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<i>She has never eaten anything but Rachael Ray Nutrish, Just six, Zero, and now Peak. That’s what all my kids are on. None of them get shots.</i>
I feed my dogs a steady diet of Alpo (dry) with the occasional soupcon of Kibbles N Bits to break up the monotony. Most of the dogs I have at this point have eaten nothing but Purina (Dog Chow, ONE, Alpo), Le Bits, Science Diet or Iams/Euk. Most of them are getting to be older than the hills. My Vet recently examined one of my bitches before a routine spay. Went out of his way to compliment me on what good condition she was in, didn’t need bloodwork before surgery because of her obvious excellent health, etc. Left it off by saying he hadn’t seen a five year old dog in such condition for a very long time. Some genius must have mixed up a file, because the dog was actually over ten years old. Vet had a stroke without flinching.
I also vaccinate, because I’ve seen how fast viruses can spread and take down a dog in agonizing pain.
“well??? The dogs that were tested including “goldens” that ate Pro Plan by Purina did not have DCM and they DO NOT add taurine in their diets!! What do you guys think about that???”
I remember hearing from the beginning that this was not as simple as a taurine deficiency issue, because several of the cases included dogs that had non genetic forms of DCM, but were NOT deficient in taurine. Possibly, the ones that were deficient were only so because of the extent and severity of the heart issue? IDK. This whole thing seems to be still up in the air.
Anyway, here’s an updated article from Tuft’s, discussing the confusion re: grain free & taurine deficiency.
“So, I am curious what it is the the Purina food that works for your dogs reproductively. I was under the impression that grain the kibble could be a source of estrogen that is counter-productive. (Excuse the play on wirds). I would change kibble in a heart beat if that solved the problem. ”
Grain has absolutely nothing to do with the production of estrogen. Soy will produce estrogen like compounds in the body, but quite honestly, if you want a bitch to come into heat, her estrogen levels had better be high. And I personally don’t mind soy, especially for older or spayed bitches, because it keeps their hormones at a more balanced level, since the old gals produce less naturally as they age.
As for ingredients, I honestly could not pinpoint any one in any of the Purina products I’ve tried over the years that “does the trick”, as it were. I’ve used their dry foods from Pro Plan to Alpo, with protein levels ranging from 18-30%, and, like clockwork, bitches who are late to their cycle will come in heat anywhere from within a week to several weeks later, regardless of the brand. Although higher protein, fat and kcals in combination tend to speed this process along.
I do, however, have a theory that there are dog foods which, in my personal experience, seem to cause hormonal issues such as depression of thyroid function, and low carb diets, be they dry, canned or raw, are often a major culprit in irregular cycles. In fact, when I want to speed a bitch out of heat, raw for a day or two will do the trick nicely. Any Purina (dry) product I’ve tried seems to have the opposite effect – in that of balancing the hormone levels, or causing a surge where they previously had been low.
Also, diets that are higher in simple or complex carbohydrates are pure nourishment for the thyroid gland, which has its own functions but is also like a master control for the production of other hormones. And the thyroid is a glutton for sweets. I don’t consider it a breeding food, but when I’ve used Kibbles N Bits, I get the exact same results – instant heat cycles and bitches that stay in full blown heat for a good 10 days.
Anyway, I only recommended Purina ONE because when I was actively breeding, I got the best results with it for brood bitches in particular. I even had a dog with cervical cancer who hadn’t come into heat in almost 2 years, come in after a few days of eating ONE. So, for good or ill, it works like a charm in bringing bitches in season, and the 26/16 ratio seems to be ideal for both pre and post breeding maintenance.
I’ve been breeding dogs since 2005, and YES, I learned through trial and error that food does indeed affect heat cycles, fertility, litter size and thriftiness of the pups. I have fed brands that, without a single doubt in my mind, caused dangerously early delivery, lack of milk production, even what closely resembled a temporary fading puppy syndrome. I had pups only a day or two old that developed weeping, metallic smelling sores which disappeared entirely almost immediately after a food switch. I have older adult bitches raised on foods that caused heat cycle irregularities and low fertility rates in my kennel who to this day are infertile or have only come into heat a handful of times. I have pups with hitching issues that were weaned onto puppy foods that were too high protein, but had levels of calcium lower than adult food levels in a sorry bid to prevent growth issues (this was Eukanuba, btw).
On that note, if I want a bitch to come into heat, I feed Purina ONE adult 26/16. I use that until 2-3 weeks before the due date, then switch to either ONE puppy or Puppy Chow. Quite honestly, at this point, I don’t trust anything but Purina when it comes to the husbandry of a breeding kennel. Just personally had too many problems with the fancier foods, all of which were fixed by Purina in one form or another…
For a dog that needs a very soft canned food, I’d recommend a brand called Gentle Giants. I once used it for an old dog dying of degenerative myelopathy, who had partially lost the ability to swallow. The texture is very much like the Pedigree chopped food, only thinner. More recently, I tried it for an old hound with liver problems who gives me trouble about eating. Never had any digestive upsets from it, and though it’s very high protein, in small amounts it hasn’t upset his condition. Would definitely use it again despite it being over $2 a can.
“Dogs should have one gram of protein per pound of “ideal” body weight per day. Cats need two grams per pound per day. Some medical conditions, especially liver or kidney failure, call for reduced-protein diets, although this has become a somewhat controversial topic.”
This is inaccurate advice. According to AAFCO, the minimum protein requirement for adult maintenance is 18%, regardless of weight. So, if you go up a few percentage points higher than that, a normally active dog should have more than enough of its protein requirements met.
Protein content can affect behavior in some dogs, but this mostly pertains to fear aggression; I honestly don’t know if it would help alleviate such issues from a brain injury, however, since most dog foods are overloaded with meat protein anyway, it probably couldn’t hurt to lower it down to somewhere around 21% or less.
Also, just FYI to the OP, but I am dealing with a brain damaged dog who had violent seizures for 3 years, caused by an acquired liver shunt. He’d stopped responding to his name and was really becoming a walking vegetable. Protein content, lower or higher, had really no effect on his brain functionality, but going with a brand that added sweeteners made a dramatic difference in cognition.August 5, 2018 at 3:49 am in reply to: hookwork causing long term diarrhea even after treatment?? #119807 Report Abuse
“Has anyone else dealt with hookworm? My vet says that hookworm can play a number on the gastrointestinal tract and cause a lot of inflammation and it may take many months to recover.”
I had a litter almost wiped out by the little devils, and on a very rare occasion had a hound or two contract them from wild rabbit.
And they are half impossible to get rid of. Hartgard is useless for the prevention or treatment of hooks, as the medications are only effective for heartworms and roundworms. For hooks, you need fenbendazole (panacur), and regardless of negative fecals, which can be misleading if worms or eggs are not present in that particular stool sample, you MUST continue to de-worm on a regular basis for the next several months. Believe me, they will never go away otherwise.
Hookworms wreak havoc on the GI tract, so you might want to consider giving anti-inflammatory meds or supplements (turmeric in small doses is helpful sometimes), and forget the yogurt because an overwhelmed digestive system does not need more bacteria or irritating milk proteins. Also, for certain types of digestive issues, lowering dietary fat sometimes works because higher fat = more lubricated bowels :/
If you want my unorthodox recommendation for foods, I’ll say this. My litter with hookworms had not only ongoing digestive upsets, but a skin condition that caused open, bloody, purulent sores. In that instance, I had excellent results switching off “designer” food and onto Purina ONE, which cured the sores and internal damage in a matter of days. However, any dog I’ve ever owned with any sort of digestive issue, from mild maldigestion to inability to handle food due to starvation, to a life threatening case of ulcerative colitis, have all responded beautifully to Pedigree. My 2 cents.
I still call him the puppy. Probably will until he’s old and decrepit.
No knee replacements for me, tho. The issue isn’t really joint related, I just have flimsy, loose muscles holding in the kneecap, possibly from Ehlers Danlos syndrome, although I’m autistic (Asperger’s) and sometimes we just have Not The Best muscle tone. In high school I was 95lbs and told I needed to loose weight because their BMI index measuring thingy wasn’t registering any muscle mass. The look of pure confusion on my gym teacher’s face when she told me was priceless.
Since this old thread has been resurrected I’ll add in my two cents. I am not someone who blames food every time the dog gets a sniffle, nor am I of the belief the trendy, “holistic” foods are inherently better than the supposedly low end brands. In fact, I started feeding Science Diet around 2009, after a disastrous stint with Wellness. Early in 2013, the bags/formula changed, and, long story short, from about April-July of that year I had five dogs suddenly develop terminal diseases. Four cancers, one degenerative myelopathy. Five mostly unrelated dogs getting sick in a three month period is not coincidence.
@ Marie – wow, I remember when you first got Boone. Can’t believe it was so long ago, but then, the two here from my first litter are 13 now. They’re retired from rabbit hunting as of last year, but the oldest is still head of ‘Possum/’Coon/Squirrel/Anything That Moves Patrol. My garbage men hate me :/ All the hounds are old now, except for the “puppy” (Brady) who ‘s 2yrs.
Sending you good wishes and lots of cyber hugs for the knee replacement. Getting the hip & knee done so close together must not be fun at all. My dislocating knees have always been craptastic so I wince in pain at the thought of a knee replacement. Take care of yourself, plz.
Btw, I’ve never been on Facebook in my life, lol 🙂
Hello there ::waves:: 🙂 Great to see you around! How are the puppers?
Doing well myself, only popping my head around here sporadically these days.
“I would like to know who funded the article. UC Davis has done studies in the past that turned out to be inaccurate (feeding raw) and they frequently have Science Diet, Royal Canin and Purina products in their pictures. It seems like with cat food issues years ago why advise against grainfree and simply add taurine? Makes me wonder if certain companies want to stop the hype of healthy food.”
It’s not inaccurate simply because you don’t believe it. UC Davis found nutritional deficiencies in 200 raw food recipes that were collected from published recipes, and advised owners to consult with a nutritionist before feeding home prepared diets. That’s it. There were actually no inaccuracies in the statement, however, a website called “Truth About Pet Food” claims they overestimated how much of certain nutrients a dog required; ergo, in their version of logic, UC Davis made an error. If you believe UC Davis’ advice to seek out a Veterinary nutritionalist before going into a raw diet makes them disreputable, your definition of the word must be very narrow.
BTW, I’m so sick of hearing that there is some Veterinary agenda to keep pets sick to line their own pockets, and quite honestly, I’ve had so many bad Vets that I’m no fan of the profession.
“we have him on local organic keifer but will try the others, thanks. His blood tests were fairly normal and it is not his thyroid, I forgot to say. Will look for a more natural doctor, he has seen our vet, a specialist and stayed at the ag college vets a few days.”
For what it’s worth, you might want to reconsider the kefir. It contains yeast and might be seriously aggravating the condition. Since the dog’s immune system is already suppressed, any incoming bacteria or yeast, however beneficial in small amounts, can spread like wildfire throughout the body and just compile one problem atop another.
I’d also vote for staying the heck away from homeopathic Vets. Some remedies might be less dubious than others when used in combination with traditional medicine, but homeopathic Vets are little better than snake oil salesman, no matter how well intentioned they might be.
“I contacted Wellness as I feed Wellness Core. I am leery of any research done by UC Davis as their studies are often funded by Science Diet, Purina or Royal Canin and they have also had studies regarding petfood in the past hat have been inaccurate.”
I have to disagree with this assessment of UC Davis very vigorously. Purina has been instrumental in helping their canine genetics research department, and in fact I just received an issue of Today’s Breeder detailing the progress UC Davis has already made in studying intervertebral disc disease, which is just epidemic in certain bloodlines of my breed. We now have new knowledge that may, in fact, assist breeders in making better decisions without a screening test, however, hopefully they will develop one in the future. UC Davis also was solely responsible for developing a screening test for Musladin-Leuke Syndrome, which was seriously beginning to cripple the gene pool of show Beagles. To imply that their research is somehow less trustworthy because a company such as Purina donates to them (research isn’t conducted for free, last I checked), is not a sentiment I will ever understand. If Wellness had donated a portion of their proceeds, would UC Davis be more reputable?
/end rant… carry on 🙂
If you want my advice, beware of holistic Vets, unless they practice traditional medicine as well, and have a more balanced, sane, non mentally-ill view of animal husbandry.
I live in the NYC area, and have taken various dogs to Manhattan e-vets several times in the past. The ineptitude of Manhattan and Bronx Vets is absolutely cringe worthy, and I had a 3yr old dog die after 12 hours of excruciating pain, when her holistic Vet, instead of injecting her with “toxic” steroids to control the swelling of her IVDD, which was causing pressure on the spinal column, told me the dog needed a chiropractor. I mean this quite seriously. I have owned Beagles long enough to recognize the signs of a disc about to slip. The Vet knew it as well. But he WOULD NOT TREAT THE DOG because he was convinced the swelling was caused by unbalanced energy of some unbeknownst variety, and SENT ME AWAY with the recommendation of finding the dog a chiropractor.
After the initial shock wore off, I took her to a NYC e-vet. Explained the problem succinctly. Said veterinarian did not care for the fact the dog was intact and that I was a breeder (what else is new). For the THIRD time in the 12+ years I’ve been breeding dogs, a Vet DELIBERATELY killed, withheld health info or otherwise ruined a dog by prescribing me generic Rimadyl, an arthritis medication, for a condition that required serious steroids. When I realized what had been done, I was set to kill this Vet; unfortunately, the dog died first. I had to rush her to Vet 3 for immediate euthanasia, because at 4 am her slipped disc exploded, which is the inevitable result of a slipped disc left untreated. She screamed in agony for two hours.
The moral of the story?
Beware of NYC Vets. Never go to a holistic Vet that eschews all traditional medicine if you value your dog’s life.
… sorry for the rant.
I’ve had a dog living with ulcerative colitis going on 2.5 years now. The particular type he has is an autoimmune condition, but colitis in general is irritated to a great degree by dietary fat. I don’t know which formula of Earthborn you’re currently feeding, but several of varities have the fat content around 18%, which is obscene :/ I would suggest keeping fat levels somewhere around 10%, possibly lower. Fat lubricates the digestive system, and a dog with colitis does not need any more incentive to go.
You might also want to ditch the baby food. It’s not suitable for this type of condition, unless the dog is physically unable to take solid foods. Overcooked chicken or lean beef with white rice should be offered for a day or so, just to give the digestive system a rest. Bone broth is also a great way to get in nutrients.
The experience I’ve had with colitis is that it is entirely food dependent. Bad as my dog is, he will remain entirely asymptomatic so long as I don’t change his dry food. Certain feeds also seemed to not just irritate the colitis, but cause further inflammation that led to kidney infections/blood in urine and enlarged prostate 🙁 So I learned the hard way that yes, food is a major – sometimes the only – influencing factor.
Thus far, my dog with UC can tolerate no other dry diet except for Pedigree. He literally went from 6 months of going upwards of 30x per day (yes, I counted) of soft poo/diarrhea and constant pain, to one rock hard plop within 12 hrs of being switched to the Pedigree Lamb & Rice. All dogs are different though, but the more “fancy”, unnecessary ingredients and fat content a dry food contains, the worse it’s going to be for a dog with colitis. Just my 2 cents…
“She is currently on Nature’s Recipe Grain Free kibble and since I switched her to grain-free a few months ago her mood dramatically increased and she has so much more energy so I want to keep grain free.”
Of course she has more energy! Amino acids are a main source of energy for the body. Grain free foods normally contain extreme amounts of protein that would not even be necessary for a working dog or brood bitch, so the dog is obviously going to have more energy to burn. That, however, does not necessarily equate to better health.
If I am not mistaken, struvite stones form in an acidic urine, so Vitamin C supplements and a high meat diet are the last things you want to give this dog, because both contribute to higher urine acidity; whereas grains and other complex carbs tend to lower the acidity. Another problem of grain free feeds is the high mineral content, which can contribute to kidney/urinary problems in susceptible dogs.
My advice would be to temporarily use one of the prescription diets. Forget the ingredients. It is the quality, bioavailability and nutritional content of a feed that truly matters. Then find something you are comfortable feeding that has around 24-26% protein, and that should give you a very equal balance of grains to meat. That alone will naturally lower the dog’s urine acidity and hopefully prevent recurrence.July 7, 2017 at 10:13 pm in reply to: Brands like Orijen and acana not as good as one thought?! #102827 Report Abuse
I’d take *********** Project with a grain of salt. That being said, I don’t think it’s an outright scam, either.
If there is any truth to it, which there very well could be in regards to fish based formulas of any stripe, much of the anger you are seeing directed towards *** is due to the fact that certain brands that score low on here scored high on their “purity” tests, and other very well hyped, ultra expensive brands didn’t fare so well. Thus, there is always going to be a segment swearing it cannot be true that a costly product might be of less quality than a cheaper one, or that their trendy brand isn’t so hot after all.
For what it’s worth, I’ve always fed cheese to my dogs. Have one now with SEVERE digestive issues who can hardly tolerate anything, but cheese and hard boiled eggs are the only protein sources that never cause him gastronomic distress. I also used to mix in evaporated milk with baby cereal for my puppies, and frequently give yogurt to my adults. Never had a single issue with dairy and think it would depend more on an intolerance with the individual dog than with any ingredients in the cheese itself.
NO. Raw is about the worst thing you could do, as dogs with cancer have a compromised immune system and cannot handle the bacteria in raw meat. There is also a risk of high fat and protein accelerating tumor growth. Certain carbs DO feed off simple sugars, but then again, so do all healthy cells. Furthermore, I have personally seen raw fed dogs with cancer develop secondary issues, namely, hypothyroidism, related to the long-term suppression of immune system function. Lightly cooked, lean meats heavy on veg and with small amounts of complex carbohydrates, supplemented with Omega 3, is probably your best bet for a cancer management diet.
“The Sportdog Large Breed has a lower fat than content than the others (14% vs 18%) which leads me to believe it may not alleviate my weight maintenance struggle. 30/20 protein/fat seems to be the “standard” for active sporting dogs. I would prefer a grain free food, but obviously I am not dead set on it, otherwise I wouldn’t consider the Victor.
I am leaning heavily towards the Sportdog Active, assuming I can actually get it in 50lb bags. Which would you recommend and why?”
Full disclosure: I never tried any of those feeds. That being said, I do have a few friends who use the Sport Dog maintenance formula and are very pleased. Their dogs seem to be in excellent condition, with unusually thick coats for this time of year. I have also heard beaglers rave about Black Gold, though I’ve no personal experience with it myself. You might also want to consider Eukanuba Premium Performance 30/20. I mainly used it for bitches in whelp, but when I had a large pack running, that was my mainstay. I have tried several performance feeds over the years, and that exceeded them all in terms of alertness of my hounds, weight maintenance, heat cycle regularity, tolerance of bad weather conditions, coats, stool output, etc. It cost me somewhere around $35 for 30lbs, but that was several years ago.
BTW, I run rabbit dogs and my experience has been to be VERY wary of grain free feeds, because the carbohydrate sources they contain are often high glycemic index, simple, rather than complex, carbs. Hypoglycemia is your worst enemy in the field. Foods that spike the blood sugar, as well as *those that do not raise it high enough* need to be the stuff of your nightmares if you’re planning on seriously hunting with this dog. That means, be wary of low carb AND high glycemic index diets. Potatoes are an iffy ingredient. They should be all right if not the main source of carbs, but I prefer a feed without them after experiencing a hypoglycemic fit in two dogs from Wellness CORE about 10 years ago 🙁
On low carb diets, I saw concentration issues, however, you definitely need to be concerned about excess protein. In summer or warmer months, a dog in training runs the risk of overheating. During hunting season, you also risk overloading the kidneys and liver, hence the importance of moderation and a maintenance diet in the summer. For that, stay somewhere around 21% or under.
Another thing; fat and protein content have surprisingly little to do with weight maintenance – in my experience, the bioavailability, overall digestibility and kcal content contribute more to weight gain and muscle mass than does overloading with protein. I have a young hound in training who just returned from a friend’s rabbit pen and gets exercised every day, built like a truck on a 19% protein feed. He was on Sportmix 27/12 and has already shed fat and gained muscle after three days back on a 19/8 feed.
So don’t worry overmuch about fat/protein not being enough. And good luck in finding a feed!
“She has been eating a variety of mostly grain free foods her entire life with Taste of the Wild being her main food. I am not comfortable switching her to K/D for a few reasons but mainly because we aren’t even sure she has kidney disease and if she does it’s still the still early stage.”
While it may not be, and, in all likelihood, is not full blown kidney disease, you are playing a VERY dangerous game with high protein feeds in general, even more so in continuing to feed it when the kidney values are already somewhat high. I am well aware it’s not the protein itself that does the damage, but all sources of protein are high in phosphorous – meat based protein even higher, red meats especially.
Excess phosphorous in the body has two main effects. First, it must be filtered out through the kidneys, so too much, over an extended period of time, places a strain on the organs. Secondly, excess phosphorous robs calcium from the bones, and is a major cause of osteoporosis or general lack of bone density. Personally, I have never even dared feed anything over 28% protein to a working dog, because while it does provide energy, it places a great strain on the body, and hunting dogs in particular tend to overheat while running in warm weather on too much protein. I’ve run hounds on feeds that were 21% protein, and those dogs looked great & had energy to spare. Even active dogs do not need such extreme amounts of protein, fat and kcals in their food as many of the grain free diets have, and I believe some of these companies are unethical in the extreme for selling them 🙁
If you want my advice, I would go with the k/d food temporarily, re-test kidney values in a few weeks, and if they have improved, go with something else you feel more “comfortable” with, but keep the protein levels somewhere around 21-23%.June 18, 2017 at 3:05 am in reply to: Is All Life Stages Great or Just OK for puppy (will grow to 16 lb) #102358 Report Abuse
All life stage foods are better, IMHO, than puppy foods for certain breeds. I’ve grown pups on 21% protein feeds from around 4 months old, and those are always the ones who grew without a single problem. When I experimented with very nutrient dense puppy feeds years ago, I saw hitching, uneven growth and joint conditions in later years. Puppy foods, in my experience, can exasperate or cause problems in susceptible dogs, so I personally prefer to use an adult food with more moderate protein and mineral levels.
I fed Purina for years, without a single issue. Started with a rescued GSD in 2003 who was so thin and malnourished, her body could no longer even handle food. I went with Purina ONE because a.) I was desperate b.) the Vet had recommended a lamb & rice diet just to get her system back into order c.) it was higher fat, protein, calories than most lamb based foods.
That dog went from eating 8 cups of ultra expensive designer food to about 4-5 cups, gained weight to boot, and I fed Purina, from Dog Chow to Pro Plan, on/off for several years, until a formula change in the Dog Chow. I used it on rabbit dogs being run 2-3x weekly, in whelp and nursing bitches, and later, conformation show dogs, all without a hitch. One of my bitches had her milk dry up within a few days of whelping on Merrick – after one meal of Purina ONE, she started producing it again. Her puppies mysterious skin condition also cleared up. So which, in that instance, was the inferior food?
I recently tried Dog Chow again and it wasn’t half bad. My dogs just do better on another feed. That is what it really comes down to. What food does *your* dog do well on? Listen to your dog, and not scare tactic sites on the internet.
@ Bobby Dog
Is that the rear end of a bluetick Beagle I spy in your avatar? 😀
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by HoundMusic.
“Just an idea – Everything I read tells you that yeast is caused by sugar and starch turns into sugar. And what foods are high in starch? Potatoes! Try taking her off starchy foods. ”
Yeast is not caused by sugar; however, sugar is a food source for yeast. That being said, the myth that carbs will cause a yeast infection is a perfect example of how correlation does not mean causation. Yeast may require carbs to survive, but so does every other healthy cell in the body. When yeast or bacterial infections are chronic, it normally signals a deeper problem going on, namely, an autoimmune or hormonal issue. Speaking personally, as someone with severe hypothyroidism, “yeast starving diets” may kill off some of the nasty little buggers, but the dietary deficiency of complex carbohydrates will only further sicken the “host” and worsen the underlying condition.
Thyroid issues are a major cause of recurrent yeast infections in animals and humans. Even if thyroid is borderline low, it depresses the immune system and the will yeast multiply like rabbits.
Some of the worst bacterial/yeasty ears I have ever seen were on dogs fed prey model raw. Many, many years ago, I had a Shepherd mix who developed a recurrent infection several months after being placed on a zero carb raw diet. In that instance, he had one weepy, disgusting ear for the rest of his life, and was on every ear treatment imaginable. There were no deformities, etc. of the inner ear, either. I went back to raw for some unfathomable reason about 3 years ago, and several of my older dogs developed ear infections, amongst a plethora of other issues. from about 2014-2016, I was pumping their ears full of different meds, even the steroidal Zymox. One poor old hound couldn’t even properly aroooo without flapping his head to and fro 🙁 Two months on a moderate grain home-cooked diet, and voila! Ear/eye/rotted teeth conditions begin clearing up without the use of medications. Even my dog with hypothyroidism/cancer got well enough to be weaned off thyroid supplementation.
So I don’t buy that lowering the carbs is a solution for yeasty ears. Instead, get to the bottom of what is causing the dog to be unable to ward off the infections – is it a hormonal imbalance, an autoimmune disease, a systemic bacterial infection or food/environmental allergy running down the immune system?
Honey Bar; please, don’t take that propaganda movie to heart. I don’t doubt the producers honestly believe much of what that video contains, and mean well, but take it from someone who first came across those scare-mongering websites & videos about commercial dog foods around 2001 – the old adage that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions has never been more accurate then when it comes to the controversy surrounding certain dog food brands/ingredients.
The first thing you should know is that Science Diet is not harming your dog. Tumors are mainly genetic. I even have one older dog who developed a fatty lump in the exact same spot that his mother did. I have also had Beagles with cancer eating different brands of canned, dry foods and the raw diet.
Another thing you have to realize is that movies like the one you watched are propaganda films produced by people who have an ulterior motive. That means, they deliberately tell you half truths and play on your emotions, while hiding the fact that the main reason they are against certain companies is because they are large corporations making more profit than those people deem acceptable. They’re called anti-corporation. And some of the big dog food manufacturers, like Iams and Science Diet, feed the formula to dogs and take blood tests periodically to test the results before it is put on the market. Often, this is confused with animal vivisection, and so you will find people who don’t care if the food is good or bad, it’s just that they don’t like the company’s practices.
There are people who would rather your dog fell apart on a “holistic” food (these are all marketing gimmicks) with no such testing behind it, than something sold by one of the larger corporations. I call them Dog Food Social Justice Warriors, because science and facts go out the window, while emotional appeals and propaganda are all they have to offer. They bash ingredients known to be used in certain brands, and hope people will blindly believe that if they say corn will make your dog have allergies, it magically will, or that Ingredient X will cause cancer, then it will, with no scientific proof whatsoever.
I don’t doubt dogs do well on all different kinds of foods, from raw to grocery store to home cooked to high dollar “holistic”, but none of these methods are wrong if your dog is doing well. It sounds like your dog is VERY well taken care of. Twelve years old is great for a Lab, and if I were in your shoes, knowing today what I didn’t know in 2001, I would leave the dog on the food he’s been eating, and maybe add some small amounts of home cooking or replace a meal here and there with a home cooked substitute if you’re worried. Because switching foods for older animals can definitely do more harm than good. High protein diets like raw can also place a strain on the kidneys, liver and affect the immune system of an older dog in a very bad way 🙁 The raw fed sister of one of my show champion dogs also developed a chronic ear/eye infection which was not treated with conventional medicine, and eventually, after about two years, caused infective endocarditis. basically, the infection traveled to her heart and caused a murmur. So yes, even raw has its risks.
I have lost dogs to cancer on several types of diets, RAW INCLUDED, but one thing they all had in common, from canned to dry to raw, was that they were high meat/high protein diets. Older dogs may need *slightly* more protein than adults, but we tend to feed adult dogs far too much protein as it is, and keep in mind that most of the small company owned holistic diets have no research behind them and have dangerously high mineral levels due to the high protein content. When I said that the road to Hell was paved with good intentions was that by switching a dog doing well on one feed for so long, you might wake up a problem that was lying dormant or cause problems feeding a diet geared more towards marketing trends than what your dog actually needs. Good luck with your dog, and maybe take a look at other sites like the Science Dog Blog or SkeptVet to hear the other side of the story.
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by HoundMusic.
All ingredients that don’t sound like they were pulled off a human grocery shopping list seem to be “controversial” to some people. Personally, I think it has much to do with deliberate misinformation, hype, and frankly, immaturity on the behalf of some of those doing the controversy spreading – i.e., the “ewwww gross” mentality that tends to crop up when someone either doesn’t or doesn’t want to understand what that ingredient actually consists of, and why it has been included in the feed.
Plasma is nothing more than the part of blood which contains the fat – in dog food it usually has a pork origin. If you fed your dog an undercooked or raw steak, they would be eating animal plasma that has not been separated from the red blood cells. It’s used for flavoring, but flavoring a feed does not equate it with junk. It is also not a “filler” – most ingredients labeled as such usually aren’t, in reality – and may not be a nutritional powerhouse, but does contain some in the form of extra fats, which are a necessary nutrient.
Whether or not you want to feed it is a personal choice. In my own opinion, I see nothing wrong with it, though.
DO NOT give any Hamburger mince or boiled rice this is sooo OLD school now, people that have been thru this problem with their fur babies would have seen vet specialist & know not to use any fatty mince meats like hamburger mince, boiled rice can irritate the bowel, plus rice ferments in the stomach….Boiled potato or boiled sweet potato & a very lean white meat is now used when a dog becomes ill with stomach & bowel problems…. “
I am sorry, but this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
Rice does not ferment in the stomach. White rice is a very digestible form of fiber that tends to be a constipating agent as it soaks up excess moisture in the digestive tract.
Hamburger meat, properly prepared, is also an excellent source of nutrients and actually seems to digest easier than boiled chicken in some dogs with digestive issues. Red meats that tend to promote loose stools when raw do have the opposite effect when well cooked.
I’ve weaned about a dozen litters of pups over the years on cooked hamburger meat mixed with baby cereal, and it is generally better tolerated than chicken, but of course, there will be exceptions with individual dogs. IMHO, I find that hamburger and *white* rice is far superior to chicken/rice for dogs who truly have an irritated, sensitive or otherwise delicate digestive system. While that is just personal opinion based on 15+ years of observation, scientific fact tends to concur with me about the rice. It soaks up excess moisture that will only bulk up and soften the stool.
There is nothing “old school” about following methods that work, and that have a basis in scientific fact for doing so. Boiled potatoes of any variety do not have this moisture absorbing effect on the digestive system, and are fairly high on the glycemix index. This seems to me more a case of believing grains are the devil than any nutritional or scientific basis for recommending potatoes.
I’ve also noticed that their nutritional value rating is gone. I really have to wonder how they calculated it in the first place.
It seems too that several foods which preciously had 5 stars are a bit lower down in the ratings, and vice versa, with the trendy, holistic feeds now being showcased on their first page :/
Methinks there is something rotten in the state of Denmark.
We are still waiting for our nice weather days over in my neck of the woods :/ Got warmer for about 4-5 days, then turned cold again, now rainy. Blah.
@ Robin M
“Hi Houndmusic…I love your name, as I said. It brings to mind the baying and playful yipping of puppies lol.”
Ha! 🙂 That’s an old internet moniker of mine half named after the sound a pack of hunting Beagles make, and half of the perfect, musical Arooooo of my first bluetick. That dog is gone some eight years now, and I can /still/ remember perfectly what his voice sounded like. *sniff*
@ Robin M:
“Also, you can see the “humps” where his hips are on his back. So I am just curious if he is actually overweight?”
Pictures can be deceiving, but it does seem like he has a waistline, and might already be at a good weight. Even correctly build Beagles are a square dog, and people not familiar with the breed often confuse their naturally heavy build for being fat. I have actually had Vets who thought my red & white bitch and her sire were mixed with some sort of bulldog breed, because they were not accustomed to seeing anything other than scrawny puppy mill Beagles 🙁
I stink at posting pics to this site so I’ll add a link to a brace (type of field trial) Beagle site with some good pics of this type of hound – they are all actually slim & trim for their body shape.
@ Inked Marie
Hallo there ::waves::
How are your puppers doing? Oh, and give Boone a treat from me 🙂
“She’s concerned his little bit of extra weight may be causing an issue we are seeing with one of his front legs where he limps on it. We think (since she’s done x-rays, etc) that it may be joint related ie: arthritis. And the extra weight isn’t helping matters.
Here he is. You can see his tiny, knobby front legs in this one”
Look’s like he’s got some Beagle mixed in there, and if that’s the case, I’m going to say he appears to be only slightly overweight – that overly long back, over-stuffed sausage shape and “bench” legs (meaning legs that bow outwards) are just a sign of a common condition in Beagles called chrondrodystrophy. Not that he isn’t a bit fluffy, but in consideration of that body type, he’s not really overweight at all, or else doesn’t seem to be in that pic.
On that note, the limping you are seeing, despite it being in the leg, may actually be a symptom of intervertebral disc disease, which is almost inevitable in bench-legged Beagles. The first indication of IVDD coming to the surface is limping on one or more legs, so you might want to get that checked (it is diagnosed with a spinal x-ray), because it can be a life threatening condition if left untreated.
I’m generally trying to get weight on my hounds, but I find home-cooking keeps them thin, and barring that, any commercial kibble that is 300 kcals per cup or under should do the trick nicely. Also, watch the calcium:phosphorous content, meaning, no grain free, ultra high protein foods. Careful with exercise too, because if there is an underlying condition there causing the limping, too much can very easily aggravate it.
ETA: I very stupidly forgot to mention that my older bitch with IVDD does very well on and stays extremely slim begin supplemented with Iams Premium Protection Mature Adult. It’s not the regular Iams – this is in a white bag – and it’s difficult to find, so we don’t feed it consistently, but thought I’d just throw that suggestion out there 🙂
- This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by HoundMusic.
That’s a very interesting and informative site. A bit ashamed to say that for all I am interested more in a company’s quality control than an ingredient list, that there could be heavy metal contamination in pet food never even occurred to me :/
Even more interesting is that several of the “high-end”, boutique type dog foods that I swore were the cause of major problems for my pack are also the lowest rated due to contaminants. Canidae, Wellness CORE, and the God-forsaken Timberwolf, which is possibly the worst commercial dog food in the known universe. It also, I think, puts the final nail in the proverbial coffin of a mystery that’s been bothering me for years. That is, why did my dogs get sick on one formula of a given brand, while thriving on another? (Science Diet, I am looking directly at you) And what could have been the reason why foods like Timberwolf would cause an immediate, drastic and euthanasia worthy behavioral issue, while blood test results were completely normal?
Heavy metal toxicity seems to fit that bill.
One thing I am curious about, though, is how they calculated nutritional value. I see that Kibbles & Bits, which is lower protein than Dog Chow, got rated higher for its nutrient content than the latter, whereas Orijen, which has dangerously high levels of minerals – I think the calcium:phosphorous alone is 3x the daily requirement – has a nutritional value comparable to that of Dog Chow. Odd.
Anyway, I sincerely thank you for posting this. The pack gets mostly home-cooked these days, but some recent health issues are forcing me to start supplementing with kibble, so it’s a very good resource to have when looking into feeds. On another note, I’m seriously considering getting a cat, so took a gander at the kitty list. Couldn’t believe Deli-Cat is still around! That brings back some fond memories of my grandmother’s cat, who lived to be about 22 yrs old on nothing but that food, and even then most likely died of extreme neglect rather than old age 🙁
Feed your puppy in a crate – if she doesn’t eat, the food gets taken up. Repeat every few hours until the dog learns food gets eaten as soon as its put down. Sometimes, though, appetite will pick up by itself on a different diet. You should probably consider doing this for all the dogs, because free feeding is a /very/ bad idea.
We are not aiming to bring down protein too much but the vet argued that she would like to see it more around 20-30 than over 30. I know this is controversial but she is an experienced vet who sees a lot of small breeds
I don’t think it’s controversial at all. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s a known fact that the phosphorous levels in high animal protein feeds have an effect on kidney function, and dog food companies need to start taking responsibility for what they peddle. Your Vet is speaking from the POV of a medical professional who understands the consequences of using foods that have astronomical mineral levels so that certain brands can better cater to a profitable marketing niche.
As far as feeding recommendations go, I’d say get the protein levels around 19-21%. You might want to consider a prescription food, but if that’s not possible, there are plenty of commercially available brands that will fit the bill and still be nutritious enough for a puppy.
Originally posted with a rant about TOTW/Diamond, then read the entire thread… I’m very glad to hear switching this dog off that massive marketing gimmick of a food has helped. Diamond is an abominable company with terrible quality ingredients.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by HoundMusic.
Somewhere around 2003 – 2004, I purchased Frontline Plus from my Vet after a rescue we took in spread fleas to my other dogs. Literally, the instant I applied it to my youngest Beagle, she actually screamed – and her underside had turned bright red, like it had given her a first degree burn. Not only that, but it did nothing to rid the other dogs of fleas. We went to Bio Spot after that and have never had an adverse reaction, even when I was forced to use it on a dog with cancer being inundated with fleas and a few dogs who either had epilepsy or were prone to seizures.
“We spoke with our vet, who recommended against our current feeding regimen; saying it may be too small of a portion, causing him to go into starvation mode.”
Your Vet is 1000% correct. When the body is deprived of food, the thyroid gland will slow down the metabolism, causing the animal to not only gain weight, but to make weight loss very, very difficult. It’s why recovering anorexics often have hypothyroidism, and why people with hypothyroidism have problems with their weight stagnating even when they barely eat and get plenty of exercise. In fact, if the dog does have a thyroid problem, increasing exercise at this point might make weight loss impossible.
Consider this: when I was a teenager, I knew someone who fed a 40lb dog *one* 6oz can of Mighty Dog daily. The owner’s reasoning being that was the ration her last dog received, never mind he was a 20-ish lb lhasa mix. Needless to say, she wasn’t the brightest spark. However, despite both her dogs being underfed, they were actually overweight; the larger one at one point grossly so, despite the fact the she was being outright starved.
Offhand, I’d say for a 75lb inactive dog, no less than 2-2.5 cups per day should be fed. Just to give you a better idea of how low the amount you’re feeding is for a dog that weight, my 30lb Beagles get slightly less than 1.5 cups daily, and my 25-ish lb Beagle pup gets that or slightly more. When I had my 65lb Shepherd mix who hardly ate anything to keep a healthy weight would get no less than 2 cups. My purebred GSD was the same weight as the mutt, but had a higher nutrient requirement, and normally ate around 3.5-4 cups daily. Both were lean dogs, with not an ounce of spare fat.
For what my humble advice is worth, I would suggest taking this dog off Wellness altogether. Of all the feeds I’ve tried over the years, it was one of the absolute worst. Think I had somewhere around 13 adult dogs and a litter of pups on both the original grain inclusive formula, CORE, and Small Breed Puppy – and not a single one of them did well on it. Coats went to pot, problems with hypoglycemia and loose stools, etc.
Look for a feed that has a relatively low kcal content, so that you can feed this dog more food without giving an excess of calories. Aim for something around 340 kcals per cup or less, with moderate amounts of protein and fat. Be VERY careful with those grain free fad diets, because they often contain an unhealthy excess of protein and other nutrients. Or are made more with the owner’s sensibilities in mind than what the dog actually needs. And if it comes down to a prescription diet, that’s a far better alternative to the health problems being overweight will cause.
A two month old pup is going to have roundworms. It’s inevitable. Even if his fecal examination comes up clear, he still has them, I guarantee it. Worm this pup with Panacur for 3 days in a row, then continue routine de-worming at 10, 12 & 14 weeks.
@ Alexander A
How frequently does this dog “go” on Pedigree? I have a male with prostate issues and something else going on with his kidneys (he urinates blood as well, antibiotics are like giving him water) that has somehow morphed into chronic colitis :/ His main problem is pooping 200 times a day (all right, only 20-25) and we have been searching high and low for food he can actually digest.
Only food I know of with large kibble pieces is Science Diet Advanced Fitness. Ingredients are similar to Royal Canin and I know of a retired K9 S&R handler feeding it to his two (also retired) GSDs. They seem to do well on it.
For what it’s worth, I would advise against rotating foods with a puppy. The reason being they need a very precisely balanced calcium:phosphorous ratio, and rotation might throw that out of whack. For instance, if food B has higher levels than food A, and causes a rapid growth spurt. The only reason to switch a pup is if there is some problem caused by the food, otherwise, consistency is key.
BTW, be very careful about feeding raw fish.
Oh, geez, that’s horrible. Poor little pupper 🙁
As far as Science Diet goes, I used it for quite a few years and am on the fence – on the one hand, their targeted formulas are usually fantastic. My show dogs had the thickest, glossiest coats imaginable on it. On the other hand, I’ve had a few dogs have reactions that were no joke at all, so I tend to stay away unless we have a problem that would otherwise require a prescription diet.
Never fed the Weight Management formula, but I currently use the Sensitive Skin & Stomach for a dog with chronic diarrhea/weight loss issues from prostatitis that spread into a kidney infection. It has done wonders for him. Also just took a pup who initially had coat/growing problems off the SD puppy formula, and he’s the largest, most muscled pup in his entire litter. So, personally speaking, if I needed to control weight very strictly, I’d use an SD formula in a heartbeat.
For dogs that tend towards aggression, lowering the protein can sometimes help. I have a Beagle pup who gets “the crazies”, and will sometimes get so worked up that it turns into aggression :/ In this instance, switching him from puppy food to adult with 23% protein drastically reduced the hyperactivity. Sometimes dogs can get a reaction from certain types of protein, so if he’s been on chicken, try beef, lamb, fish, etc.
Ditto to anon101’s raw food warning. Lost count of the times over the years raw sent my dogs to the Vet (we also had a bowel obstruction once), and my second Beagle, who was a sweet, friendly little pupper turned into a food obsessed, aggressive, stand-offish jerk on raw. Completely changed his personality. That, and it most likely was the cause of his seizures.
new here and in a bit of a panic. i’ve been feeding raw to all my pets for over a decade with no issues. sadly, my 8-year old siberian husky has had issues eating things he’s not supposed to. he had a blockage where they needed to remove 30 inches of his intestine.
In this situation, I would have to agree with your Vet. Raw might cause more trouble than it’s worth in this instance. Particularly the bones, but also, keep in mind there can be a greater risk of infection with a dog who has just undergone major surgery and could very well have a compromised immune system for a while.
BTW, I was also a very long time raw feeder, but around April/May of last year, an older dog ate a raw pork neck that caused an obstruction. He would have been long dead if castor oil and force feeding him broth had not worked, as I cannot afford such a major surgery. Then, towards the end of the summer, that same dog was diagnosed with osteomalacia, which is basically the adult form of rickets. And I am more careful than most about balancing the calcium:phos ratio and including foods rich in Vit D. I ditched raw for home cooked, and let me tell you. My dogs were pooping out old, stagnated bone fragments for a week after being on a diet higher in fiber and of a very soft, digestible consistency. So there is a risk of blockage, and there is a risk of improper nourishment as well.
There is also some evidence that kibble does actually digest faster than raw:
And besides that, bones are going to give this dog an unduly hard time after having had such a surgery. If I can make a suggestion, crock pot food can be very mushy and is incredibly beneficial for sick or recovering dogs. So, if you don’t want to go the prescription diet route, that might be a better alternative.
Otherwise, Science Diet is not exactly my favorite brand, but I have one with chronic prostatitis (also caused, or at least aggravated, by raw) who can eat nothing but SD Sensitive Skin & Stomach or the lower protein/fat Advanced Fitness formula. I mean it. He even has a hard time with boiled chicken & rice. So don’t entirely rule out SD, because it can work wonders on sick dogs.
Just my 2 cents.
“Maggie the oldest dog in the world” she lived till she was 30yrs old & just died last year, she was feed a raw diet from the day she left her mum
Um… that dog was NOT fed a raw diet. There was an Australian dog, either her or another recent one that made it to a similar age, that was given kangaroo and emu (?) meat, but the owner never makes any mention of it being fed raw. And I have no doubt whatsoever that did not comprise the entirety of the diet, but was rather given as a nutritious supplement. Because no dog can survive on a diet of straight meat for very long. Take a good look at one of the pics in the following article about Maggie. She can be seen eating what appears to be round, artificially colored kibble pieces.
There was also a dog in the upper 20’s who was fed a vegetarian diet, and one I think who was also pushing 30 who ate nothing but :::drumroll::: Kibbles N’ Bits. I think the common factor in all the oldest dog cases were a combination of genetics, fresh air/exercise, and a satisfaction with their life. Lowering the protein seems to help as well, and that is not something that can be achieved on a species inappropriate raw diet.
A lot of these things have a genetic component, the puppy mills and backyard breeders that continue to breed dogs even when they are aware of hereditary disorders, doesn’t help
To an extent, yes, but environment plays a more drastic role, IMHO.
For instance, I lost a gorgeous show CH male Beagle at 10yrs from a line of extremely healthy, long lived hounds who averaged 16 years. Not long after I bought him @ 5yrs, he had a focal seizure. Nothing I had seen before purchasing this dog indicated anything of the sort was in the bloodline, and when I questioned his former handler and owners of littermates, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., no light could be shed on the problem. The seizure he had with me was apparently his first and only. A dog that seizes at such a late age either has been in contact w/ environmental contaminants, has been poisoned, has an underlying health issue such as a tumor or Cushings, or is being exposed to something in the food either directly or indirectly causing the issue.
Lo and behold, this dog’s littermate sister also had the occasional “hypoglycemic fit”. She was also the only other dog of about a dozen or so relatives that also ate raw. P.S., I have had, on two other occasions, have dogs with violent seizures immediately after starting the raw diet, when ideopathic epilepsy was unheard of in the bloodline.
Genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger.
To answer the OP’s question:
My youngest dog was a 4yr old GSD euthanized due to complications from degenerative myelopathy. At the time of death, however, she had been on Eukanuba dry/canned foods, and died about 2-3 months before their massive melamine recall. A friend of mine with 3 retired police S&R dogs who also fed Euk dry was experiencing the same symptoms as I was with all my dogs. So yes, I believe in this instance, diet contributed to her early death.
My oldest, incidentally, was a 15yr old black GSD mix who also died of degenerative myelopathy, after battling it for three years. He was switched back to raw after I first noticed symptoms, and made some major improvements in overall health and mobility afterwards. He was NEVER paralyzed. He was treated homeopathically with green tea and ginkgo biloba, and did better than most dogs on conventional meds who’d had the disease half the time. He did “go down” 48hrs before we made the decision to euthanize, but he walked, with assistance, the six blocks to our vet. I will be damned to Hell if diet did not prolong and increase the quality of his life.
And yet, 100% raw + Beagles = inevitable catastrophe. And it fed my Beagle bitch’s mammary tumor like I’d thrown gasoline on a fire.
Your diet looks good! My only suggestion would be to ditch the brown rice in favor of white because of the high arsenic levels and the phytic acid in brown rice. The latter is an anti-nutrient that will prevent them from absorbing minerals such as calcium & iron. I noticed in my own dogs an immediate increase in weight (they were too skinny) and improved activity when I nixed brown rice.
I also add sweet potatoes to their basic recipe for the Vitamin A, C, and potassium that can be harder to come by in homecooked diets.
There is so much internet hype out there, and much of it, believe it or not, is actually started by or egged on by competing dog food companies. I’ve also seen unfounded complaints hurled at just about every company that holds a fair portion of the market, some with pictures so fake, it’s sad to realize that there are people out there with so much time on their hands.
So, while I personally don’t care for Pedigree due to a few reasons, the artificial coloring agents being at the top of that list, it’s not killing dogs, and you are not automatically doing better by the dog by feeding a “holistic” feed. I’ve known plenty of unreasonably long lived dogs eating Pedigree, and very, very few on Blue Buffalo that didn’t have some sort of complaint regarding chronic bowel problems.
Just my 2 cents.
I’ve been seriously considering giving the Bright Mind a try for a dog who started having massive, uncontrollable grand mal seizures @ 9yrs old. He’s now 11 and has a notable degree of brain damage, but doing better on a home cooked diet (as opposed to raw), even without supplements, so it’s obvious diet does have an impact on cognitive health.
I don’t have a single issue with feeding any of Purina’s higher grade foods – in fact, when I was actively breeding, Purina ONE and Puppy/Dog Chow gave me outstanding results. These were hunting dogs that quickly fell apart on a feed that was even slightly lacking, and quite honestly, there’s a reason most show & field breeders don’t touch the holistic, “boutique” type foods, and it’s NOT the price. When your entire kennel is going to pot, you’re desperate enough to pay anything.
However, I haven’t fed anything Purina in close to 8yrs, since they changed their formulas back in ’08. I did just pick up a back of the Purina ONE Mature Adult tonight, since this weekend was too busy to do a raw food shopping, and the ingredients look very similar to Bright Mind. I’ll update if I stick with it and notice any differences…
LOL Chris, get off your butt & send me a pic! I will email you some pics right now; let me know if you get them
Your crew is GORGEOUS. I am partial to Boone, however 😉 Love his tuft of head fur – and he still appears to be a mischievous one. My neighbor’s daughter has a brindle retired racing greyhound, and I’ve always loved the color, but wow. It’s really so much more striking on a whippet, especially with the long coat. He looks like a fun pup, let me tell you.
Now you have to settle for a pic of one crotchety 13 week old Beagle who spent the entire day on a plane, only to land in my crappy neck of the woods after midnight, giving me his least unamused look.