Gracie is now 13 years old!

For nine years she's eaten REAL, HOMEMADE FOOD, NOT commercial dog food. This blog shows how easy it is to be a DOGGIE CHEF and how healthy a home-fed dog can be.

December 22, 2009

Getting The Ball Past Gracie

It's not easy to kick a ball past Gracie. She's QUICK! Here she's watching closely and getting into position to spring for the ball.

With her eye on the ball
 she figures out its direction in a fraction of a second.

Here she goes....

And now she makes a leap for it! Such quick reflexes and agile movement for a 10-year-old dog!

December 15, 2009

Playtime Should Be Fun, Not Frustrating

When I adopted Gracie the staff at the dog shelter gave me a large, heavy rock her former owner had left there with her. It was supposedly Gracie's favorite "toy."

Gracie's idea of "playing" with this thick, flat rock was to push at it with her front paws or straddle it while trying to move it under her; all the while yelping and whining in frustration because it barely budged. What was her former owner thinking?

After watching this unhealthy "play" for a few minutes I decided my dog deserved a more pleasant and satisfying experience.  I got rid of the rock and offered substitutes. Gracie's favorite ended up being a basketball, either fully pumped up or slightly deflated (she can get a good mouth grip on a slightly deflated basketball, to carry it around).

Gracie loves to straddle her basketball and pull it around the yard underneath her, especially when there's snow to help it slip along the grass.

Continuous frustration is as bad for dogs as it is for humans. Playtime should be fun and make a dog happy!

December 8, 2009

Canned Salmon Breakfast 12-8-09

Canned salmon (The bones are soft enough to eat and they provide calcium. I remove most of the skin and briefly rinse the salmon to remove excess salt.)

Homemade wheat bread

Crushed black beans and cooked carrots

Cottage cheese

December 1, 2009

Doggie Dental Care

When I adopted Gracie some of her teeth were stained with yellowish-brown marks. After a few months of regular, home dental care they looked much better but Gracie's vet said some of the stains would never go away.

The above photo shows the tools I use to help keep my dog's teeth clean. Gracie's veterinarians always say her teeth look clean. None of them ever recommended a professional cleaning!

I try to brush Gracie's teeth at least once or twice a week. I use a Braun electric toothbrush but I don't turn it on. Soon after buying it I found out Gracie did not like the buzzing sound and movement of the brush! I just use it as a manual toothbrush. It's excellent. The head is small enough for me to reach all her teeth without causing her too much discomfort. Also, the heads can be cleaned easily and replaced.

I use CET Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs and Cats, in poultry flavor. A vet recommended it to me several years ago and Gracie seems to enjoy the taste.

Every once in a while, when needed, I use the metal dental instrument pictured above to scrape plaque build-up off Gracie's teeth. Some vets and animal care "experts" advise against anyone but a veterinary professional doing this. They claim most dog owners will not do it properly, scratch the tooth surface and cause more plaque build-up. If I see plaque build-up on Gracie's teeth I scrape and wipe it away as gently as I can. We haven't had any problems so far!