Choosing the best dog food

I have learned so much about dogs in general over the last year. Specifically boxer breeds. I knew that there were dogs foods for puppies, grown dogs and senior dogs and of course small breed and large breed. What I didn’t know was that there are brands of food specifically for dogs with sensitive skin, sensitive tummy’s and food allergies.

I discovered an amazing website that rates all brands of dog food and gives it a score based on ingredients. I have attached the link below. For boxers I learned they are notorious for food allergies. Grain free is the way to go with a boxer.

I went with canidae grain free for the first year. I decided to try Wellness Core grain free a few months ago. My only reason for changing is because the canidae isn’t available in stores. I can only get it online. That would be fine except with two growing puppies they eat A LOT!! It seems I am always running out. Wellness Core is sold at our local Petsmart. I also order from Chewy.com. The wellnes Core offers several grain free options. They have chicken, fish, turkey and beef, all of which are grain free! So far my pups love the whitefish, herring and salmon. My only issue with this one is the smell. It does smell fishy. It’s not terrible but I just thought I should note that.

As for pricing… I have learned you get what you pay for. Good dog food is definitely more expensive. It’s worth every penny in my opinion. However I realize if you have multiple dogs a less expensive dog food is a must. Guess what? There are some really good ones that have ratings that are as good as the more expensive ones! Rachel Ray has a grain free that rate 4.5 stars. Purina One also has one that has 4.5 star rating. I’m sure most people know this but it’s important to note that buying dog food from a pet store typically costs more than buying from an online source, Walmart, Sams or a feed store. If you have a Tractor Supply Co. or a feed and seed store in your town check them out! You can buy dog food in bulk for much less!

With white boxers as well as any other white dog, they tend to get tear stains under their eyes. It drives me crazy! Apparently a dogs diet can cause the staining. Mr. Crowley had them for about 8 months. I finally started filtering his water. Between that and the Canidae dog food his cleared up completely. Now as for Madame this is still an ongoing battle. I’m hoping that the Wellness Core will help with hers.

Please feel free to share your favorite dog food. What’s worked for your pups? Which dog foods do you like or dislike?

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

Above is the link to best place to see ingredients, ratings and reviews on all dog foods. This website is amazing! They include a link to compare prices on each dog food brand!!!

Ok mom this post made us hungry! Can we order lunch already????

Crate training

Let me start by saying if you work crate training is a must!! Now I do not crate them at night. They both sleep in our bed. Crowley was 12 weeks old when we brought him home. Our children were home for the summer so we didn’t start trying to crate him until he was 5 months old. He’s a very nervous dog and has terrible separation anxiety (we will get into that later). I gave up on crate training Crowley at that time. We did try closing all bedroom/bathroom doors and leaving him in the house. He was fine unless it stormed or he heard a noise ( which was most days) then it appeared he would literally bounce off of the walls! Break things, chew things. Lucky for us we have a room in the basement where he could stay when we were not home. Now when we got Madame she was only 8 weeks old and began crating her day 1. She never had a problem. She has had one accident in her crate to date. I would like to remind everyone that I have learned from having two dogs at the same time, they are very much like humans and have very different personalities!!! Keep that in mind when you are researching crate trainings tips.

About 3 weeks ago I decided to revisit crate training for Crowley. I just like the idea of them being secure and comfortable while we are away! I ordered a 2nd crate (Amazon). The crate needs to be cozy for them, like a den, but not too small. They should be able to stand and turn around with ease. I will add the links to the training sites that I used to this post.

My mistake the first go around was that I went too fast. You need to give them all the time that they need to make it a comfortable positive place to be. The moment you close that crate door and they feel scared or panicked you will be starting over from scare one! As I mentioned above some pups are just easy and you have no problems. From the research that I have done that isn’t the norm. I also learned that you can crate train any age dog. If you have adopted or have a rescue, they can still be trained. It just takes more time.

First week I put one of his blankets in and fed him every meal in his crate. I DID NOT CLOSE THE DOOR. This is very important. They need to be relaxed and comfortable. After the first week I put his bed in the crate. Then I started tossing treats into the back corner. This way he had to put all 4 feet in to get the treats. I didn’t stand over it. Just tossed the treats and walked away. Then treats and praise!! Lots of praise. I did this for several days every time I thought about it.

Now this next part you will all think I’m crazy but hear me out. I sat in front of the crate and put treats in and when he got all the way in and back out I praised and treated him each time. Doesn’t sound too crazy right? Ok here comes the crazy part. I got in the crate! I have boxers so the crates are huge. Me and both dogs can fit in them. I sat in the crate with a bag of treats. Within about 10 minutes Crowley was in the crate laying beside me. I stayed in there for 20 minutes or so. That very same night he went in the crate and took a nap!!!!

Here we are at 3 weeks, maybe longer and I have not locked him in yet. Don’t make that face! It’s not like this for everyone! He will be 2 in a few months and I know his personality well. He will freak and never step foot back in the crate if this isn’t done just right for him!

Some of you ask why not just put him on the crate lock it and go to work? He will be fine right ? WRONG! What could happen, he’s in a crate?? Well let me tell you…. We did this. We didn’t know any better. He freaked! Somehow got himself out of a locked metal crate ( hoodini)! He ripped off a toenail! He scooted the crate across the room in front of the door , while he was in it. Broke out in a rash! I mean it was awful! Seriously awful!!! This is the point that I caved! Worst dog mom ever!!! I felt terrible! He was so sad and pitiful! I was ready to just quit work! 🤣🤣 I wish!

Never ever for any reason use he crate as punishment! It the worst thing possible!! Try to always keep in mind the crate is there space. It’s meant to be a place that they like to go!

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…. along came Madame…

Sometime around 5-6 months old we began to discuss getting Crowley a friend/playmate. He hated being left alone ( I will jump into that a little later on). It turned out that the same breeders would soon have a new litter available. As our luck would have it the parents of Crowley were the ones expecting. This meant the puppy would a full sibling just from a different litter. We did go back and forth on the idea for a few months. Madame was born on February 17th. We were able to bring her home when she was just 8 weeks old!! The first night I believed that we had made a terrible mistake!! Crowley was very unsure about this little creature invading his space. He didn’t want me near her!!! That being said it didn’t take long and they were inseparable. Best decision we made next to getting Crowley!!!

The Journey Begins

This is Mr. Crowley. He was 12 weeks old when we got him. An adorable little bundle of energy. He is my nervous, jumpy, scared of EVERYTHING mamas boy! When they put him in my arms and he snuggled his cold little nose into my neck…. It was over! I was in love!!! Heart stolen right from my chest! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

He chose us! We now live in his world and it’s pawsome!

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