Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Year of the Dog, III


Daisy, the dog, the Boxer girl, flourishes now, away from the mother who whelped thirteen, too many by far to suckle. I grew angry with the filler seemed packed into the commercial puppy mix, food that seemed never to satisfy and always to produce more waste than necessary, and so I've began to feed the youngster the same home mixture of meats (mainly fish), oil, vegetables, and grain that I give the adult dogs.

And there lies the problem. The adult dogs, both weighing around 20-pounds, are fit and shiny-coated and vigorous being fed between one and two cups of my potent mixture a day. Daisy, presently close to identical in frame size but perhaps only 12-to-15-pounds seems to need at least three cups of the mixture, dispensed over three feedings. And even with that, she remains hungry, at least from her mannerisms.

Researching "home made dog food" on the I'net revealed I apparently struck accidentally on the right mixture for good canine health. Dogs do not need as much protein as cats, a metabolic factor that may be the reason that commercial companies use so much filler. Add the bio-chemical necessities to sawdust, add flavoring from boiled-down slaughterhouse waste, and you have , the cheapest brand on the market.

It's an interesting exercise to feed one dog while two others are present. The two Boston terriers will obey the command "Stay" or "Wait" if I give it, but the male will edge closer and closer to Daisy as she gets her extra feedings. I usually keep a slice of whole grain bread in my hand to distract them, dividing it between the two as she finishes.

Doc, the male Boston, is extraordinarily protective of his food. Kitty, female, is alpha, but he will growl when she approaches his dish. That's generally no problem, for she eats slower than Doc. Doc will finish and then stand close to her. She usually stops eating while there's a bit left in her bowl, allowing him to take it. My wife says that's because she has the female "mothering" instinct, present even though she's never had puppies.

As for Daisy, it is too early to tell if she will display food aggression. She is presently so "puppy hungry" that she finishes her food in a few short gulps.
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