Pets As Friends & Family

Discussion in 'Pets & Critters' started by Ken Anderson, May 10, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    This thread is a couple of years old but it's a good thread, so I'll revive it. As I was washing the bowls for my cats today, I was thinking about how my own care for my cats had changed over the years.

    As a kid, other than maybe throwing them scraps once in awhile, or squirting milk at them while milking, no one fed the cats. They would eat some of what might be left after the dogs finished eating, but the dogs were mostly fed table scraps too. We lived on a farm, so I imagine there were always mice and moles and stuff around, and that's what the cats were there for anyhow.

    As I mentioned above, I was the only one who treated that cats like pets, but I didn't treat them like family. When I moved out on my own and got a cat, a lot of things changed by virtue of environment. Since I was living in an apartment, they couldn't be outside cats. Given that there weren't mice running around, I had to feed them, and since their food bowls were in the kitchen, they were washed. Other than maybe hosing the dog bowls out once in a while, I don't think anyone ever washed a dog's bowl at my parents' house. Not that I noticed, anyhow.

    At first, I fed them the Purina stuff that was in the grocery store. They like it well enough, and it was cheap. However, my cats were old at fifteen or sixteen.

    When I started paying more attention to what I was feeding them, I started feeding them stuff like Iams, Eukanuba, or Science Diet, thinking I was doing the best that I could do. These were the premium foods that could be found either in the grocery store or veterinarian's office.

    Nearly every veterinarian still pushes Science Diet because they get a good commission on it, but it's not the best you can do, not by a long shot.

    It wasn't until I was hired by Blue Buffalo that I learned what cats and dogs needed in order to be truly healthy. When I started feeding them Blue or other premium cat foods, my cats were noticeably healthier, and I hadn't noticed before that they were unhealthy. Then, they started living into their twenties. I have one now who just might make it to thirty.

    It might be possible to do even better than that, but I don't know. A pet nutritionist told me once that our cats might be healthier yet if we fed them mice, birds, and some of the other critters that they are instinctively inclined to hunt, but that isn't acceptable to most people, so we do the best we can with commercial pet food.

    My cats generally won't eat raw foods, though, and when I have tried feeding them foods that are 100% meat, which is what a cat's system is built to digest, they prefer having some veggies with it. Now, in the wild, although cats are obligate carnivores, they do get some veggies in their diet from undigested foods found in their victims, so maybe they do need some vegetables. They think they do, anyhow, because they prefer the foods that include various vegetables.

    Anyhow, most of us don't want our cats to eat mice that they catch somewhere, for fear of disease, and because that's disgusting. We also don't want to buy healthy mice from the pet store to feed to our cats because that might make us want to throw up, and because cats like to play with their food first.

    So, for most of us, we buy commercial cat foods. I cook meat for my cats sometimes, and they will eat some of it, but they prefer chicken from a cat-food can to real cooked chicken. I don't get that, but most of the meats that I cook for my cats goes to waste.
     
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  2. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I've never been around cats. I don't cotton too much to them and they don't cotton to me. I have had two dogs. The first was a red poodle my daughter brought home from Austin. I had her for several years before she was run over by a car. Some years later a grandson hearing that old folks who had pets lived longer, comes visiting and bringing me a small, white Sharpei puppy. I got really attached to the poodle but not so much to the sharpei, although she was a pretty good mutt. The first dog I wanted to keep was when I was about five years old and. A tan and white dog came around the house, his ribs and hunger showing. Mom had some leftover biscuits from breakfast and I pitched one to the dog which I came to call Spot. Spot caught the biscuit in mid-air and appeared to swallow it whole. I fed him two or three and he hung around the house and slept out in the back yard. He would follow me around and I came to think of him as my dog. That was in the spring of the year. In the fall we left and went boll patch and left dog behind. We followed the cotton harvest until a week or so before Christmas when we returned and rented the same house we had lived in. Of course Spot was no where to be seen. Shortly, we were warned about a pack of wild dogs running together who had killed some cattle and a few goats. I saw this pack once running down toward the river. Spot was with them and I called to him. He ignored me. Later they came back our way and I call to Spot again. He broke off and came to me. I fed him and he stayed around a few days. But then the pack of dogs came running by again just down from our property. Spot took off to join them. I call to him but he ignored me. I never saw him again. At that time I knew no one who had cats. But I remember my mother saying, "Don't let that dog in the house, it's nasty." But that was a long time ago.
     
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  3. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Since I was 21, I have had three house dogs sequentially, two German Shepherds and my current Australian Shepherd. The two shepherds were both 15 when they died, the first I had to euthanize because he could no longer stand, walk, eat or drink. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, as he was my best friend through my travels when I was single. The second shepherd developed seizures, and she finally started seizing without end. I was at work, so my son put her down. She was my 50th birthday gift from my twin daughters, who worked at a vet's office and rescued her. They also rescued several cats. My family had a number of cats over the recent years in Alaska, but they have been outside cats. We had sled dogs while the children were here, and they all lived outside. They were much closer to wolves than the house dogs most people have. Most of them didn't want to come in the house and were very ill-behaved when brought inside. They all lived long lives and died natural deaths.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    I watched this interesting little video on Twitter today, so I looked for it on YouTube and wanted to share it. this is a perfectly healthy dog, who limps because his owner has a cast on his leg and is limping.
    So, yep, our pets do try to imitate what we do , at least some of the time.

     
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  5. Herb Durant

    Herb Durant Well-Known Member
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    This guy imitates my voice :) Rocky.jpg :)
     
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  6. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Very Well-Known Member
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    Friends/ family, I don't know about that.
    We have always had animals in the last 43 years we have had six dogs and four cats. Our critters live in the house sleep with us and just generally hang out. At the time we have one 14 year old cat. Showed up on our door step and never left. She is an inside cat. We have two small dogs Millie and Buddy. they are not family or friends. they are dogs and their limited communication prevents real friendship. However they live and sleep with us, buddy is my constant companion, while Millie like to stay home. Millie is a great therapist though,she has the most calming doggie rays I have ever felt.
     
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  7. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    Radar the Wonder dog ..aka chiweenie
    Is on Rachel Raes small bites dog food. His teeth are so itty bitty that this is the smallest dry dog food I can find.
    One ..does Blue Mountain make a dry food for small teeth ?
    Second do you think switching him to BM would help in his excessive shedding?
    Third do you thimk BM still yhe best dog food?
    :)
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I am not familiar with Rachel Raes kibble, but the ingredient list doesn't look bad. I think the Blue Buffalo kibble is better, though. The Blue Buffalo kibble size is pretty small compared to several others that I have seen, but I don't have any comparisons that I can make as far as the Rachel Raes kibble goes. I don't know if I could say that Blue Buffalo is the best you can get, as I have come across others that have ingredients that are just as good, but my cats have done very well with it, and they like it, so I haven't had any reason to think about making any changes with it.

    Not only have my cats done very well with it, as far as living long healthy lives, but I swear it enabled them to resist fleas. As far as shedding, I think that any good food might be able to help with that. I started feeding Blue Buffalo to my cats because I had one that was having huge problems, probably with dry skin, because she was picking at her fur to the point of bald spots and raw spots on her skin. The best I can determine, she was allergic to either soy, corn, or wheat.

    Look for something with no corn, soy, or wheat and, preferably, no byproducts or gluten. Meat, seafood, or fowl should be the number one ingredient, and if it's chicken, it should say chicken, not chicken meal. Chicken meal is okay as a second or third ingredient, as long as the first ingredient is chicken. The first four listed ingredients are the ones that matter the most because they make up about 90% of what's in the kibble, and they should be readily identifiable as food. Rice is often used to hold the kibble together; if so, brown rice is better than white rice.

    Having looked into it, I see that Blue Buffalo does now have a Smallbite kibble.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  9. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    He licks his paws to the point of bleeding I have had him into the vets for this.
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I would guess that's an allergy or another cause of dry skin. Avoiding corn, soy, or wheat might help.
     
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  11. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    Think I will try the BM perect coat for him. Rachels has good ingredients but think he is allergic to corn or some of the other things in most dog foods. I will expetiment then let you know if i see a goid improvement.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Give it a month, and you should see a difference if that's the problem.
     
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  13. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Very Well-Known Member
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    We feed Blue Buffalo Small Breed
     
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  14. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    Started Radar on the Blue Buffalo good 2-2. Not sure how long before see real difference. But he does seem to mot lick paws as much. Plus do far he is not
    making that dreadful honking noise.
    He would rather sleep nin our recliner versus is own bed .Spoiled for sure.
     

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  15. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    That little Radar is SUCH a Cutie, @Gloria Mitchell ! Just looking at your picture of him happily snoozing with his pillow and blanket sure brings a smile to my face this morning.
    Our little furry family members are as much part of our hearts and any of the human-type family members, and we enjoy our Fuzzy Kids, too.
    Since the weather has been so cold, Bobby has set up a small electric heater in the front room (where we are usually at during the day) and the heat blows out at the bottom, so the little dogs love lounging in front of it.
    We call it the “Dog Fireplace” because it is one that look like there is a little fire burning inside.
     
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