Monday, August 27, 2007

Twelve week pupdate

Luka seems to be growing as we watch; he's thin, but has long legs that will reach the top of the kitchen counter before very long. His appetite is ravenous and he's learned the bad habit of barking non-stop while we prepare his meal. We'll be curing him of that real soon! Tummy troubles and a trip to the vet have him spoiled with homecooked meals for the last week or so. Boiled chicken and white rice, accented with green vegetables, every six hours. Warmed in the microwave, if you please.

What brand do you all feed your dogs and do I need to obsess about it as much as I have been?

We've been crating him for half the day and he's doing well with that. I was worried for the state of my kitchen baseboards and could only imagine the trouble he might cause when he's really teething in a month or two. My husband is the soft touch who doesn't like to use the crate, so I take the role as the bad guy who crates him before leaving for work; then my husband can be the good guy who lets him out at lunchtime. I bought a few of those Kong toys over the weekend for Luka to keep himself amused with while in the crate. I think he makes quick work of them, but at least he goes happily into the crate when I leave and doesn't see the crate as any sort of punishment.

We've been going to puppy classes one night a week, but skipped last week while I got us into a different class with more puppies. The class we were in consisted of a 5 month old Lab who only came once in a while and a cranky little 2 year-old Bijon that was scared of my pup. Not much happening in the way of socialization there, so we got out. I'm curious to see what the new group will be like - hopefully it will be a better fit for us.

I'm taking him with me everywhere - much to his delight! Just tonight we strolled through downtown Red Bank and were stopped every 20 feet by some new admirer. He loves the attention. We've been to the beach and the woods, and he even got his first taste of swimming. We met a huge Newfoundland that day at the beach - that dog could really swim! Luka had the chance to say hello, but somehow got himself tangled up in his lead under that monstrous dog and had himself a good scare. His puppy bravado changed tune pretty quickly and I had to rescue him from the furry bear that towered over him. Silly pup!

17 comments:

RuthieJ said...

Hey Laura, did you get your computer fixed?
Sounds like Luka's going to be a nice, well-adjusted dog. We've always crated out dogs while at work. Sometimes if one of us takes a half-day and comes home early, they're just all curled up and sound asleep. It gives them a good chance to recharge their batteries. It's always hard the first few times, but I know I won't have to worry about coming home to any big disasters (at least from the dogs...now that cat is another story!)

Cathy said...

Sheesh. That special cooking. I remember the chicken and rice days. Our vet moved us onto kangaroo. I'd have done anything to cure that loose stool problem, but man - that was tough. I mean 'kangaroo'?! I just didn't let myself think about it.

Sure hope Luka gets through the tummy trouble soon. What a sweetie.

Ruth said...

I would work harder at socializing our dog if I could go back in time. Our dog gets an upset tummy easily. We recently changed his food at the advice of the vet as his liver enzymes are elevated. The food is expensive and upsets is bowels. Maybe the rice, chicken and vegetables are worth a try.

Mary said...

Laura, I assume your computer is running well? Yay!

I think Luka is going to be well socialized. All puppies make mistakes but they learn from them quickly in social situations. All of my dogs got out and about - meeting new dogs in the neighborhood, taking rides in the car, and lots of walks. I used to take Chloe to the high school where I worked to watch soccer and football, lacrosse and track and field. She was so delighted with the attention!

All dogs get tummy problems. Mine usually have trouble when they eat yard goo like mulch... I've been feeding my dogs Purina One Lamb and Rice for Adults for years. They like it. I hope it's not pulled off the shelves soon...

LauraHinNJ said...

All: I surfing from the laptop tonight. The desktop PC is still *resting* until I get the coutage to figure something out!

Ruthie: Hi! I know crating is a good thing; just need to work on being comfortable with it. And I'd like him to be 100% housetrained before he's crated all day. He's more or less there already, but don't want to leave him uncomfortable for too long!

Cathy: I hardly cook for my husband! It seems to have resolved itself - thank heavens!

Ruth: My Buddy wasn't good with other dogs, so I'm working real hard at that with little Luka. I'm the problem; I'm the fearful one - he's fine, but I have all those memories.

I know plenty of people who cook for their dogs - if you're willing to do it, it might just be healthier and more economical than the prescription food?

Mary: Luka is in to everything! No parasites were found, so it must have been something he *scavenged* that upset his tummy last week.

Susan Gets Native said...

Cathy: Kangaroo???? You must have a seriously awesome grocery store.

Laura: We aren't good craters. But it works well when you stick with it.
We give Nellie Pedigree...I discovered Pedigree Healthy Maturity, and she likes that a lot because it's easier to chew. It really made her coat shinier and she eats it all, compared to the Dog Chow we gave her before.
*still amazed at the kangaroo diet. Ew.

burning silo said...

We cook food for Sabrina. We cook vegetarian for ourselves, so cooking meat is a bit of a nuisance, but she does well on what we make for her. Our previous collie became quite ill if we fed her any kind of dog food, so we fed her a home cooked diet. We started Sabrina on that and just kept it up. After seeing all the "stuff" connected with commerical dog foods, I have a hard time trusting any of the companies.

Laurie said...

My brother (who takes exceptional care of his dog) gives her Wysong. His vet says it's the best for sensitive dogs.

Jennifer said...

I give my dog 3/4 cup of dry food (whatever brand caught my eye at the store that time) morning and night. She gets a doggie treat maybe once or twice a day. And lots of water. I never give her people food (though the way she behaves, I suspect others in my family do). She seems to be thriving. We crated in the beginning when she was little and she actually seemed to like her little safe haven. Once she gave up chewing on everything, we did away with the crate.

Jayne said...

Oh, it's so much like having a new baby/toddler in the house, isn't it? They have to be watched every single minute or their mouths will be on everything. So glad Luka's tummy is feeling better and you all are falling into a routine.

dguzman said...

Good luck with your desktop's stay at the spa.... and with Luka's crating. Just stick with it.

KGMom said...

Our dog Tipper is the first dog we have crated--and it worked great. She has now decided she doesn't need it (she is 6 yrs) so it is rarely done these days. But she loves the security of the crate. I even made a cover out of towels, to give it a den like feeling for nights.
Now, our one cat sleeps in it most days!

jemkagily (in NJ) said...

Hi Laura--
I've got an elderly Golden with a whoopsie tummy and have raised 5 puppies either for us or for a service dog organization and I swear by Iams dog/puppy food. The Seeing Eye organization feeds their dogs on lamb & rice formula because there are fewer (cancer-causing) additives, antibiotics and growth hormones given to lambs than to calves or chickens, and since retrievers are so prone to cancer.... The North Star dogs I've raised start out on the Iams "smart puppy" formula, but any time after about 6 months you can start mixing and shifting toward the lamb & rice, which is very easy to digest. Good luck with darling Luka! (And keep crating him! For his safety and your sanity!!) I can give you lots of ideas for things to stuff Kongs with and other good chewies if you like: one of our North Star puppies was an ultramegasuper chewer (Lab) so I had to learn all the tricks to divert him.

Wendi

nina said...

We had a puppy with a sensitive tummy for about his first year or 2 of life. We fed him Nutro-lamb recipe--and he did very well on it. So well, in fact, that we gradually (I think this is the key) found he could tolerate other high quality, but less expensive brands--high fiber, low fat.
We attributed his indigestion to nerves--once he "settled" in, he's been fine!

BirdingMom said...

Our Bernese Mountain Dog is currently on Pedigree, although we change from time-to-time as she seems to get fussy and just stops eating. I sympathize with the home-cooked dog meals as we have gone through that several times and it is always hard to get them back on regular dog food.

TaraDharma said...

poor Luca!

We use Pedigree wet food - their coats improved after we switched off of dry. Now we use kibble for snacks only.

Our doggies get tummy trouble when we do feed them people food (sensible people food, mind you). The outgassing is unbearable.

Floridacracker said...

I alternate with Purina One, Beneful, and Pedigree. I like variety and the dogs seem to like it also.
Mine are older and I think the softer Beneful is easier on their missing teeth.