New Potty Approach!
What do you do when it is pouring down rain and your sweet Westie needs to potty? Get the umbrella and begin the chore! I always have problems managing the umbrella and leash all at the same time, especially being sure my sweet Westie didn't get wet. Between the two of us, I always got the "wet" end of the deal. Drying paws is one thing, but a soaking wet Westie is no fun. After a bright idea, and about $12,000, I came up with a solution.
We have a deck out back, but also an outside entrance to the lower level on one end of our home. I had a carpenter build a nice 16 X 20 porch over the entrance. Half of the floor is concrete and the other half is covered with 3 inches of large gravel. During the rain, we take our Westies to the gravel to potty.
Beyond that small fenced area, we have a larger area fenced that they use when it is not raining. Because our dogs enjoy digging, we originally began using pine straw. It will dry out quickly after a rain, but we would have to replenish several times each year. We would order about 100 bales of pine straw each time we had it delivered. Last year, we discovered synthetic pine straw. It looks like pine straw from a distance, has a crunching sound when you walk on it, but it is a great product for this purpose. It is expensive, but will last a long time.
How do you keep the gravel clean? If it is under cover like ours, we catch poop in a poop scooper and it doesn't even touch the gravel. You have to be experienced to do that! Every few weeks we use Trail Instant Odor Control. It instantly neutralizes urine and feces odor. If the gravel is uncovered, the rain will clean it.
You can be as creative as you like. You can use decorative rock to dress things up with larger rocks for the border.
Dogs boost the happy quotient in our lives in more ways than we can count!
How Effective is Microchipping?
Raw Meat Diets!
A few years ago, I became very interested in raw meat diets for our dogs. I did the research, bought the freezer to store the meats, and bought a lot of expensive meat and vegetables (that wasn't suppose to be expensive). At that time the most popular concern was what goes into processed dog food. Some brands of processed dog food are very low in excess additives, preservatives, and colors. Other foods are full of sugars, colors, unnecessary additives and potentially dangerous preservatives. All processed foods need preserving, but not all preservatives are good products for your dog. The issues are broader today as evidenced by the recent dog food recalls.
Linda told me up front she wanted nothing to do with it and if our dogs got a raw meat diet, it would be up to me to prepare, feed, and clean up after each meal. Have you ever seen what a Westie looks like that has just eaten a raw meat diet? Have you ever thought about the clean-up involved? I can tell you, a kiss after a kibble meal is a lot different from a kiss after a raw meat diet meal. It was a bad experience for me, but some people have the time to put into what can be a good diet. After admitting that for us, Linda was right, I did a lot of research on kibble and found what I thought was among the best and have used those three brands of kibble for years with good results. We have alternated use over the years. They seem to get tired of one diet, then we alternate and their interest in the food increases.
One of the benefits with a raw meat diet is you know exactly what you are feeding your dog. However, a drawback is you also can end up with a malnourished pet! Good nutrition is far more than feeding your dog enough to keep it from getting too thin. Proper nutrition involves knowing what your pet needs to be healthiest in regards to protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, various vitamins and minerals, etc. Deficiencies in any of these can lead to serious problems down the road. If you can dedicate yourself to study and properly creating a balanced raw diet, it might work for you. The big question is, can you ensure your dog is getting a balanced diet?
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