|Basil when he was tiny and still had fluffy fur!
Continuing with this week's doggy theme, here is a list of what I feed Basil (and why) and what I use to keep up with his health care needs.
Fromm Gold Puppy: I feed Basil Fromm food. When he's too old for puppy food I'll give him Fromm Gold Adult Food. That's the brand his shelter (Wright-Way Rescue) uses and it is really good quality so I continued giving it to him. It's made in Wisconsin so it's pretty local to me. The first three ingredients are meat and there's no filler or grain in it. Plus they put in veggies, flax seed, brewers yeast (helps repel biting insects), and probiotics. This is what I put in his two Busy Buddy toys.
Fromm Gold Wet Food: For each meal I mix in a spoonful of wet food to make the dry food a bit more interesting. I also use spoonfuls of the wet food in his Kong toy that I talked about on Tuesday. I've given Basil the duck & chicken one and the just chicken one and he likes both. The wet food is pretty expensive, but in a week he only goes through two cans.
Blue Buffalo Beef Training Treats: These are Basil's standard treats. I use these for going through all his tricks (sit, lay, shake, stay) and back when he used to get a treat for "going" outside. Now with the invisible fence I'll use them to reward him coming inside when I call him. I break these in half since they're expensive. Plus in a training session he'll get a bunch. I tried a lot of treats with Basil that he didn't like and I learned that he doesn't like dry crunchy treats. He likes ones like these that are a little "wet." Training treats are great because they're small and easy to eat so you can go right into the next trick and not wait for them to finish their treat. Plus these ones have good ingredients (flax seed & salmon oil) and no junk. I used to get the chicken flavor of these, but I did a little puppy taste test and learned he likes the beef one better.
Costco Chicken Jerky Treats: These are a BIG TREAT. He gets these whenever he's been super good. He also gets one every night when he goes into his kennel by himself. When it's late and he hears this bag crinkle he runs right to his kennel and lays down! Sometimes I rip these into little pieces and use them for a training session (I am trying to get him to learn "drop it"). Obviously I buy these at Costco, but I'm sure similar ones can be found elsewhere.
Dried Liver Treats: These treats gross me out, but Basil loves them. They are another BIG DEAL treat. We bought this bag in July and he's still working on it.
I need to be better at following through, but my goal is to brush Basil's fur & teeth and clean his ears once each week. I have been good about giving him a bath every other month. And he gets his heartworm & flea medicine each month.
Brushing his fur helps keep his shedding down (he doesn't shed much, if your dog does you might want to do daily brushings), brushing his teeth keeps them healthy & white (here's an article about doggy dental health), and cleaning his ears helps keeps ear infections at bay. Here's what I use:
Furminator Brush: This is a great brush! It gets out so much of the undercoat which is what sheds the most. There's no point in buying another brush in my opinion.
Toothbrush: I like that this is double ended. I used to use the tiny end on his puppy teeth, but now I use the big end on his adult teeth. I like that if he has a particularly bad spot on a tooth I can focus on it with the tiny end. Basil tries to eat the toothbrush the entire time I brush his teeth, but I am able to get them mostly clean. Also sidenote, I am terrified to brush Banjo's teeth!
Toothpaste: Chewy.com actually messed up my order and sent mint instead of poultry flavor. I didn't care enough to have them exchange it. Works well enough! I'm pretty sure this tube will last forever.
Ear Cleaner: I put a few drops of this onto a round cotton pad and wipe out his ears. I use one cotton round per ear. I just buy Target brand cotton rounds. They're what I use to take my makeup off, too. He hates me cleaning his ears, but it's gotta be done. This bottle will last forever. You can't hurt their ear, the actual ear drum is way inside and you're just cleaning out the canal. As deep as you can get you're still not getting to a part where you could hurt their ear. Here's a picture:
Shampoo: This smells good and Basil has never been itchy after a bath. I'm pretty sure this bottle will last forever.
Conditioner: Same shampoo comments apply here. This makes Basil fur nice and smooth for several days after his bath (day of it's fluffy though, which is weird).
After a few minutes Basil stops trying to escape the tub, gives in to the reality of the bath happening, and gives me this WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME look the entire time:
I'm leaving out nail care, because I don't feel confident in what we're doing right now! Basil hates his paws being touched in any way and clipping his nails is torture for both of us. When he got neutered they did his nails while he was out and I haven't done anything since....
-General Doggy Supplies-
Pooper Scooper: I avoid the plastic bag method whenever possible.
Doggy Leash Poop Bags: I use these when we're away from home. I love that they're attached to the leash and can't be forgotten. The little container has a hook to hold the poop bag for you for the rest of the walk and they're scented which are nice touches. And they're super cheap!
Doggy Bed: This is what we have in Basil's kennel to make it cozy. I've washed it a few times and it comes out well. I recommend using a sticky roller to get the hair off before you put it in the washer, though.
Doggy Bowls: These are good. You can put them in the dishwasher if you're lucky enough to have one. They won't tip over. However, if your dog is a weirdo who full-on PLAYS with his bowl, it will spill and slosh over the edges.
Dog Maze Slo-Bowl: If your dog is eating too fast this helps to slow them down (some dogs will throw up from eating too fast or get bloat which is very bad). Once I started mixing in some wet food it got awkward to use this so I haven't been. It's best for just dry food.
Lupine Pet Leash & Collar: Basil's shelter sells Lupine brand. If your dog chews through their leash or collar they will replace it! Just keep the tags. Plus their designs are soooo cute. Basil has "dapper dog."
Kurgo Seat Belt: In addition to keeping Basil safe in a crash or when I stop fast, it keeps him in place. I have driven without it before and he tries to climb in my lap! And this way I can put stuff in the backseat with him and he can't go investigate/chew it all. It's nice to get him belted in and then load the car for trips. Also it doubles as a regular harness that you can use on walks, just clip the leash to it instead of the seat belt loop.
Kyjen Outward Hound Backpack: I got this because Basil was restless during walks. This gives him a "job" (again he's a border collie mix) and honestly, tires him out faster! Plus he has helped to carry in the tomato harvest and groceries! When he can't actually be useful I just fill it with water bottles.