Health starts from the inside out, for us and our pets. Nutrition is so important for our furry family! I put just as much care and research into the products for Layla, Doug, and Walli as I do my own. After all, they can’t do it themselves 😉 My only goal is to give them the happiest, healthiest life possible!
It started with Gus (our late pup who passed July 2017). I got him when he was three, and he was the first dog I ever had that had a lot of health problems. He would have perpetual diarrhea and skin issues. I had been working at a vet at the time, so I had seen similar cases come in. Most of them were at least allergic to grain. This was a starting point that led me to start researching their food.
*Disclaimer – I am not a veterinary professional, so please consult your vet with any specific questions for your pet! 🙂
I did hours upon hours of research into their food, mostly on Dog Food Advisor then checking reviews from other sources – trust me, you can get down a rabbit hole real quick with this! I knew we needed grain-free, high quality, but affordable. During this time, I didn’t have much money as a working college student living on her own. I also had three dogs, two of which were over 70 lbs. They ate a lot, and I couldn’t swing $100 for a bag of food.
My research led me to Taste of the Wild. They use real meat, lots of fruits & veggies, and are grain-free. They were also in a decently affordable range for me, came in a variety of flavors, and are a good size for all the pups to eat.
I also transitioned Walli to Taste of the Wild because of the quality of the product. He enjoys the Rocky Mountain flavor. The kernels are nicely sized to help keep the tartar to a minimum. Walter seriously has beautiful teeth! He get compliments every time we go to the vet.
Because cats don’t drink water quite as often as dogs do, I have found giving wet food to be super helpful for Walli’s hydration. He also really loves it, so there’s that 🙂 We give him Blue Buffalo Gourmet and switch up the flavors to give him variety, mostly white fish morsels/flakes.
After some trial and error, I was able to determine that Gus was intolerant to chicken in addition to grain. I found this is actually nearly as common as grain allergies. I finally settled on a the Bison & Venison recipe from TOW that everyone loved. Doug and Layla are on it to this day, and we have not had any issues!
I keep treats pretty simple! It can be so hard to get weight off of animals that I try to not put us in that position. Plus, Doug was super overweight when we got him, so we have been on a weight loss journey.
We have started to put little toppers in their meals for some extra flavor. We recently have started using Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Mixers crumbled on top of their food. They love it!
Other treats include coconut oil, green peppers, and peanut butter. Layla loves most fruits and vegetables. Doug, not so much! 😉 Walli doesn’t care for treats. We have tried all kinds. He loves his catnip, though!
Layla does get groomed every 7-8 weeks because of the type of coat she has. But she needs bathed obviously in between that! We recently found an amazing eco-friendly company called Eco Dog Care. They use all natural ingredients, like basing the shampoo with coconut oil and essential oils. Knowing that they aren’t being suds with harmful chemicals makes me one happy dog mom! Plus, Doug’s white coat is so bright, he is practically sparkling! We have loved the shampoo and spray and plan to get the detangling spray for Layla.
We have partnered with them to offer a discount code through 2/14/18! When you check out, use the code “LAYLANDOUG” for 15% off your order!
Next on my list of research items is litter for Walli. He is extremely particular (as most cats are), but I want to find a more environmentally friendly product to use. We currently use Arm & Hammer. We actually tried a wheat-based litter in the past, but it wasn’t a good fit.
One area that we have reduced our environmental impact is by using the Litter Genie. It traps the waste and prevents odor from leaking out, and it’s super easy to use. We don’t worry about using a ton of plastic bags (we don’t have many plastic bags anyway – bring your own shopping bags! 🙂 ) or running it out to the garbage can daily. Definitely recommend for your feline friends!
Any products we use around the house or yard are always safe to use around them. (You can check those out here!)
Whatever you do – be patient!
It is so important to know any changes you make with your pet must be taken very slowly. Any sudden change to their food, litter, or general routine could have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. Always be sure to consult your veterinarian if you’re looking to make big changes to your pet’s life.