my Inspiration.

Hi there, I am Steve and welcome to my blog.

 

I thought a little history will explain my thoughts for this blog.  Seth was a dog that we rescued, why he was up for adoption we will never know.  But 9 years ago I went to meet him and fell in love there and then – I just had to get the lovely wife on board…! 

 

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Enzo

Back to all Hi there, I am Steve and welcome

I took the boys and they played with him, then we collected Suze from work and just took her straight there… was it love at first sight?  Nope!  It took a day or two, and choosing a name took longer!  But now we have this dog… He lived outside until he was stung by a bee and fell really ill.  When he came home Suze had to nurse him all night next to the bed as he was receiving intravenous fluids and medications (thank goodness she’s a vet nurse).  And now 6 years on, where does Seth sleep?! You guessed it!

That brings us to the present day.  He’s a dog who is full of joy, mischief and character!  And today he has provided the inspiration to write this blog; we went for a walk around the local fields.  He wants to know all the dogs, he wants to jump in the river, he is such a Springer!  For him the walk is about being able to investigate things, explore and just time to have fun.

On our return we tried to sit down but no, we had to put a wardrobe together for one of the boys.  Of course, Seth was helping!  He was a good boy to be honest (if sitting on the boxes of parts counts!).  He deserved a reward, so with 7 of his kibble nuggets it went like this;….

Me: “Sit”.

Me: “Wait”.

Me: “Wait!”.

Throw one nugget!

Me: “Wait!”

Throw another nugget!

 

Until I have thrown 7 of them in different directions, and then the words “Get on!”.  He’s gone like a bullet!  Hunting under cushions, under his bed – it’s so much fun to see.  But there is a serious side to this – he is hunting, working and earning the reward.  I’m told that it’s important to prevent a dog just gulping his meals down, to prevent regurgitation or more serious illnesses, as well as to provide enhanced stimulation for their enjoyment (use of their senses, natural instincts and mental agility).  But how can we do this?

Slow feeding bowls – these are bowls with different methods of causing the dog to work harder to get their food.  Some require the movement of sliding components or pressure on certain points to reveal the food, some are simply ridged and shaped bowls which force the dog to move the food to an area of release to enable feeding.  The latter is what we have for Seth.

 

Different types of food – The science shows that wet diets speed up the process of tartar forming on the gum lines and building up on the teeth, so a dry kibble is best for most pets (unless a vet advises otherwise).  But that doesn’t mean that an occasional treat of a different food presentation can’t be offered.  Who doesn’t love a little slice of leftover roasted chicken breast added to their dinner every now and again?  Or that water cracker which no-one else wants from the New Year celebrations?

Different smells – Change it up every now and again.  Most good brands will produce a range of protein sources to flavour their foods for different lifestages.  Have a look to see if you can find a new version of what you usually offer (chicken, white fish, salmon, beef).

Feed around exercise – now this is really important for the larger breeds especially.  Never feed a dog within 30 mins of exercise, either before or after.  Have a look into Gastric Dilation Volvulus to find out more.  It’s best to go out for his constitutional, have a rest when you get back, and once everyone’s all settled down nicely, then reward that with the meal.

Make it fun! – there are so many ways to do this.  Change things up a little.  Have you ever offered kibble scattered across a hard floor?  Or inside a kitchen roll cardboard tube?  Try hiding it underneath cushions or blankets (not off the sofa!) or even under the dog’s bed.  We also return one meal portion to the inside of his sack when it’s emptied and allow him to get his head in there (no plastic here).  Just watch the pleasure as they seek it out!

With these tips you can know that not only are you providing for their nutritional needs, but also bringing a huge amount of pleasure to you both as they play and you observe.

 

Let me know how you get on with any of these suggestions.  Drop me an email, send me your pictures, or even a video if that suits.  I’d love to see your pets having fun.

So now can I ask a favour of you? Please can you share a photo and something you love about your pet? Either post in the comments below or you can email me at steven@pawtraitsbysteve.co.uk

I love the connection pet owners have through the stories of the animals we love, so please share your favourite stories.

If you want to have your photo/memory captured so that your pet’s story never ends please feel free to contact me on steven@pawtraitsbysteve.co.uk