Dog Food Recalls!
Many of you have emailed or called us concerning the recent "wheat gluten" scare in the dog foods manufactured by Menu Foods. To date, none of the foods that we recommend are on the list. We suggest you feed your pups or dogs one of the following:
All of these foods are organic, natural foods that do not have wheat gluten, wheat, corn, or beef that many Westies are allergic to. Many brands of dog food on the market today are filled with these and other "fillers".
You might want to consider a combination of two, and use one as a treat. If Canidae is available, I would suggest you use it for your main food and buy small packages of Natural Balance Potato & Duck to use as treats. If you give them too much in treats, they will stop eating their regular diet and prefer the treats. Remember, whatever brand you are feeding, they will prefer the other! Don't let them get to you! When they get hungry they will eat. The dry is much better for their teeth than the wet canned.
If your Westie has a sensitive stomach, Natural Choice Chicken Meal, Rice & Oatmeal Formula listed above is great.
Just remember, if you change foods, do it gradually, over about 5-6 days.
Many people believe that socializing a dog with other dogs is for the goal of creating a dog who can just play with any dog, anywhere, anytime. This is not a realistic goal for many dogs, especially after maturity. A much more reasonable goal is to teach your dog to pay attention to you when working around other dogs, and to ignore them. You'll notice at dog shows that this is how the experienced handlers manage their dogs. It's not like a big dog park with all the dogs playing together...<<More>>
Westie Books Check out these Westie books from Amazon.com.
Buying A Westie!
We have many people each week who contact us wanting a referral for a pup. We wish we could help every person who contacts us. There is only one breeder we know that we can recommend. If you are willing to drive or fly to IN to pick up your pup, we can give you a referral. Of course, she can only provide a few pups annually. If you are seriously searching for a pup, there are some things you need to do:
* If you have never owned a Westie, do your research, talk to Westie owners, and be sure a Westie is right for you. Over the years we were very careful where we placed our pups. If you are not able to stay home with your new pup during the day, you do not need a pup. It is not fair to your pup to crate him for hours, which makes potty training essentially impossible. If you have children under 6, we always recommend you wait until the kids are older.
*Don't buy a pup from a pet store. There are sites where pups are auctioned off to brokers who sell them to pet stores. Most of them sell for $200-400 at auction. Many pet stores will sell that same pup for $2,000. Many of these pups are unhealthy and exist in terrible conditions. If we would stop buying our pets from pet stores, much of that would be stopped. Many Westie pups are produced every day that do not have human contact until the day the pet transport guy comes to load them up for his delivery route. I always discourage anyone who might buy a pup from a pet store.
* Don't buy a pup on impulse. It is very important that you buy your pup from a reputable breeder. Did you ever wonder why we always had such a long wait list? When we stopped breeding, we disappointed dozens of people. We got dozens of tear jerker emails about how much they wanted a Down South Westie and how long they had waited for a pup. We felt like a heel. The point I make is that there may be a reason that a breeder has 4 pups that are 8 weeks old and "you can have your pick". Be sure you check them out and ask all the right questions. Be patient. Get on the wait list of a reputable breeder.
* Don't buy a pup without a health guarantee and contract.
* Don't buy a pup unless he is AKC registered.
* Never buy a pup unless you feel comfortable the breeder will answer all of your questions. We get dozens of questions every month and sometimes someone will say, "I contacted my breeder to ask for help with my 10 week old pup that I got from him, but he will not return my email or phone calls. You should feel you can count on your breeder like your best friend.
* Don't be afraid to ask for references. Any reputable breeder will give you several.
* Don't buy a Westie unless you are financially able to give him the best care possible, feed him the best food, and treat him like a member of the family.
Have a beautiful Westie? E-mail us an attached photo (jpg) of your Westie and we'll post it on the Friends Page for 30 days. Give us your name (first name will do), your state, and your Westie's name. You can even add a short paragraph. It doesn't have to be a Down South Westie, just a Westie! We'll be expecting your email!
Housetraining comes down to one simple skill: being a good doggy time manager...<<More>>