If you follow along on Instagram or Snapchat, you might say I'm obsessed with my dog. I would disagree with you. He gives me so much love and brings me so much joy, obsessed is an understatement. He's truly a member of my family. And since I chose him, it's my job and duty to take care of him. I do what it takes to give him the very best of everything! He depends on me to live and I want to give him the best life possible.
His personality is so sweet. He knows when I'm disappointed in him (ya know, all those bad things he does like trying to eat my food and putting his dirty paws on my white Cloud couch)... and he goes above and beyond to make it up to me. He just wants to hear me say, "good boy" and make things right in his world again. The funny part is that I don't want to let HIM down and he doesn't even know that he has the upper hand!
He's the best at giving "high-fives" and "sitting"... he will even lay down (half way) if food is involved. My favorite are his little tantrums where he paws at me... or when we're sitting down to eat and the scent of the food is just too much to handle for him. So he stands near and drools, and licks AT my face if I try to tell him NO.
After we got him, I started doing a lot of research on dog treats, toys, and food. It was shocking to say the least. You can see more about my research here, if you're interested. Which you should be, if you're a pet owner.
If we're lucky, we have a good 10-12 years with our little floppy-eared angels. And I'm going to do everything I can to stretch his time with me here and make it the best that I can! He loves me unconditionally, and I do him the same.
If you're a pet owner and want to know how we keep Hemingway's health in place, keep reading!
- We choose to feed him fresh food. We eat fresh food, and I don't see why such a precious member of our family shouldn't get the same luxury. I don't have a lot of time to spend on preparation these days, so I use NomNomNow. A fresh food delivery service that will customize foods for your pets needs. It has truly been a lifesaver. Hemingway LOVES his food more than anything. He sees those little packets and goes crazy! NNN has an in-house animal nutritionist who ensures his diet is nutritionally balanced. His coat is shiny and soft (lots of compliments) and he radiates health! See more about our experience here.
- We feed him very minimal "human food" ...meaning, we don't feed him things that were cooked for human consumption because they could contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like onions, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, chocolate, etc (the list is much longer, see that here). Also, dogs do not process oils and salt/spices like we do and it will cause them major discomfort. What I do feed him outside of his favorite NomNomNow dish are: eggs (cooked thoroughly), blackberries, blueberries, and apples. We don't go overboard with these things but they're very nutritious for your little furbaby and it's so cute to watch them figure out how to eat them!
- We don't overfeed him. It's our duty to "cut him off" ... we are in fact, parents FIRST, so we have to be able to tell him NO when we know he's had enough. I'm very convinced that he would eat until explosion if we let him.
- Our treats are nutritious. Ingredient #1 on any package should be the main ingredient in the treat. We feed him treats that are made up of mostly sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beef, chicken, peanut butter, banana, etc. He also really loves Himalayan Yak Milk "bones" ... they're basically just hard cheese and they keep him busy. Lots of protein! His second favorite is all beef bully sticks and lately he's been really into apple & oats "cookies". He's so cute picking his favorites! We limit the small treats to about two a day and the large treats (bully sticks and Himalayan bones) to special occasions when we need to get stuff done. We stay away from any filler ingredients, preservatives, and wheat products.
- I give him a good brush and rinse about every two weeks. I like to make sure there are no new lumps or bite marks, anything out of the ordinary! And since it's Summer, I look for fleas, ticks and mites. I just want to make sure nothing is biting the little guy. I rub him down with coconut oil after to help with his dry skin.
- I leave fresh water out for him all day, making sure to change it atleast three times a day (ok, that could be a little obsessive, I think the rule is AT LEAST change it once a day). Hemingway transfers food from his food bowl to the water bowl and I just can't stand to look at it that way! HA!
- I wash his food bowl and water bowl at least once a day. I wash his food bowl as many times as he eats because I'm obsessive, but since he eats fresh food, you actually don't have to wash it as much. A little peace of mind for ya!
- His toys are safe. We spend a LITTLE more money (per toy) to get toys that are durable. No weird plastic parts or pieces that would fall off and choke him.
- We brush his teeth. Gingivitis can cause kidney & heart disease as well as other major problems. It's important to note that you should NOT use human toothpaste. Sadly you may not know that your dog is in pain when having dental issues, so try and prevent that by taking care of his/her teeth.
- We exercise. Since Summer has hit in Phoenix, walking him outside is nearly impossible. Getting up early or going on a late night family walk is ideal. He also just loves to run around upstairs like a maniac for 30 minutes a day!
- We play with him, talk to him, listen to music with him. He gets our attention and we get his, fully! He loves being our best friend and we don't remember what our lives were like before him.
If you want to start your dog on a fresh food diet, check out NomNomNow. Use my code COLLECTIVELYCANDICE and get 50% off of your first week!
This post is in collaboration with NomNomNow but is in my honest perspective. All research and writing is my own. Nothing but the truth!