Those of you who follow my blog or myself and Holly Instagram you will be aware of the following; number 1 she is fussy, and I mean really fussy and secondly we travel a lot so being able to bring food on the road with us is super important. Holly has been on the raw diet for the past 7 months and has recently lost her enthusiasm for her raw food and had a very upset tummy at the same time.
I love the benefits Holly has shown since the switch to raw. Firstly she leaned out and had looked great. Holly was previously fed a combination of a high quality dry food accompanied by human food. Holly was fed in line with guidelines and received more than average exercise, being a dog walker she came to work so exercise wasn’t the problem. With raw her body took all the goodness from the food and the waste was minimum. That’s the second benefit, teeny tiny poops! This is a clear indicator of quality food compared to her previous diet.
While at the beach for our morning swim myself and Holly got talking to a fellow dog owner who was just as crazy about her pooch (crazy dog people are my fav!). We got talking to food that we feed our pups and I was telling her that we feed raw but find it so hard when travelling to keep that up then she shared the light with me. She feeds her pooch freeze dried raw dog food. I had no idea such a product existed, I was aware of dehydrated treats but not freeze dried food.
Before heading off to the pet store to see our available options I was informed the following; freeze dried raw is expensive and secondly the amount that you feed your dog will not seem sufficient.
We headed to the pet store and the freeze dried raw section is TINY in such a huge store. There were three different options in the store. The store employee wasn’t up to date on the freeze dried products but was able to let us know the best seller so we picked up two different brands of freeze dried raw food – Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets Beef & Salmon and Stella & Chewy’s.
Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets Beef & Salmon
Okay first off we bought the Cat version of the food based on the ingredients beef and salmon just sounds delicious to pass on. A minor blip but hey let’s see how we get on with it, can’t be much of a difference in the food, right?!
What is in the food?
The most important question you as a dog pawrent should always be looking at. So many dog food companies use marketing as a ploy to make you think that there is actual food in the dog food. If you have Netflix I highly reccomend you watch Pet Fooled documentary on the pet food industry.
Okay before I go on a rant on how to select a good dog food let’s dive into what’s in Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets. As stated front and center on their packaging is that it contains 91% Beef, Salmon, Organs & Bone and 9% Produce & Supplements, sounds like we are off to a good start.
First thing I notice when I look at the ingredients is that the list is long and the second thing I notice is that it sounds like a grocery shopping list. I KNOW what all the ingredients are and even some of the ingredients are organic. When was the last time you looked at dog food ingredients and seen ORGANIC!!
The food is packed into nuggets which are approximately 2 x 1 x 1 inches. Based on your dogs weight there is a daily feeding guide for your pet. Holly weighs around 20lbs and her nugget per day guideline is 8. As you can see in the video we like to make mealtime frun so we divide the nugget into an enrichment mould so mealtime lasts longer.
The pack we bought is 14oz and this makes 3lbs of real food. You need to add water to the food which I didn’t. I poured some milk in as an extra treat.
A 14oz pack of pet food costs around $40 CAD. Based upon Holly’s mealplan this pack of food lasted 5.5 days. which works out around $3.50 per meal which is high compared to other options available within the pet industry. Some dog food meals could be under 30 cents a meal. You get what you pay for when it comes to dog food. Just look at the ingredients above you will not find any comparison is any dry dog food on the market. The ingredients are FOOD, no fillers, no grain, corn, wheat or soy and gluten free. The beef is antibiotic free raised without any hormones.
As I mentioned earlier Holly is a major food snob and will only eat the best of the best! I divided up a couple of nuggets up into a BPA Free Mould and milk to top. Holly dove right in and made sure that there wasn’t a crumb left. Holly enjoyed the food so much that after some of the meals she still looked for more. She would go over to her food cupboard stare at it, do a little dance, come paw me for more. And yes I am a sucker so I would divide up a nugget and pop it in the mould. If you are feeding your dog in an ordinary mould I would highly suggest some slow eating dog bowls, moulds it at least doubles the length of meals.
This food could also double as treats, the smell alone is amazing. This would be perfect for travelling and bringing on the road with us.
There are so many good things that myself and Holly can say about this food. It’s full of good nutritional ingredients, organic and hormone free. There were no side affects on the poop front which if you are reading this you will want to know. We didn’t try to re hydrate but did add some milk. Amazing food for travelling. The downside is the cost of the food but as I said before it is actual food and the cost is in line with other freeze dried raw food so if you are looking to buy freeze dried raw food be prepared to pay upwards of $40 per week depending on the weight of your pooch. This is a 5+ star pet food, your baby will not be disappointed.
Have you tried Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food or Cat Food? What are your thoughts, we want to know!
A simpler and / or less expensive solution to bath time would be a welcome gift for any pet parent. The Bissell BarkBath is the answer to common frustrations when bathing a dog at home. This portable grooming system allows owners to turn any area of their home into a grooming station. The nozzle is designed to target dirt beneath fur, while light suction action pulls shampoo and water from the pup into a dirty water tank. For eco-minded pet owners, the Bissell BarkBath is also a plus because it uses less water than a traditional bath! Learn more about how the bark bath works.
What pet parent can resist taking photos of a beloved dog or cat? Giving the gift of a professional photo shoot is a thoughtful gesture that is guaranteed to be remembered for years to come. The photographers at Toronto-based Off Leash Studio specialize in capturing each dog’s unique personality, making this gift perfect for owners of any special pup.
If the pet (or human) on your list is especially festive, why not consider a canine ugly Christmas sweater? Blueberry Pet has six designs to choose from, available in six different dog sizes. Nothing says holidays quite like a warm and cozy piece of clothing!
What fur mama or dad wouldn’t love a portrait hanging proudly on their wall to show anyone who comes into their home that they have the cutest baby ever! Brighten up those white walls with custom artwork painted just for you.
You can choose any picture of your baby that you love and Katie will paint a portrait that will blow away your expectations. You won’t have your piece in time for the holidays but give the gift to someone special (or yourself) and let them choose their perfect picture to turn into art. Learn more about Katie and her work here.
This is one of my favourites for any dog owner in your life. Every dog owner has the same problem when they go for a walk. Where to put the poop bags, ball, treats, water bottle, keys, money, phone??? Going out with loaded pockets is not fun! Jasper Swag have solved this problem for you, make walks about enjoying walks and not about weighing down your pockets! And as an added bonus no more treat dust lining your jackets 🙂 You will not go wrong giving the gift of a Jasper Swag bag this holiday season!
Want to see the bag up close – check out our interview here! Oh and did I mention you can save $5 with coupon code TorontoDog5
Another gift card option that would be great for both dog and owner is a gift certificate for dog walking. Not only does this option save time and energy for the pet parent, but it provides dogs with a healthy exercise outlet from knowledgeable dog lovers, as well as a chance for important socialization. Whether the dog owner on your list has used professional dog walkers in the past or is new to the process, this gift is sure to please!
Donation to Humane Society or Local Dog Rescue
The holidays are a wonderful time to be philanthropic. If the person or pet on your holiday shopping list has a big heart, consider making a donation in his or her name to a local charity or rescue. Worthy recipients in the Toronto area include the Toronto Humane Society,TEAM Dog Rescue, and Black Dog Rescue. This option is an especially nice way to say “thank you” to facilities from where a special pet was adopted.
What do you give the dog who has everything? The iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher is a great gift because it enables dogs to play fetch without the help of a human. The dog simply drops a tennis ball into the top of the machine and then it is automatically launched 10 – 30 feet away. This gift is also perfect for the pet owner with a sore or tired arm!
Canine agility training is more than just teaching a dog new tricks. This fun and fast paced activity allows dog owners to bond strongly with their dogs, improve communication skills, and provide exercise for both dog and owner. In addition, dogs receive necessary socialization and mental stimulation as they encounter new challenges. All About Dogs is a Toronto-based training facility that offers beginning to advanced agility classes. A gift certificate for a training class would be a great gift for the dog owner on your list who is looking for a creative way to bond with and exercise an energetic pet.
A growing puppy has different caloric needs than an adult dog. However, knowing when to switch your pet from a puppy to adult formula is more an art than a science.Tips for switching your dog from puppy to adult food are listed here.
Watch Your Dog’s Behavior
A normal puppy will require 3 – 4 small feedings per day, while an adult dog will typically require two. As a dog’s caloric requirements change, so will his or her behavior. Your puppy will begin leaving his or her meals unfinished, which is typically a telltale sign it is time to make the switch. Gradually reduce the number of feedings per day, going from four meals to three, then three meals down to two.
Monitor Body Condition
Another sign that it is time to switch to adult food is if your dog’s body condition begins to change. Puppy food is more caloric than adult food, so if your puppy begins to pack on pounds, switch to an adult formula. In general, smaller breeds will reach this point at 6 – 8 months, while larger dogs may take a longer amount of time for their bones and joints to fully develop.
How to Transition your Puppy to Adult Dog Food
When you decide it is time to change your puppy’s food, you must do so gradually in order to avoid gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and diarrhea. Over the course of 1 – 2 weeks, mix increasing amounts of the adult formula into your dog’s food, while reducing the amount of puppy food. For instance, if your dog receives one cup of food at each meal, give your dog ⅛ cup of adult formula and ⅞ cup of puppy formula on the first day. On the 3rd day, increase to ¼ cup of adult formula, and decrease to ¾ cup of puppy food, and so on. If your dog develops an upset stomach, temporarily decrease the amount of adult food until the stomach issues have passed.
Portion Sizes for Adult Dogs
Note that portion sizes for your adult dog may be different than they were for your puppy. In general, a higher quality food will require smaller portion sizes, and every dog food brand is different, so it is important to read the label when determining how much to feed your dog. Typically, dogs require 1 – 2 cups of food per 30 lbs of bodyweight, per day. However, the amount will vary based on breed, food quality, activity level, and age. Every two weeks, make a note of your dog’s body condition and adjust the amount of food accordingly until the ideal body weight is maintained.
Reduce Portion Size during Training
Finally, an important consideration to make is how many calories your dog receives during training, particularly if high value rewards like cheese and liver are used. Reduce your dog’s portion sizes during training in order to keep your puppy from gaining weight and becoming unhealthy and/or lethargic.
My dog has gone missing in Toronto, what to do now!
For a dog owner, no situation is scarier than when a pet becomes lost or stolen. The manner in which the situation is handled – particularly within the first 48 hours – can help your dog find his or her way home more quickly.
Search the Immediate Area
Depending on your dog’s personality, chances are that he or she has not gone far. Ask a friend to help search the neighborhood surrounding your home. Arm yourself with a bag of treats and call out for your dog frequently while canvassing the area. If you have no luck, leave out an item that smells like you, such as a t-shirt, in front of your property.
Alert Shelters / Rescues
While you are searching for your pet, have a friend or family member that is familiar with your dog call and alert animal shelters and rescues to your dog’s disappearance. Be as descriptive as possible about your pet’s appearance, including collar color and any unusual markings.
Next, file a lost report with area veterinarians. Often, good samaritans will bring in lost dogs to have them scanned for a microchip. Alerting veterinarians is also useful in case your animal has been brought in because it has been hit by a car or injured.
Even if you have filed a lost report with the local shelters, check them every few days and ask to see any new dogs that have been turned in. Unfortunately, dog descriptions can be very subjective, so while your dog may appear brown to you, a shelter worker could see black, thereby lessening the chances of you and your dog being reunited.
Utilize Social Media
Social media can be one of the most useful tools for helping pet owners find their missing dogs. Create a Facebook post and include a description of your pet, the area that he or she was lost, and a clear photo, if possible. Be sure to change the privacy settings of your post to “public” in order to enable sharing. Search for local lost and found Facebook groups and include your dog’s information among these useful resources. If your dog has been lost for an extended period of time, consider making a Facebook page dedicated to finding your dog. Don’t forget to share your lost pet’s information across all forms of social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, with hashtags such as #lostdog and #missingdog.
Monitor Craigslist & Kijiji
Keep on eye on community websites, such as Craigslist, for postings about lost pets. Especially if your dog is purebred, keep an eye out for dogs being sold that match your pet’s description.
Create A Flyer
Create a flyer to post on telephone polls and inside local businesses that includes a color picture of your pet as well as a detailed description. Ask to post your dog’s information in as many public areas as possible, particularly in veterinary offices, pet stores, and dog training facilities. Reach out to
If you live in a populated area, one of the best things you can do while searching for your dog is to go door-to-door and talk with your neighbors. Arm yourself with a few up to date photos of your pet and ask your neighbors if they have seen your dog. Oftentimes a well-meaning neighbor has picked up an animal assuming it is a stray and is providing care.
Seek Professional Help
A final option is to seek professional help in finding your pet. Trained bloodhounds can be utilized to track the scent of your dog, particularly if you believe your pet may be hiding in a wooded area. While success is not guaranteed with this approach, it is certainly worth the effort to find a beloved, lost pet!
Lost Dog Toronto Resource Pages
Helping Lost Pets
Register your dog lost on http://www.helpinglostpets.com/
Toronto Animal Services
Call Animal Control – 416-338-PAWS (7297)
Toronto Animal Shelters
Check pets currently being held in shelters
View Registry of Lost Pets
Post on Facebook
If you have any local Toronto resources for lost dogs please share in the comments.
Neutering your dog eliminates many health risks while also alleviating behavioral problems, such as dog-on-dog aggression, marking, mounting, and escaping the house. However, many dog owners are nervous for this procedure because they are unsure of what to expect. Listed here is everything you should know when your dog is getting neutered.
What to Expect when your Dog is Neutered
Healing times vary from animal to animal, with younger dogs typically requiring less time to heal than older pets. How well you follow the veterinarian’s instructions also dictates how long it will take your pet to heal. In general, if your dog ignores the surgery site and does not have any complications or setbacks, he or she will require 14 days for the wounds to fully heal.
During the time that your dog’s incisions are healing, you should keep the wound from becoming wet. For small dogs, this can be especially difficult on wet days because their bellies often rub against the grass. However, bathing and wetness can introduce bacteria into the incision, leading to infection.
In addition, the wound must be checked twice per day to watch for signs of abnormal swelling, redness, discharge, or irritation. Frequent vigilance is necessary in order to spot issues that must be addressed by a veterinarian to avoid serious infection.
Cone vs. Cushion vs. T-shirt
Dogs are required to wear a cone (or other mobility limiting device) following a neuter surgery to keep them from licking the wounds and increasing the risk of infection or hindered healing. An Elizabethan collar is the most commonly prescribed item. However, for certain animals (particularly ones that handle the e-collar well), a cushion that resembles an airplane pillow can be used. This product reduces the frustration associated with knocking into walls and furniture, as well as knocking over household items. For dogs that simply do not tolerate a cone or cushion, a t-shirt can also be used. Place a short-sleeved t-shirt backwards on your dog (i.e. with hind legs through the sleeves) and knot the shirt around your dog’s waist in order to protect the surgical site. While your dog should have the cone / collar / t-shirt on at all times, it is okay to remove these items during short walks or whenever your dog has your complete attention.
While your dog’s wounds are healing, activity should be significantly limited. Your dog should be on crate rest and under supervision at all times. While it can be very difficult to keep a young dog from being active, too much activity can cause serious complications. For instance, a female dog’s sutures could open, causing massive blood loss and her intestines to exit her body. For a male dog, too much movement can cause bleeding into the empty scrotal sack, resulting in discomfort or injury.
Finally, ask your veterinarian about any additional procedures that can be performed in order to take advantage of your dog’s anesthesia. For instance, if your dog is older, consider having his or her teeth cleaned. For puppies – particularly toy-sized breeds – it can be beneficial to have stubborn puppy teeth removed. For giant breeds, bloat-minimization surgery can also be performed during the neuter procedure.