Monday, February 8, 2016

Peek Inside Our Rotation Diet!

Hey, everyone!

It should come as no surprise that I'm a complete and utter dog food nerd. I get pathetically excited when it's time to order dog food, and spend a good chunk of time exploring the different benefits of a varied diet for the pups, as well as discovering what they like best and what works the best. I've fed everything from homemade to kibble, dehydrated to freeze dried, prey model raw to canned, and pretty much anything else you can think of, and the absolute best thing I have found is a the rotation diet.

What Is A Rotation Diet? It sounds like some weight loss fad. 

I'm glad you asked! A rotation diet is where you change up what your dog eats on a periodic basis; this could mean daily, weekly, bimonthly, monthly, or any other cycle that works for the pet and owner.
Rather than feeding the same brand and flavor of dog food bag after bag, a rotation diet allows you to mix brand and flavor/protein, and even the type of food your dog eats (you can feed kibble one meal, canned the next, raw after get the idea!). Since no dog food is perfect, rotation feeding allows you to get a wide range of different nutrients and cover all your bases.

For my anecdotal evidence supporting feeding a varied diet, I've noticed that my dogs have stomachs of steal. It's very, very rare that anyone has an upset stomach around here, and it's never been from food. It helps to stave off Pike's pickiness, and keeps the dogs eager to eat. Aside from Nola, there's 0 food allergies in the group (I didn't do a varied diet with Nola until after her food allergies developed). 

I'll be honest and say that my favorite thing about this kind of feed is how it saves me money; since my dogs aren't on one single food, I can take advantage of various deals and sales on dog food. It's also really helpful to be able to have options when months may be tighter, money wise. I can't always afford a $90 bag of dog food, and it's nice to have other choices when they're needed. 

Raw turkey and some yogurt.

What Do I Feed?

Nola is the only dog of mine that has specific dietary needs, and she's a bit more limited on what I can feed her than the other ones. She's allergic to corn and soy (which I don't feed anyways), and doesn't handle pork well (the smell of pork farts....good god). Grains do not agree with her, and she needs a minimum of 30% protein to hold her weight. There's only a handful of kibble brands that work for her, unfortunately. She needs high protein, low carb food.

Here is what I feed Nola:

Kibble: Orijen, Acana Regionals, Annamaet (grain free), Canidae PURE (grain free) Wellness CORE and ZiwiPeak

Wet/Canned: Earthborn Holistics, Fromm, Go!, I and Love and You, Nature's Variety Instinct, Wellness Core, Canidae

Freeze Dried/Dehydrated Raw: Primal, Sojos Wild, Orijen, Nature's Variety Instinct, Vital Essentials

I'm going to start consistently giving real raw a few times a week soon. Little Miss had a chicken neck for breakfast yesterday! 

Wellness TruFood wet 

Everyone else is easy, thankfully! Grain free or grain inclusive, 24% protein or 38% protein, any kind of meat, ect and they're not phased. They're the ones that benefit from sales more often than not!

Kibble: Wellness, Taste of The Wild, Annamaet, Avoderm, Canidae, Earthborn Holistic, Victor (a new favorite!), Fromm, Solid Gold, Acana, I and Love and You, Holistic Select

Wet/Canned: Same as Nola

Freeze Dried/Dehydrated: The Honest Kitchen, Sojos, Grandma Lucy's 

Same with Nola on adding in "real" raw, especially things like chicken wings for Pike's teeth. 

When Do I Switch?

Sojos Wild

Kibble is their main diet, making up about 60% of what they eat. I give canned or dehydrated/freeze dried a few times a week, and will do the same once the raw is added in. This is, of course, done cold turkey. 
For kibble brand, I switch cold turkey whenever the bag is empty. For Nola, that's anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. For everyone else, it's 4-8 weeks.

I feed once a daily usually, since I do a good bit of training and they eat throughout the day from that. If someone is acting especially hungry or is looking skinny (this is almost always Nola, though Pike sometimes gets bony), they may be fed twice a day.

What about you? What's your pup's diet look like?

- Dachshund Mommy

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Black and White Sunday

Nikon D3300
35mm lens
ISO 200 

                                                 Join me and my co-host Sugar for the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop! Grab the badge and link up!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Get Squeaky Clean With Earthbath!

Hey, everyone!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Care, and was asked to review a few of their grooming products in exchange for an honest review. Much to Nola's dismay, I happily agreed.

We were sent Orange Peel Shampoo, Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner, and Mango Tango Wipes in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

I'll confess to being fastidious about Nola's cleanliness. She gets a full bath every week or two, wiped down every night, and her feet and belly rinsed off anytime it's rainy. That dog is cleaner than most people. I was eager to try out Earthbath's products, since I'd heard nothing but positives things about them, and now I see what all the hype was about!

The Orange Peel Oil Shampoo contains no soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes or perfumes, SLS/SLES, or phthalates, and is cruelty free. The ingredients are all natural, and 100% biodegradable. It comes in a 16oz bottle or 1 gallon jug, and it only takes a tiny bit to work up a good lather (trust me on this. I dumped waaaay to much on Nola the first time.). It helps deter fleas and control shedding, and leaves to coat clean and glossy. 

The first thing I noticed when I opened the bottle was the very pleasant smell of oranges, and not the fake kind, either. It's a very mild, very natural smell that was very innocuous to both me and Nola. It was easy to create a rich lather with just a dime sized amount of shampoo, and it rinsed out quickly and cleanly. 

I was thrilled to not have any skin irritation for Nola, or for me. My skin is incredibly sensitive (I'm that girl that can't wear scented lotion, use anything besides free and clear detergent, ect without suffering a nasty rash...), and this shampoo didn't bother me at all. Nola's skin also stayed clear, with no itching. 
It left her coat soft and shining, with a very faint scent of oranges that faded within a day. 

The Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner is similar to the shampoo for what is does and doesn't contain. It can be used on dogs or cats, helps soothe irritated skin, add luster to a dull coat, and works as a detangler. A little goes a long way! Again, no skin irritation for Nola or for me. 
It's rich and creamy, and spreads easily throughout the coat. It's a bit more difficult to rinse from the coat, but the luxurious, silky feel it leaves behind is well worth it! Nola's coat is normally sleek and soft, but with the conditioner, it was unbelievably slick and gleaming. It's been a week or so since I've used this on her, and she's still silky soft. Her coat gleams, and oh my god, does it smell good.

The vanilla and almond scent of this conditioner is sinfully lovely - I've considered stealing it from the dog cabinet and using it on myself. ;) It's faint and natural, but lingers lightly for a few days and smells fantastic. I love it.

The Mango Tango Wipes are a godsend. I wipe Nola's feet down each night after our walk, and these made it so much easier than a wet towel. They attract dirt, and they're very soft and gentle. The mango scent is faint, but pleasant, and didn't seem to bother Nola at all. Again, no irritation!

Overall, I'm thrilled with all of Earthbath's products. Nola coat is glossy, silky, and perfectly clean, and I love the smell of all of these. Highly recommend!

- Dachshund Mommy