Food For Thought
~ Or How Lisa added years to Azura’s Life
Breeder Note: When we met Lisa, she didn’t know how much longer her Service Dog (Azura) would be with her. So, she was seeking a Weimaraner to train to fill the very large Azura Paw Prints.
You all know that I don’t write about anything except the OwyheeStar Weimaraner. I ask you not to post other dog information, etc., but this seems like the exception. Someone might be able to use this information to prolong or save their Weimaraner’s life. So read on–as Lisa tells you her story.
A few years ago I met someone by chance, she was admiring Azura, my Blue Doberman, we got to talking and she shared stories about how a Dog Crockpot Stew had helped her rescue dogs with their their various coat, allergy and general health issues. I asked her for the recipe, and she emailed it to me. I liked the idea and was going to try it when I had some free time.
Fast forward to the end of July 2019 when Azura, then 7 1/2 years old, was diagnosed with serious heart issues. I asked the vet cardiologist how long he thought we had and he said, “Maybe a year.” To say the news was devastating would be a huge understatement. What I also learned from the vet is that the FDA had been doing studies on grain-free diets and heart disease and had found that the combination of grain-free and sweet potatoes and peas in the first 10 ingredients seemed to be the connection to heart disease.
My regular vet recommended that we start Azura on some heart supplements in addition to the supplements and meds that the cardiologist had prescribed, and also suggested that I start feeding Azura beef heart.
Years before, my vet had recommended staying away from chicken and lamb, so I’ve been feeding Azura beef, fish or fowl kibble. Now I was looking for non-grain-free beef, fish or fowl kibble and was finding almost nothing. That’s when I remembered the Canine Crockpot Stew. I bought all the ingredients and made my first crockpot stew. I also managed to find a suitable kibble in the Wildology brand of kibble.
We returned to the cardiologist in November for Azura’s 3-month checkup. They ran all the tests and the results were that she had improved around 80-85%. He said the meds usually produced a 5% improvement. I knew she had improved because her energy level and stamina had greatly improved, and I was so grateful that the tests proved it. When I reminded the vet what he had said in July about “maybe a year” and asked how long he thought we had, he said, “Oh, years! She’s doing great!” I told him I had made a deposit for a puppy and he said, “Oh, puppies are great! It will be great for Azura and great for the puppy!” When I read his report later, his words were “Azura looks phenomenal today.”
We went back for Azura’s checkup in February and her test results showed mild improvement and the best news was that we could now go six months until the next follow-up. If her results at that time are static or improved, the vet will likely start weaning her off her meds and we’ll continue with the supplements.
On February 18, Sophia, 2-month old Blue Weimaraner, was delivered by Shela and Cliff. It’s been a little over a month, and I can safely tell the vet that he was right, this puppy is great for Azura and Azura is great for the puppy! Azura is now getting the exercise that only a puppy can give her, which is so much more than chasing, fetching and retrieving a ball! They’re both thriving.
Sophia had been here for three days when she realized that what she was eating was different than what Azura was eating. When Azura finished her stew, Sophia was right there ready to lick the bowl. I started adding a little water to the left-over stew at the bottom of the jar and I poured it on top of Sophia’s kibble. She now licks her own bowl clean. I’ve slowly been adding a bit more stew and a bit more water to Sophia’s meals and she now sits by her kibble until I add the good stuff. Smart girl!
I feed Azura the stew morning and night. She has free-fed all of her life, always had a full bowl of kibble available, and since she’s not used to eating only a mealtime, I open her kibble container early afternoon and let her snack. Now, with Sophia having three meals a day, I put a half a scoop of kibble in Azura’s dish when I give Sophia her afternoon kibble, and that seems to be working well.
~ Vigilant, too!
Henry is also an eternal optimist. He sits patiently, not making a noise unless you count drool hitting the floor, waiting for me to drop something. I usually let him lick my plate when I finish!!
We have been talking about training and living with the Weimar. I think it serves us well to remember they have stealth on their side. They are cunning and crafty as well.
Did You Know?
Here is the list of the top 5 dog food makers in North America as listed on Top Dog Food
About 99% of the American (made in the USA) pet food(as well as treats come from one of these well-known manufacturing companies. Each brand spends a small fortune touting their food as the best. In truth, it is hard not to believe they care about the quality of their kibble because failure to meet health standards would cause their business to implode.
These factories usually contract to make other than their own label (or labels). The quality of ingredients, and percentages of protein, fat, etc. can vary a great deal. Many of the labels were one produced by a smaller manufacturer. With success, these small entities were bought up by one of the big five pet food producers. Made in the USA pet food doesn’t necessarily mean the ingredients were not imported. The additives; such as,–vitamins, supplements, and minerals are almost without exception manufactured in China. The following information has been copied verbatim from Top Dog Food. We think you may find it interesting.
1. Nestle Purina
By far the largest of the dog food manufacturers, Nestle purchased Purina in 2001. In order for the government to approve this purchase, Nestle had to sell off Meow Mix and Alley Cat brands. They are headquartered in St. Louis Missouri.
2. Masterfoods USA (Mars)
This company makes Pedigree, Whiskas, Cesar, Sheba, and Waltham brands. The number one selling dog food brand in the world is Pedigree. Whiskas is the number one selling brand of cat food. Their headquarters are in Vernon, CA.
In 2002 Mars purchased Royal Canin Dog Food, and then in 2004 purchased IVD, Medi-Cal and Techni-Cal brands from Del Monte Foods.
3. Iams (Proctor and Gamble)
Founded in the 1940’s by Paul Iams, the company was purchased by Proctor and Gamble in 1999. Eukanuba is also sold under Iams.
4. Hills Pet Nutrition
Originally founded by Dr. Mark Morris, Colgate-Palmolive bought the company in 1976. Hills dog food can be bought in over 86 countries, and its product line includes more than 50 prescription diets and 50 Science Diet brands.
5. Del Monte Pet Foods
Del Monte has bought or developed many dog food brands over the years. Including: Kibble’n Bits
Canine Carry Outs
As you can see, these five companies supply Americans 95-99% of all a dog food manufactured in the United States. OwyheeStar doesn’t use food from one of the big five companies listed here. When you choose food, it is a good idea to know who manufactures the food. Store brand foods such as Costco can change suppliers without notice; they can change the ingredients. You must be vigilant in checking the manufacturer, and the ingredients to ensure nothing has changed.
The topic of pet food it encyclopedia worthy by nature. What to feed and how to feed is controversial This is the first is a series where we will address feeding the Weimaraner. Much of the information will be just that–so you are better informed. A lot of folks don’t think about where their dog food comes from even when they check the label for ingredients.
Finally, we must tell you we are unable to answer questions regarding feeding your dog. Our clients have access to a client-only blog; however, for other than OwyheeStar folks we must direct you to your own breeder. Thank you for understanding our limitations.