Becoming a Dog Owner

Welcome to our new blog! You may have noticed we recently launched our brand new website which was an upgrade that was definitely needed! Along with the new and improved site, we also decided to bring back the K9Cusine Blog.  Our hopes are that you will feel at home, learning about great ways to take care of our best friends. As pet owners ourselves, we all know the joys, and yes, the occasional trials and tribulations of owning a pet so we decided to share our insight and our stories with all of you all. 

We hope that you enjoy the tips, tricks, advice, and latest news articles that we will be posting.

Now a little about me! My name is Tina Rose and I've been a pet owner all of my 46 years, and currently own 2 dogs and 4 cats. With so many years experience I would consider myself an expert but at the same time, like all pet owners, I learn something new every day and when I get stuck, I turn to expert veterinarians and ask the important questions. As one of the K9Cuisine blog authors, I’ll be sharing what I have learned along with tons of other useful information! I encourage each of you to join in on the discussion by leaving a comment, either to ask a question or to just say hello! 

The Story of Lucy and Linus

I currently have 2 dogs and 4 cats, though I spent some time a few years ago, with fewer pets. I always wanted a dog in my life, but back then I had two sweet cats and didn't think about it often. Occasionally, I would bring up the idea of a dog or puppy, but never followed though. But little did I know that a summer heat wave like I had never seen before with day after day of 100+ temperatures and a simple trip to the store would change my life, in the best possible way! 

She was adorable, as she ran up to me in the parking lot. Floppy ears and a wagging tail, just begging for something - someone, anyone to take a second look. I asked the clerk about her and the clerk explained that dog had been seen in the lot for 3 days, with no owner in sight, and she did not know what to do. As I returned home I was saddened by the news. After about an hour, I couldn't take it anymore, it was just so hot outside and I was worried about her. I had to go back and see if I could help. What I found when I arrived was heart-breaking. She was lying behind the dumpster unable to get up because of the heat. I decided right there that I had to take her home. 

This was an eye opening experience for me as I learned that dogs could get heat stroke, heat exhaustion and have other issues when left unattended in the sun. After bringing her back home, and with lots of love and attention, she made a full recovery. Once she recovered, I searched for her owners, to no avail, I found she was extremely well trained, and well behaved, and could not imagine who would have left her behind. 

Now, she is family, I call her Lucy, and she has led me down a trail of saving many more animals and adding to my family as the years have passed. Once Lucy joined my family many changes have occurred, there were fences built in her honor. Once the fence was built I was asked if I had room for one more. Lucy needed a friend. So she and I adopted a puppy from the local shelter. He was all wrapped in a blanket, yellow lab and Sharpei, a strange looking mix of a dog. Of course, his name - Linus. 

I must admit that feeding a large breed puppy and an overweight large mix breed dog was a new thing for me, and I have to admit overwhelming. Lucy eats everything, and it is hard not to give her treats. Linus is a picky eater, and often takes his treats and hides them, and does not mind that Lucy finds them and eats them.

After looking at the ingredients for many of the popular dog treats sold in our local pet store, I began to worry about the quality of food they were eating and began looking for treats that are single ingredients such as chicken and beef jerkys as a healthy solution. This led me to take an even closer look at what all of my furry pals eat as I realized that their diet is just as important out own. 

I’ve spoken to our vet about feeding routines, and I know I’m not perfect. I can tell you from experience that what works for you, your pet, and your routine, is ultimately what is best. What works best for my dogs is a once a day feeding schedule. With a crazy work schedule, I have time to spend with them in the evenings. I give them both half a can of wet food and half a cup of dry food. They are given 1 cup of weight control dry food to munch on during the day, so they do not go hungry. If they do something good throughout the day, they may get a treat or two. 

Reading the ingredient label is crucial to feeding your pets, no matter what time of day you choose. Meat should be the primary and first ingredient. Look for high quality proteins in flavors that your pet enjoys, with high quality fruits and vegetables as the second ingredients. Treats should also be the same high quality. I tend to look for jerkys, which tend to be primarily flavored meat. If you are dealing with special diet issues, look for products that are designed for that.  I switched Lucy to a weight control version of her favorite dog food, and she still loves it. 

So those are my canine friends and how we became a family. So how did you meet your four-legged family members?  Were there any early lessons learned?