Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eukanuba Challenge: Week 3

Quick update: Winnie and Bruno still love their Eukanuba food, although I have noticed that Winnie appears to be putting on some weight, check out this pic of her lazing around with a slightly growing belly.

Usually she and Bruno are somewhat trim and very muscular, although she puts on weight a lot more easily than Bruno and it all sits in her mushy little belly- which makes her all the more cuddly. That must be the Rottweiler part of her.

The problem is she has weak joint and knees- so the trimmer we can keep her the better.

Help for the Holidays

All it takes is one person, one dollar, one minute to save one dog- if we work together to support rescues. Please keep rescue groups in your heart these holidays. See what good can come of your small efforts:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bruno & Winnie try to out-cute each other...

Obviously competing in the world finals of cutest pitties ever...

Why are you sitting on each other puppies??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eukanuba Challenge: Week 2

Well, I have noticed that the pups have more energy for sure! (I'm not entirely positive this is a good thing, because they have been tearing through the house, playing with their toys, and climbing on Chip and I to go on walks.) They also have been gobbeling up their food heartily.

Salmon food PLEASE!?
However, on the taste test, the Rottweiler food is the clear loser. Unfortunately, it does not appeal to Winnie or Bruno. I'm not concerned that - given no other options - they would starve, but with the fishy all-natural Salmon formula around, they snub their noses at the Chicken-Rottie food everytime.

My theory on the food is this: Umami flavor wins out.

Umami is the mysterious fifth flavor after Salty, Sweet, Sour, and Bitter-- in Japonese it means "pleasant savory taste." The Umami Info describes it as:

"Taking its name from Japanese, umami is a pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role making food taste delicious."

Not surprisingly, breast milk is most mammals first exposure to the flavor- which is what makes it so irresistable to us. Besides touch, taste is the only sense dogs have developed at birth. This means that while they cannot hear or see their mom, they can feel her warmth and taste her milk.

Is Umami in your dog food?
Dogs' sense of taste is only 1/6 as good as ours (ever wonder how they can eat such strange things like plastic?) - but they still like to have their food smell good and taste good- and not give them a tummy ache. I think the fact that their first experience with food and comfort is umami-flavored, it makes sense that they would want to replicate that later on.

Guess what dog food ingredient contains the most umami? Fish- it is filled with it (140mg per serving of the main ingredient, free glutamate)- and chicken? Not so much, only 44mg. Want to drive them crazy with taste? Cheese has 1200mg- that's why they act like they are going to tear your carpeting up at the first sight of a cheeze ball!

My guess is Winnie and Bruno go crazy for the fish the same way they go crazy for cheese. Do you find this is true with your dogs too?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eukanuba 28 Day Challenge- Week 1

Bruno and Winnie are Beginning Eukanuba's 28-day dog food challenge this week.
Bruno's food is Naturally Wild: North Atlantic Salmon and Rice Formula
  • Salmon as the #1 Ingredient: 100% Real salmon provides an excellent source of protein as well as vitamin-rich fish oil. That's why it's the #1 ingredient.
  • Healthy Carbohydrates: Unique Multigrain blend includes barley and rice and is a quality source of carbohydrates that helps maintain healthy energy levels.
  • Natural Prebiotics: Natural FOS (fructooligosaccharides) works in your dog’s digestive tract to support strong defenses.
  • Antioxidants: Made with a unique antioxidant blend including vitamin E to help dogs stay healthy and live long lives.
  • Natural Fish Oil: Natural fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. These nutrients also help support the immune system and nervous system.
  • Only the Good: No Fillers, corn, or artificial preservatives
  • DentaDefense®: Clinically Proven to reduce tartar by up to 55%

Winnie's food is Rottweiler Formula - because she is part Rottie, has really bad joints (hip displaysia and a torn/repaired ACL), and we think her coat is a classic Rottie coat- gorgeous and silky black/brown.

Eukanuba Rottweiler is specifically made to nourish the overall health, including strong muscle tone, joint health and shiny coat of Rottweilers. This food provides high-quality animal proteins to help build and maintain strong muscle tone and body condition. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. FOS, a natural Prebiotic, is included to support your Rottweilers's strong defenses from within the digestive tract. Natural fish oil helps Rottweilers maintain that sleek and shiny coat they’re famous for. Feeding Eukanuba Rottweiler will help keep your dog as toned, and magnificent as he was bred to be.
  • Lean Muscles: Higher protein level to help maintain strong muscle and body condition (vs. Large Breed Adult)
  • Heart Health: Guaranteed Taurine and L-Carnitine levels, vital nutrients for a healthy heart
  • Healthy Joints: Formulated to maintain a healthy weight and minimize joint stress.
  • FOS (fructooligosaccharides): This Prebiotic works in your dog's digestive tract to support his strong defenses.
  • Chicken as the #1 Ingredient: Real chicken as the #1 ingredient provides an excellent source of protein.
  • Antioxidants: Made with antioxidants such as Vitamin E to support your dog's immune system.
  • Natural Fish Oil: Natural fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
  • 100% Nutrition, 0% Filler: Your dog deserves the best, so there’s no room for fillers like artificial preservatives, artificial flavors or colors in our food. In fact, every carefully chosen ingredient serves a specific purpose in promoting your dog’s overall health. It’s our 100% commitment to you and your dog.
  • Wholesome Grains: Made with highly digestible barley and grain sorghum to help maintain healthy blood sugar and energy levels.
  • DentaDefense®: Crunchy kibbles with a coating of micro- crystals scrub your dog's  teeth with every bite, reducing plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to bad breath.
Week One:

Bruno and Winnie eagerly attacked their food last night...
Winnie's Rottie food is a little hard for her to chew- it took her about twice the amount of time Bruno took to finish (the kibble size is bigger than the salmon formula).

This morning, however, it became super clear that they prefer the Salmon (1st ingredient Salmon) over the Rottie formula (1st ingredient Chicken). Given extra of both- neither of them finished the Rottie formula- the fish smells and oils may be too much to resist- they couldn't get enough of it!

Here's Winnie- eagerly waiting for some of Bruno's salmon formula before even touching her own.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pits, Pets & Politics

American presidents and politicans have been historically carnivorous. Many of them enjoy hunting and shooting things and putting forth an aggressive dominant personality. Mama Grizzly-aka Sarah Palin is a great example. Being a vegetarian or pet-lover is often seen as weak in politics. Empathizing with animals suffering is seen as an inability to make tough decisions.

An article by Kelly Oliver in the New York Times suggests that people consider animal-lovers to be crazy and somewhat pathelogical. The more dependant we are- the crazier we are. Animals are subscribed by doctors to help us cope with weakness, depression, and illness. And hence we see strong meat-eaters in politics today.

She asks, is there room in America for a vegetarian candidate? I've been asking myself this recently because I would be drawn to vote for someone simply on this basis. Why? Well, I assume this means they are compassionate and thoughtful about the affects they have on the lives under their control. The opposite feeling frightens me in a political leader. Of course, individual philosophy is not always consistent. Just because a politician cares for animals and doesn't eat meat does not mean they will treat all Americans equally and help the lower classes-- Case in point: Adolph Hitler, a notorious vegetarian.

However, I am drawn to vegan, vegetarian and pescaterian politicians:
Benjamin Franklin was a vegetarian.
Bill Clinton, after 2 open heart surgeries and being influenced by his daughter Chelsea is a vegan. (And dropped 20 lbs!)
Al Sharpton is a pescatarian. (And a LOT slimmer these days.)
President Obama signed a law banning "obscene" videos depicting animals being tortured to death with penalties of up to seven years in prison. 

If you want to see how other politicians stand on the issues--out the Humane Society's Score Card:
For example, my senators Lautenberd(D) and Menendez(D) each scored 100/100, with Menendez sponsoring the Fur Labeling Law. New York senators did well also, scoring 89 (Gillibrand) and 78 (Schumer).

Here are the representatives who scored 100+ (scored 100% and led legislation)- All are democrats:
Grijalva(D-AR), Capps(D-CA), Davis(D-CA), Filner(D-CA), Milner(D-CA), Sherman(D-CA), DeLauro(D-CT), Schakowsky(D-IL), Van Hollen(D-Maryland), Peters(D-Michigan), Andrews(D-NJ), Holt(D-NJ), Towns(D, NY), Price(D-NC), Kucinich(D-Ohio) (Also a Vegetarian!) and Dicks(D-WA).

The senators who scored 100+ are Kerry (MA) and Lieberman (CT).

Sadly, the congressman I intered for (I lived in his district), Scott Garrett has a 13 and voted against the following bills: Factory Farms, Marine Turtles, Sea Otters, Wild Horses, Guns in Parks, Rare Cats, Primates as Pets, Didn't bother voting for Puppy Mills, Horse Slaughters, or Chimps in Research.

The following should be noted for voting against Service dogs for Veterans: Flake(R-AZ), Shedegg(R-AZ) and Issa(R-CA).

Starved, Neglected and Alone...

For some reason, the most abused animals in America are pit bulls.
If you are on the East Coast, and have room and time to nurse this guy back to health, please consider fostering/adopting. He will be pulled by Amsterdog if you step up!

Weight: only 31 pounds, I'm going to guess this guy will put on 15 more pounds if not 25 in the next few months. Bruno was only 45 pounds when we got him, he's now 60!

Behavior: Got stiff when approached while gulping food, assessor notes: needs reassessment at normal weight, but Roko got sick with Kennel Cough first. He doesn't seem to like other dogs at the moment, but loves people.

Has $100 in pledges already. Click here to leave a comment on his thread.

Another boy being destroyed today who I can't ignore is this sweetie- Skye. He is neutered but has a bad skin rash. Look at those sweet eyes!

Pittie of the Week!

This pup is named Radar, and I love how much he reminds me of Bruno. He is shy of new people, but loves Dogs, just like Bruno. Last night, Bruno had such a hard time listening to all the noises and children outside - he got so anxious he would randomly start barking at things- including at one point, growling at our chandelier for 5 minutes!? Then I let him under the blanket on the couch and he snuggled in, and knowing he was safe in there, went straight to sleep. How can you resist that?? If you'd like your own Bruno- here's your chance!!

Age: 1 year
Sex: Male
Breed: APBT Mix
Hi! I'm Radar and I'm a very loving, active pup who had a rough start in life.  I am the perfect size for NYC living, although I'd probably prefer a quieter place.  I am super shy but will quickly bond with my caretaker.  I love dogs and would do best with a another dog in my forever home.  My new parents need to be patient, understand my social limitations and be committed to taking me to training classes so he can build confidence and a relationship with my new family!
I am currently in foster care, so please contact the shelter to set up a meeting with me!
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