was terrific… but I couldn’t maintain it.), I made sure to do my homework when choosing a dogfood. No wheat, no corn… it was like the Blood Type Diet for Type O (I know this because I’m O positive). After a couple of weeks on Prairie, Jack’s dandruff became almost nonexistent. He’s still got it here & there if you look for it, but he’s not leaving clouds of skin cell dust in his wake any more.
The nearby Marina Pet sells Prairie for as low as $46 for the 30 lb bag which lasts me almost a month. It’s a family run store that seems to always have high quality & reasonably priced goods; recently they brought in a line of US made, organic biscuits in all kinds of flavors. The base grain is spelt. Crazy. I can’t even afford to feed myself spelt. I was a little skeptical, missing my Natural Balance biscuits, but it turned out Jack & Chie love these cookies. Jack’s favorite is the Apple Carrot Cake, which he dances for. And Jack’s not exactly a dancer type personality.
Both dogs like all the flavors I picked up (I bought 6 different ones – Baked Salmon, Blueberry, Beef & Vegetables, Spicy Pumpkin, Beef & Cheddar Potato), & that’s really impressive, because I have known Jack to politely put cookies down on the ground to let me know that he appreciated the thought but wasn’t going to eat this crap.
So, kudos to Marina Pet. If you’re ever in Hawaii Kai, check them out. One of the girls who works there is in my Ultra Cool list because she actually tastes every food or treat that she gives her dog.
See? I’m not the only one.
Anyway, with the hot weather Jack & Chie have been getting lots of ice cubes. Since dogs release heat through their tongues, on hot days cold treats & drinks are a must. Recently at the supermarket I came across a bunch of Reduced meat items – meats that were still good but just barely. There was a tray of large pork chops that was priced down to basically $1 per chop, as well as a tray of chopped beef for $2.
I already buy Foodland’s frozen ground chicken at $1.49/lb & chop it into bite sized chunks to give to the dogs, raw & frozen, as treats. But here was a chance for some variety.
When I got home I rolled each pork chop tightly around the bone, wrapped it individually, & then threw it in the freezer. The beef cuts went into soup for Jack & Chie’s dinner. I know I’m not supposed to moisten Prairie because it could cause intestinal bloat & I have to read more about that. The dogs get 3 small meals a day which decreases their chance of bloating, but I shouldn’t be doing the soup thing. I’ll have to figure out something else. They don’t like their food just dry. You should see the looks I get.
The next day the chops were frozen hard & easily unwrapped. Jack wasn’t particularly thrilled about such a big hunk of frozen meat, but Chie stretched out under the mango tree & practically made love to hers. I felt a little funny watching. Jack’s roll had to be placed in the sun to help him thaw it out a little faster.
Both dogs were kept occupied for at least 15 minutes, which is saying a lot for treats. Raw meat bones can be eaten in their entirety – uncooked, they’re still soft & easily gnawed without splintering. Bones also make for great poop – the dry, chalky kind. I actually wouldn’t recommend pork because it’s a little too high in fat, which actually encourages softer poop. In the last week I’ve had to pick up both dry, chalky poops & soft, gross poops. And since Chie ate both of the hoses I just put big rocks over the parts I couldn’t scrape off the grass.
Who says I’m not creative.