Tag Archives: Labrador

30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home – Week 2-3 – One down, one still going

30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home – Week 2-3 – Lilly and Bunk

So we are now just over three weeks into the challenge and I only have one dog left in the running.

My big boy is out.

Just after I posted my last post, I began to notice a few hot spots returning on Bunks skin. I am not absolutely sure if this is the foods fault but I am not going to take any chances. He was eating a grain free food before the challenge and his skin problems were almost none existent… but then it was also summertime and therefore there was much less moisture in the air… so who knows… anyway he is out and I am getting him back onto his old food or to be specific on a senior version of it.

So this is leaving me with only Lilly who is still following the advised food regime.

Last Wednesday we went back into our local Pets at Home store for a check-up. To our huge surprise and confusion Lilly had put 2kg on yet she looks much slimmer. Both her visual and hand examinations showed a lot of improvement – she has one more rib “sticking out” just as she should have… yet she is heavier… The only answer we could come up with for this strange development with the lovely people from Pets at Home was the fact that muscle is heavier than fat… so maybe she has lost some fat and gained some more muscle…

30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home – Week 2-3 – Lilly at the Groomer

As it was just us girls out shopping, we stopped at the groomers and Lilly had her nails trimmed. Normally we do it at the vet… clip, clip… down on the floor… few minutes and all is done. At the groomers it was a totally different story. Lilly went onto a proper grooming table… for the first time… I think she was a bit scared but she kept a happy face 🙂 She was nicely secured and the trimming began. I was tempted to check her weight again afterwards but I guess that a nail trim wouldn’t make a lot of difference.

30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home – Week 2-3 – One down, one still going

Lilly runs a lot more these day; especially since Friday, as we have Barnie staying with us again. The extended exercises are doing her good and she looks much healthier. She likes her new food, but I am not sure if she isn’t a bit hungry…

So you see picking the right food isn’t so easy. Like I said before I do not necessarily blame the food for Bunks skin problems, after all he is prone to hot spots, though it is a little coincidental that the new hot spots started just after the new diet started and thus if the food is indeed aggravating it, it is time for a change… again…

Have you ever had or have a pet with any food related health problems?

Do you feed your pet grain or grain free food?

If you feed a grain free diet I would love to hear your recommendations.


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Hungry on the new diet?

Lilly and her stickLilly and stickLilly and the stickLilly with a stick

Normally Lilly would run and fetch the sticks, but lately she just lies down and chews them…

Do you think she is hungry on her new diet?


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30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home – Week 1-2 – Transition to the New Dog Food

30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home – Week 1-2 – Transition to the New Dog Food

It’s coming up for two weeks now since our initial nutrition visit at Pets at Home and we are almost entirely on the new food now. From now on I should be able to see if the new food makes any difference to how my dogs behave or look.

Why does it take so long, you might ask… well… changing dog food is a slow process. Dogs don’t take well to changes in food, so it can’t be done overnight. The balance of the bugs in their digestive tract need time to develop so that they can digest the new foods.

Most vets advise changing your dog food over a period of at least 7 days. You are starting with 75% of the meal in their old food and 25% in the new one and increase the new food as the days go by. To make things easier, Rachel (the lovely advisor from Pets at Home) suggested doing it over the 10 days period, increasing new food intake by 10% each day. We liked this plan and it seemed to us much easier, taking the complicated math calculation into consideration 😉

When changing your dog food it is very important to examine the maximum feeding guidelines very carefully. You have to know exactly how much your dog should be fed. And if you are feeding a mixed meal, such as adding fruit or veggies on a regular basic, this also has to be taken into account. Ideally you should put on paper everything your dog eats, count the total intake and reduce some of the main food to make space for all the additional bits and pieces.

Let’s take our Bunk as an example.

He eats dry kibbles mixed with:

+ He gets about 10 treats a day (doggie milky bones, quite small in size but he really likes them).

He weights 62kg and according to Arden Grange Senior feeding guide he supposed to get 670g of dry kibbles a day. This would be perfect if he didn’t eat anything else. Now, because he gets all these additional foods, his daily allowance of kibbles had to be reduced. Taking into consideration all the additional things he eats his daily amount of dry kibbles eaten has dropped to 420g. Quite a big difference, isn’t it?

I think this is the main reason why there are so many overweight dogs.

Normally we just look at the back of the food bag, make our calculations and then just stick to them. Most of us have never even considered reducing the amount to make “space” for all the extras we feed our pets.

To be honest I didn’t know that a carrot or some apples would have to be taken into consideration too, but they have to… they contain sugars and are not calorie free (I wish they were).

What do you feed your pets?

Do you feed just one brand of food or like to mix it up?


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30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home

Lilly and Bunk 30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home

Yesterday Lilly and Bunk were invited to our local Pets at Home for a nutrition consultation. To be honest I was expecting a few minutes chat and some general advice on what and how to feed my dogs, instead we spent there almost 2 hours. Yea… long time but it was actually really worth it.

We were met by the lovely Rachel and she had a lot of questions for us, mostly food related but not limited to it. In addition to taking a long and detailed feeding history Rachel checked the general health state of both dogs… it felt kind of like a dog MOT 😉 – ears, eyes, joints, skin, fur, nails etc…

30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home - dog check up

Bunk scored a perfect 4 whilst Lilly only got 6-7 which means that she is overweight. It was hard for Rachel to determine her perfect weight because Lilly is a cross breed but in a bulk perspective she needs to drop a kg or two.

After all the “interrogations” were done we wandered into the food section to find a perfect match for both Lilly and Bunk. Currently they eat:

This wasn’t a bad diet in Rachel’s’ eyes but she had a few suggestions. First of all change lamb to a lower fatty meat based food, secondly put them both onto a senior food and third, make it a large breed food in order to get all the nutrition they need.

I actually didn’t know that lamb based food is considered a fatty one so this was something new for me. I also didn’t know that giant breeds should be changed onto a senior food much earlier than other dogs. Bunk is only 4.5 years old. Rachel suggested that he should eat senior from year 5 but doing it earlier isn’t going to hurt him, in fact the opposite, it can only help.

So we had our main components for the food all set, so it was a time to find the perfect dinner match for them.

Bunk picking up a new dinner...

Bunk picking up a new dinner…

Lilly searching for a perfect treat :-)

when Lilly was searching for a perfect treat 🙂

Pets at Home stock a lot of different brands. We looked at Wainwright’s and Burns, and Hills… At some point I asked “Shouldn’t you be recommending your own food?” I think Rachel wasn’t ready for this question but she answered me “If I thought that it will be good for your dogs I would. Every dog has a different dietary needs and not every food will be right for them. My job is not to push sales of our food, my job it to find the right food to match the needs of your dogs”. I loved the answer. Really at this point I could have given her a kiss!

Our perfect match!

Our perfect match!

Anyway… after a long discussion and detailed checking of the food contents we decided on Arden Grange Senior and NatureDiet Senior Lite. This is what Lilly and Bunk will be fed from now on… oh ok, I have to get them used to their new food, so I will be slowly adding some new food and mixing it with their current one.

I will update you on how they are doing on the new food shortly but for now I will leave you with this… if you have never had a nutritional consultation for your pet, you should book one. I think I am fairly well educated when it comes to dog food and pet care in general but during these 2 hours I did learn quite a lot of new and interesting facts.

Thank you Rachel, it was a pleasure. And we are all looking forward to meeting you again on the 26th of this month.

* Lilly and Bunk received a free consultation as well as advised dry food to last them for the duration of the challenge.


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Alphabet Project | W is for WooHoo

Alphabet Project  W is for WooHoo

Alphabet Project is hosted by PODcast



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Alphabet Project | N is for Nose

Alphabet Project N is for Nose

Alphabet Project is hosted by PODcast



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Alphabet Project | L is for Lilly

Alphabet Project  L is for Lilly

Alphabet Project is hosted by PODcast



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One year on and… He is back…

Last year we had a lovely puppy with us for a few weeks and this year… he is back!

Welcome back Barnie!

Barnie 06 2014

One year older, a bit bigger, not much smarter, still full of beans Barnie is turning our household upside down 😉

Not sure what has happened but during the last year he has developed a slight fear of cats. He is not running away, there is no barking or chasing… he just stays away… and when one of the cats is guarding the upper landing at the top of the stairs Barnie is not going to come upstairs, instead he will “cry” on a lower step… it is heart breaking… such a wuss.

We are trying to build back his cat confidence. I hope that after few weeks with us they will be good friends again.

As for Barnie and the dogs… they are brilliant together. Bunk stays a bit behind while playing on the field… I blame the weather as it is a bit too hot for running around for my liking, and his… even this morning past 6am it was hot already 😦

It is amazing that they can remember so far back. As soon as they pulled up in front of the house, Barnie was ready to leg it out of the car… he run straight into our front door and just stood waiting there with big disappointment in his eyes that the welcoming party was missing and that the front door was still closed…

Once inside the madness began… hours of running around, chasing each other, licking and cuddling… so funny to watch…

Now we are on day three and things are starting to calm down a bit. My dogs are settling into their everyday routine and Barnie is slowly trying to fit in.

We have 15 days of fun left ahead of us, so let’s see what fun and excitement the future will bring.

For now I can share with you a few snaps from our first walk together… same as last year Barnie is picking Lilly as his walking partner and they run around and around sharing / fighting over the toys… looks like we are going to need a new ball…

Barnie and Lilly 06 2014Barnie and Lilly 8 06 2014Barnie and Lilly 08 06 2014


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Time to play Hide and Seek

Ok, my turn now... don't look

Ok, my turn now… don’t look

...5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 …

haha... he will never find me

haha… he will never find me


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Puppy Sitting

Every now and then one of our friends is in need of a puppy / dog sitting service. As we already have a small zoo, one more doesn’t make so much difference… most of the time.

BarnieNormally we get girls, but this time we were asked to look after a 6 month old Labrador male puppy called Barnie. His parents were off for their honeymoon and he needed a place to stay.

As Bunk is already 3 years old we were a little nervous about bringing a second male into the house. We arranged for the “audition” just to be sure that Bunk would accept a little one, as they had never met each other.  So a week before their big trip we spent all Sunday together in our house so the dogs could met one another. The “first date” went fine, so we were confident that we can look after sweet Barnie until his parents returned home.

The day had come and Barnie was dropped off with all his toys, bed, food, treats etc… We so forgot how it is to have a pup in the house. At first Barnie was so scared. Poor little fellow didn’t know what hit him until it was too late… he was left in this strange house, with new dogs and cats and lots of new Big humans. It took him a whole day to get used to us. After 24h there was no more peeing in the house, no more accidents and no more crying.

Yes, of course he is a puppy so we had to hide all the shoes, as a few minutes of distraction and you had to collect them from the garden, we had to close up greenhouse as Barnie was very keen on helping with gardening by getting all the tools out; he even tried to sweep our decking with a huge broom 🙂

During Barnie’s stay with us he learnt how to:

  • walk up and down the stairs
  • get in and out of the car
  • chase and fetch a ball
  • play with other dogs

It was a fun 10 days. He is such a lovely boy. It wasn’t easy letting him go back home.

I would like to show you some highlights from Barnie’s stay with us.

I reckon they can still see us...

I reckon they can still see us…

See... I is innocent...

See… I is innocent…

Hair gel... you sure...

Hair gel… you sure…






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