Q-Jenn, I have a hyper eight-month-old Australian Shepherd. I got Miss May because I knew I was an active person but I think this dog is smarter than I realized. Do you have any suggestions for on the road mental stimulation as well as physical that might help wind my dog down a bit more when we have long days on the road in between campsites? My dog gets carsick as well so I am unable to give her breakfast in the morning, which adds to her anxiousness, and I will not drug her.
Thank you for your advice,
Terri and Miss May
A- Hello, Terry, Anxiety in conjunction with brilliance can be a delicate combination of character traits. Certainly, they’re also what make the Australian Shepherd shine. I highly suggest that you find a space to work the dog on basic agility commands for 15 to 30 minutes if possible before heading out on your journey. A lot of these commands can be worked on with the leash so you don’t have to worry about her getting away from you in a strange area. I also suggest mixing it up by taking her for a bike ride or brisk walk/run to help smooth out some physical energy. As we know, a smart dog will get bored quickly and the goal is to keep her interest in learning while burning off excess steam. I know that you mentioned she gets carsick when she has breakfast in the morning – maybe you could give her a special toy to play with in the car or a hard, grain free chew such as a No Hide or a Whimzie. Lots of praise and encouragement from you will build trust and help to bring her more confidence. While she may consume these chewables, and throw them up, at least she won’t be vomiting a full meal and clean up will be easier. She may also enjoy having something to pacify her when on the go and feeling a bit worried and also being hungry.
Q- I have fed Primal raw food & treats to our two small dogs for years with great success. We recently lost one of our beloved family members and acquired an adopted foster dog that has won our hearts. The problem is he weighs 95 pounds and we simply cannot afford to feed him the same way we feed our other dog. I am committed to continuing to feed raw food to our Pug but I am struggling in picking out a suitable kibble for our new big boy, Joey. He is an easy one to feed and eats about anything- help steer me to a quality kibble please. Hope to see you back in La Conner TT one day!
Love your monthly column!
A- I’m so sorry for the loss of your other Pug- My sincere condolences. Once you go raw, it’s really a struggle to buy kibble again. But rest assured, you can still feed high quality and incorporate the many added benefits of raw into Joey’s life. Here are a few thoughts for everyone to help find a happy medium for both the budget and our pets health; keep all foods and treats grain free, made and sourced in America, never feed rawhide, and be committed to reading the labels on everything you purchase and feed. Consider using daily Primal Goats Milk that is jam packed with natural, organic anti-inflammatories such as Turmeric, cinnamon and ginger. Start very slowly when introducing the goat milk but the easily digested lactobacillus characteristics will help strengthen your pets G.I. system even if you are not feeding a raw diet exclusively. Everything made from Primal is tested to be free of pathogens and harmful bacterias before it hitting the market. Their free-range goats are hormone free and Goat’s Milk an excellent way to elevate your pets health on a daily basis and suitable for all life stages even if you can not afford to feed 100% raw. With Joey, use your regular Primal freeze dried food as your go to snack and training treats, that way, you can add in superior nutrition as much as you can. Remember that buying 6 lb. frozen bags of Primal is much more cost effective than freeze dried- maybe a soild option down the road to consider when making the doggie budget. As far as selecting a kibble, I would recommend single meat protein sources and rotate every bag. Try Vita Source by KLN and go with the Grain Free Duck and Lentils and rotate with the Salmon. Use raw bones as weekly treats for the marrow benefits. As a rule, always be sure the bones are never cooked to avoid splintering & large enough to never be swallowed. Thanks for opening your hearts to a dog in need!