Dog Food! Dwell!

So that thing I said on Friday about a kitchen reveal today?

Um. Not happening. Sorry. Even though we could probably artfully photograph it to not include the bits that aren’t quite done, I don’t want to do that! The reality is, reaching the end of a renovation project means tying up a bunch of little tiny loose-end types of projects (this thing needs one more coat of paint, I should really polish the floor, etc. etc.), and it’s SUPER EASY to loose motivation and just move on to the next thing. The kitchen is totally functional and I’m super happy with it, but I know I’ll definitely be happier when there aren’t little details like that looming over my head. I want to shut the door on that space and move on to the next one with a clean conscience!

linusatfence

SO. ANYWAY. Linus got groomed over the weekend, and he looks so cute. We usually take him to get groomed about every 2 months (sometimes a little bit longer), and it’s always totally amazing and shocking to see him come out afterward looking like a different dog. Linus fully believes that to feel fresh, you have to look fresh, and he never looks fresher than walking out of the salon with his hair all back-combed and his nails freshly ground down.

instinct

Linus’s hair isn’t the only thing that’s changed in his life recently, though! My new friend Carla (the co-owner of one of my favorite stores, Dry Goods) and I were talking about our dogs a few weeks ago, and I mentioned that neither of my dogs have ever been particularly voracious eaters. Mekko has always been really so-so about her food, and Linus would only really eat Mekko’s food. Since he is dentally challenged, he was basically dry-swallowing big hard kibbles formulated for large-breed adult dogs…for about a year. We tried to switch him to a few different types of food made for a dog his size/age, but he’d always ignore it and just eat out of Mekko’s bowl. And since Mekko didn’t particularly care about her food, she was OK with that. Our vet told us that at his age, as long as he was eating and seemed happy doing it, we should just let him eat pretty much whatever kind of dog food he seemed to want, so we gave up and let him do what he wanted.

Carla had only amazing things to say, though, about her dog’s raw diet from Nature’s Variety——she’d noticed that he was much more energetic and alert and seemed happier eating. We tried to put Linus on a dehydrated raw diet way back when we first got him (Honest Kitchen——which is fabulous food, by the way), but he refused to eat it after a while, so I was skeptical of how another brand would appeal to him. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw is frozen, not dehydrated, though, so I figured we’d give it a shot.

WELL. Not only does he completely love this food (he dances before I give it to him, scarfs is entire meal in about 30 seconds flat, then licks the bowl for a few minutes for good measure), I’ve noticed a huge change in him. He’s been eating it for about 2-3 weeks, and he has so much more energy, he’s more alert, and just seems happier. Linus is about 11 years old, so seeing him do a little reverse-aging is so exciting. He’s still my little old man, but he’s an old man who runs up stairs, and explores the yard, and sometimes drags his bed around with his mouth and tries to hump it. It’s really spectacular.

I worried that the food would be a huge hassle, but it’s really simple. For small dogs, it’s portioned in “medallions,” which are 1-oz little patties. Linus eats two at every meal, so after each meal, we just take the next two out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost. At meal time, we mash them up a little with a fork and serve. That’s it! Each bag costs somewhere around $20 (it goes up or down a little depending on the type of protein——there’s beef, chicken, rabbit, venison, duck, and lamb) and lasts about 12 days, so while it’s a little spendy, I feel OK about paying less than $2 a day to keep Linus happy and healthy and eating food that he loves and is so good for him.

Of course, Mekko quickly noticed that Linus was eating better food than she was, so she went on a hunger strike and refused to eat her old kibble. It would be really expensive to switch her to the same frozen raw diet, but I bought a bag of the Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Kibble. I was surprised that the 25-pound bag was about $10 cheaper than her old kibble, and even more surprised to find out that because Nature’s Variety has such high nutritional density, she has to eat half as much as her old kibble (2 cups a day instead of 4!), so the bag lasts twice as long! And she LOVES it. It’s so weird seeing both of the dogs gobble up all of their food so quickly as soon as we set it down. It feels really good.

I’m not affiliated with Nature’s Variety in any way, by the way. I’m just so happy to have found such a great food, finally!

linus

Good boy, Linus.

dwell

Also, I keep forgetting to mention, but me and 17 other bloggers from around the world are included in the September issue of Dwell! Subscribers should have gotten it by now, but it should also be on newsstands! As a long-time reader of Dwell, it was so exciting being asked to participate in the piece, and really fun to see how everything turned out. The whole issue is really great, by the way (Orla Keily’s house! Morten Bo Jensen and Kristina May Olsen’s Copenhagen apartment!), and it’s so crazy to be included in it in any small way. Big thanks so Jaime Gillin, Kelsey Keith, and the rest of the Dwell crew for making it happen, and to Agata Marszalek for the portrait!

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68 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your Dwell feature! You look good as a cartoon. ;)

    Thank you for the post about the dog food. As there was another dog food recall last week, it is really important to think about what we are feeding our furry friends. We only feed our animals all natural as well. My husband buys it, and we transfer it into a container, so I am not sure what brand it is.

    In the meantime, I will be anxiously awaiting the kitchen reveal!

  2. Congrats on the Dwell feature! It must be very exciting to see yourself in print, especially in a publication you’ve read for a long time.

  3. Just FYI, the Nature’s Variety raw can do the same for cats. It’s good stuff. =)

    Anyhoo, just waiting to see the kitchen!

  4. Totally understand your hesitation in having the kitchen reveal. We are (well, I am) patient, but will anxiously await the big unveiling & know it will be worth the wait.

    About Linus, I’m so happy he is a happy little guy now & so handsome! Our old dog post-haircut also seemed to revert to puppyhood.

    Congrats on the Dwell article, love your portrait.

    I’ll check back later.

  5. Congrats on the Dwell feature! Cool drawing.

  6. About 8 months ago I switched my cats from a grain-based dry foods diet to an all-wet food one, and it’s been incredible to see how much more energy they have, plus they’ve both dropped about four pounds, which was awesome to see in my fatboy. I love that Linus is such a happier old man now!
    Excited for the kitchen reveal, that’s for sure, but I’m willing to wait until it’s all ready to go!

  7. Congrats on Dwell! And I have 3 dogs, I agree finding something that they enjoy eating is the best feeling in the world! It takes a little patience sometimes, but so rewarding. I have one with a very nervous stomach, so I may give your brand a try (although she seems pretty happy at the moment with SD lamb and rice)

    And kudos for not bowing to interweb pressure. You are so so so very right to finish those last small details FOR YOURSELF. First rule of happiness – Finish What You Start. *clapping hands for you for all three above*

  8. I feed my cats Instinct Raw boost. I occasionally will grab from frozen raw as a treat, but since the cats like to nibble throughout the day I worry switching to totally frozen raw will mean either they’ll get food poisoning or I’ll be throwing away perfectly good and expensive food. My cat Athena likes to pick all the raw bits out of it before condescending to eat the kibble.

    The dogs have been on Orijen/Acana for awhile. They have a thing where if you buy 12 bags the 13th is free so I’m waiting to cash that in and then I’ll likely switch them to the Instinct raw boost too. They also all get raw offal on occasion – usually beef or chicken hearts or beef kidneys. They love it. My little carnivores.

    Trying to explain expensive pet food to people who feed shitty food to their pets is uhm… well they really don’t get the whole if-I-feed-higher-quality-food-my-pet-is-healthier-and-eats-less-and-saves-me-money-longterm thing. Which is a shame. I meet so many overweight pets and I feel bad, because they don’t choose to be that way.

  9. P.S. Linus’ fur is glorious in that first photo

  10. Every time I see Linus I remember that first day you found him on the street with the yellow rope. It makes my heart feel bursty (in a good way) that he has such a happy, healthy life now. And I couldn’t respect you more for getting your pets quality food. Giddy that you can see such a difference in their energy levels! Yay dogs yay yay.

  11. We recently switched our cats to Instinct Raw, after feeding them dry food for most of their lives and the change was amazing! Softer coat, weight loss, less shedding, less throwing up, less poop! The only problem is that they are obsessed with it and wake me up early to be fed! All around an amazing change and worth the extra $$. :)

    • going to try this for my cats. I currently feed them Hill’s Science Diet Adult Hair ball control which prevents hairballs/vomiting but makes my 13 years old cat constipated

  12. Good pet food makes a world of difference for your pets. My cats are on a grain-free diet (dry Orijen, wet Weruva) and since they have gone on it, I have seen a huge improvement in their coat, weight, energy level etc (especially my older kitty). I don’t dare switch to raw or all-wet because I have four and there are politics around when they eat, so I don’t want one to be left out by small portions or for large portions to go bad, but even just making the switch to grain free made a huge difference.

  13. That is a really nice drawing of you Daniel – you thoroughly deserve to be included in that article!

    Here’s a snippet I saw on TV a while ago: a dog trainer, a woman, owner of four dogs of varying shapes and sizes, was saying that boredom was one of the problems that house pets suffer from.

    Her strategy? She has a medium-sized garden with some trees and fence posts, and she smears them with the raw chopped meat that she always feeds her dogs with. The four dogs – knowing the procedure already – wait patiently and obediently on the lawn while she does so.

    Then she calls them, and all hell breaks loose as the dogs go and ‘hunt’ for their supper! They love it!

    Very clever, I thought. Might be interesting to do an experiment with your two, see what they make of it!

  14. My pit Posey was very “meh” about food too (we used to feed her IAMS Puppy). She only ate it because she had to, I think. Then she got sick (I’m assuming in relation to the recall, I should make IAMS pay my $150 vet bill!) and I went to Pet People. They recommended Nature’s Variety but said because she’s a pit, an even better brand for her is Earthborn Holistic because the protein is higher and it helps with super muscular dogs. I kind of scoffed at the $55 bag, but you’re right that it lasts longer because we’re feeding Po HALF the amount of the Iams. And…she poops less! That’s probably my favorite thing about it. Definitely worth the investment. And let’s be honest, this dog is like my baby so she deserves it.

    TL;DR: Here is my cute dog Po. :) http://instagram.com/p/bbueyDEXCE/#

  15. Dang, I was all prepared for the Big Kitchen Reveal, but I understand – if you’re not happy, we’re not happy. Congratulations on the Dwell shout-out, and thanks for giving me an excuse to buy it — “But, Daniel’s in it! I have to get it!”

    Two comments on Linus and his new diet: 1. What idiot decided to feed grain to cats and dogs? They’re not rodents or birds! No predator ever stalked “corn filler.”
    2. There is a possible alternate explanation for Linus’s renewed vim and vigor – he’s moonlighting. Look at http://www.nateberkus.com; isn’t that Linus hard at “work” at his second job? No wonder he’s so peppy when he’s awake!

  16. Nature’s Variety is a great brand and raw food is the only way to go as far as I’m concerned. You will notice amazing changes in your dogs. Good move!

  17. Thanks for the tip, Daniel! Now I just need to translate that raw diet into something for myself so I can get more energy, shinier hair and lose weight, Bring on the steak tartare!

  18. I’ve been raw feeding my dogs for 16 years, and am thrilled with all the options out there now (used to be if you fed raw, you really had to DIY it). Commercial raw food being as expensive as it is, I highly recommend googling for “Raw Dog Food, insertyourcityorstatehere”. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of coops around the country. In the SW, the Az Raw Coop has been working w local butchers to provide reasonably priced (like, half of what people pay for commercial) ground raw mixes for almost 15 years, at no cost to anyone to participate. Lots of people in the country feed raw, and joining a mailing list so you can ask questions and get support when necessary is a great way to go. Congrats!

    http://clementinedoes.tumblr.com/ <- my raw fed Doberman puppy

  19. It really is a little freaky that you’re so close now, all talking about our small town and ish.

  20. We’ve been feeding Buster meat rather than kibble since the dog trainer told us off. Now we have a garden he gets raw bones or a defrosted raw meat/ bone/ vegetable patty. When he buries the bones -well I guess he’s not hungry apart from tonight when he hung around the kitchen. It’s the best thing. Awesome that Mekko is in the zone too!

  21. Omg Linus has nicer plates than I do.

  22. That is all great news! Congrats on getting your dogs to eat and getting in swell Dwell!

  23. We have one on raw and one on a mid-range dry food that’s wheat and chicken and beef free (we suspect there might be allergies, but not 100% sure because enviro allergies get in the way). Our rescue boy can’t have the raw food. He was surrendered because he’s resource protective, and one problem we had was that after meals he’d rush to attack our little dog. Behaviouralist suggested the raw food might be a bit ‘exciting,’ and darn she was right! Now after meals he goes to check the other dog’s bowl, not to bite her face off! But little dog gets a sickie tummy on any dry food, so she gets raw. And both our doggies look like a million bucks, and are happy and healthy.

  24. Love Nature’s Variety! We feed our cats (both rescued) the limited ingredient food. The difference in their coat and claws, energy level, and errr, elimination, is night and day. Glad “The Old Man” is regaining so youth.

  25. Oh I waited all day to check on the kitchen and got …dog food. And it’s all good. so happy that Linus is pepping up and feeling frisky at 11. I had a similar event with my two dogs when they were getting up in years. The vet had me try Hill’s and it totally changed my dogs’ life. I feel sure that they lived longer and better lives because of the change to Hills WD. Both made it to 16 years. They were the same size as Linus. I am hoping for pups to come back into my life next year and I am going to give Nature’s Variety a chance. Congrats on the Dwell feature. Come on kitchen!

  26. I love to read about people being kind to their animals… Yes premium food is a little more expensive but would you like to eat cheap crap day in, day out? Probably not. So you shouldn’t ask the animals that you love so much to do it either.

    Linus is such a cutie!

  27. Isn’t it so great when you find something that your dog loves?! We had been feeding our mutt, Bear, crappy supermarket food and he was never excited about it and we figured that was just his personality. Then we switched him to Life’s Abundance at the suggestion of my fiance’s stepmom and, oh man, he is obsessed. He now knows the words “breakfast” and “dinner”. So happy for Linus and Mekko!

  28. …but you said Monday!!

  29. Another thing you can do to make the dogs’ dry food more appetizing is to add warm water to make a dog food “soup”. I do it for my old girl and she thinks it is a treat! Her vet likes it because it’s another way to make sure she’s getting enough liquid in her diet and it’s easier on her bad teeth.

  30. Daniel as a dashing drawing. D^3!

    Congrats sir. You’re the blogger I want to be when I grow up!

  31. I tried to give my kitties better food and they hated it. Ugh!

    Mine like junk food! Oops!

  32. Can’t wait to see your kitchen! I have been painstakingly DIYing a new kitchen since May, and I found your blog recently and realised we were working from the same inspiration photos! I’m not completely happy with mine yet and was shamelessly hoping yours would help me to work out what I’m missing.

  33. Oh my, i am so happy for Mekko and Linus to have such caring “Parents”!
    Our dog Rizzo was a picky eater when he was a puppy. We soon switched to a raw diet (have you heard of BARF? http://www.northcoastpets.com/barf.htm ) and he loved it right away. He gets raw or cooked meat, vegetables, oils and seeds and couldn’t be healthier and happier!

    Giving processed dog food to your pet is like eating everyday at mc Donald’s, not healthy at all. Lots of people are fearful of feeding their dogs raw because they are afraid of making mistakes. It is not that difficult at all and there are lots of websites and books about BARF.
    We do have a butcher in our neighborhood who has lots of meat (frozen or fresh) for dogs. We feed our dog: beef or lamb, chicken and fish, organ meat as heart, liver and stomach and bones. We add vegetables and he loves it. Only two things to avoid: NEVER feed raw pork!!! This can harm and even kill your dog. Everything else is fine fed raw. NEVER feed your dog cooked/roasted chicken bones (you can feed them raw, no problem). Chicken bones can break when cooked and hurt your dog.

  34. Hi Daniel,

    Long time lurker, first time poster here. I love your blog and greatly admire the love and care you devote to your dogs (among other things!). I have to congratulate you on switching over to raw, I guarantee that you will notice a great difference in your pups! Their skin, shiny coat, it will all be wonderful. I’m a long-time Nature’s Variety Raw fan – switched my cat over as soon as I got her – and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who bothers asking. (No, I don’t represent them and don’t get paid for these, just a big fan :)

    BY THE WAY, go to their website and sign up for their newsletter!!! It might be a pain to get some extra spammy-esque emails from time to time BUT they send $3.00 coupons fairly regularly – and that’s a coffee or a can of spray paint? ;)

    Can’t wait for the kitchen reveal!

    Cheers,
    Alex

  35. Great post, but I hate to tell you, you’ve got a typo in paragraph one (lose motivation, not loose).

    Those raw patties do look pretty tasty, and it’s great to see that you take such good care of your dogs!

    • PEOPLE!

      PLEASE don’t start pointing out typing errors on Daniel’s fantastic blog!

      If you want to do that, get a job as a proofreader. That’ll keep you busy.

      • I’m very sorry if I upset anyone. I find Daniel’s writing to be very high quality – which is why I’m such an avid reader! I thought about it a long time before saying anything, and in the end I decided that if I had an error in my blog, I’d want someone to tell me. My intentions were not to pollute the welcoming atmosphere of Manhattan Nest, only to be helpful. My apologies if I missed the mark!

      • No don’t worry about it! I’ve just been running a mile a minute the last few days and haven’t had a minute to go in and fix it. I always proofread my posts but sometimes dumb stuff like that slips by me! I DO know the difference between loose and lose, though, haha.

  36. Congrats on the Dwell issue… It is very much deserved.

  37. When our pup Hazel was little, we had her on cheaper kibble. Inevitably, she would go on a food strike or else have unpleasant digestive issues. We switched her to Acana, a grain free kibble which is made by Orijen, and it changed everything. She is eager to eat, she is perky and happy and has a beautiful shiny coat. And since the change? No digestive issues at all! No vet visits (other than standard vaccinations and checkups). So yes, higher up-front cost, but I think it is worth every penny to have a healthy and happy dog. Glad you made the switch! “You are what you eat” definitely applies to pets as well.

  38. My dog is a super picky eater so I will have to try this brand. Thanks for writing a post about it! Linus is such a cutie, hard to imagine still the state of disarray he was in when you got him.

  39. So glad I’m not the only one still struggling to tie up loose ends on a kitchen makeover. I painted and tiled in a 48-hour period, yet somehow two weeks later I find myself still with random little things to do like scrape extra caulk and touch up the trim. Hard for me to keep motivated when the big transformations are done and the “at a distance” after photos are snapped :) Good luck!

  40. this post couldn’t have come at a better time, Dr Faustus VonFluffyPants is a puker and threw up directly on my new IKEA catalog last week. Out of 750 square feet, he chooses to deposit his gift directly on its 10 inches. We’ve tried grain free, hairball reducing, looks like raw is next!

  41. Hi Daniel,

    I’ve been feeding my standard poodle Vivian a raw diet since she was about 6 months old. We have a local woman who has done extensive research and has her own business making and selling it in frozen packages.

    We started on the raw diet kick when my 19 year old cat started to go into decline (as old cats will do). He stopped eating. We fed him some raw meat that we had and he ate it so we began feeding him raw meat. Knowing this woman had a business, we bought some of her food and fed him that. It was amazing the difference. Within two weeks, he had put on about 3-4 pounds, was leaping from couch to table to dresser and back again. He went on to have another 4 or 5 really good months on the raw food.

    This caused us to do a great amount of research and discovered how disgusting commercial dog food really is. So, we switched. My toy couldn’t handle it (he’s a sensitive and delicate boy), but the standard loves it. I won’t feed her anything else. Yes, it’s spend, but so are vet bills.

  42. So is this inspiring you to become a “raw foodist” yourself? Maybe you won’t need that new stove…

  43. Aw glad they’re eating good now. One of my dogs was a picky eater with digestive issues, ugh so frustrating isn’t it?

    I did want to try Nature’s Variety kibble though, the Rabbit one, but I just can’t deal with that price for two dogs. But i’ll have to check it out again. Do you mind me asking what you were feeding Mekko before?

    The raw is probably so much easier for Linus to eat. You could probably grind your own too, but it makes me nervous.

    If you ever want to give him or Mekko a special treat, Solid Gold makes canned Green Cow Tripe. It smells like the devil, but I swear they cry for it. It was the first food I found that my picky eater licked the bowl clean for. It’s supposed to be really gentle on stomachs and it’s super soft almost gooey so its easy to eat. It’s not something I feed every day but I have it on hand when my dogs get bored of their food or have a stomach issue.

    • Oh and from every one I know that does raw, you’re going to have way less poop to deal with as a bonus haha

    • Mekko was eating Natural Choice Nutro Venison and Potato Meal Formula. Grain-free (vet thinks she’s allergic to some combo of the grain fillers). It was about $60ish per 25-lb bag. The nature’s variety chicken formula (cheapest option) is like $53, but lasts twice as long because she eats half as much of it!

  44. We just went through the same thing – neither of our dogs are particularly food motivated. The older one (Chloe) would sometimes go a day or two without eating. The younger dog (Sasha) is having some urinary incontinence problems so we tried switching her to a grain-free food (and by default the other dog switched too). They both love their new food so much! Both bowls are now empty within 15 minutes of filling them. It’s so gratifying to see my dogs enjoying themselves – like I’ve done this tiny thing to make their worlds better.

  45. Daniel, Linus is a babe, so sweet and obviously devoted to you both.. Mekko too (I have a bull terrier cross so I know their unique boof-head qualities would not always be called sweet…)
    It’s always wonderful to feed your dogs something they devour with vigour and enthusiasm – they just drool gratitude, prance and gallavant around at dinner time, and for the ten minutes before the plates hits the floor, you’re hero, Superman,and Prince Charming rolled into one…
    Beef brisket bones are softer than others and very good for digestion. A raw egg or a tin of smelly old sardines in sunflower oil will do wonders for the dogs’ coats too. Some bone content in their meal will make the unavoidable “poo patrol” much easier, pick-up-able, less squishy (!!) Dogs help enhance and embroider our daily life tapestry, prancing and poo included.
    Love your renovation tales, LOVE your style and humility, your thriftiness and real-ness.
    All the way from the southern hemisphere XXX Clare

  46. Unrelated topic – manhattan-nest is not coming up on google search. I dont have it bookmarked at work , so thats kinda bad :(

    • Huh, that’s SUPER weird. Looking into it…thank you for letting me know!

      • I’ve had the experience too – it goes down/ url can’t be found – whether entered directly or through any other means, and lasts maybe an hour or so. This has happened three times (I’ve seen). Maybe it’s the increased demand ? :)

  47. I so don’t want to be Debbie Downer, but be careful with the Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Kibble. It has citric acid as a preservative and studies show that citric acid makes dogs more prone to bloat. A fb friend recently lost his dog to bloat and I’m reading all about it all over again. Here’s info on bloat if you aren’t familiar. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/bloat
    and another good article http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/8_1/features/15682-1.html.
    Just wanted to make you aware in case you don’t know. Love your sweet kids!

    • Also, please please please don’t think I am critiquing you! I love when I hear people who are feeding their dogs uber healthy food that is what their bodies were made to eat. And I love that your little man is feeling spry! I’m just on a super paranoid bloat kick (the guy whose dog died was an akita/ My Leila is an akita mix. And Django, my pittie, would be prone to it too) and I don’t feel like vets educate pet parents who have dogs that have the bloat prone body type. I learned about bloat from the internet, not from ANY of the vets we visited even though BOTH my kids are the prone body type. Never having had big dogs before I had never even heard of it.
      I really don’t want to be one of those people, ya know? But I want the world to know about this scary thing! As much as I want the world to know how awesome pit bull type doggies are! :)

  48. Puppies! I swear I follow your blog for your dogs now. I can’t believe you only spend about 50$ on the Nature’s Variety kibble–I just checked, and here a 25lb bag is a whopping 93.99$! I’m lucky, my dog has a hearty little stomach, she’s made of steel, but my cats are a different story: one has asthma, one has FLUTD and allergies, and the other has Cerebellar Hypoplasia. We’re currently balancing the bank and buying PetSmart’s Simply Nourish brand in the grain free editions, no fish kibble is allowed past the threshold. But I’m working on “fun” diets, since I noticed when we added parrots to our household that the carnivores get boring, boring food.

    (Yes, I own a small zoo.)

  49. I have the same access problem with google search–I have to go through the old manhattan nest wordpress and then find the real site.

  50. I switched my little 13 year old Havanese to raw food a year ago and the change is amazing. The frozen raw food is very convenient, but when I am feeling poor I buy chicken wings, hearts, livers, and cut it all up with my poultry shears. Even if it weren’t so obviously better for him, I would do it because it absolutely blows his little muffin mind Every Single Day. I wish I had started when he was young. Maybe he would have more teeth left.

    Congratulations on the Dwell thing. When I found your blog I had to go back and read it from the beginning, simply because of the quality of your writing. I hope there is a book in your future.

  51. I saw the Dwell feature a couple weeks ago, and I thought, “Hm, that dude looks really familiar.” Then I read on and nearly started cheering out loud right there in the lunch room! So great that they recognized your talent and savvy.

    I’m going to have to recommend those natural diet pucks to my mom. Her standard poodle has pica, and she has switched the poodle’s diet multiple times in case it’s due to a nutrient deficiency, but I don’t think she has tried those.

    Oh, and I second (third? fourth?) the comment others made about google search. Your old site comes up, so at least people have the redirect link, but this main site does not.

  52. Dude, we’re dying out here! Please don’t do that again. Don’t even so much as even HINT at when the next post might be ready. You don’t know what it does to us all! I think I’ve worn out my refresh button.

  53. I love your cute doggies, but I’m ready for the kitchen photos now.

  54. You can grind their nails at home, weekly, which is really important for seniors. I do my guys once a week, because they compete in agility, where a long nail can too easily catch on something and go rip. I use a dremmel, which most dogs tolerate just fine, if you introduce it with peanut butter as a bribe. Zip, zip, and you have a dog with great, short nails.

    By keeping the nails really short, you allow them to walk easier, which is really important in older dogs. People think, “my dog walks on pavement!! his nails are fine!!”, but that’s really not enough.

    When your dog walks across a tile or wood floor, you shouldn’t hear that clicky noise. They should be quiet, like, well, I hate to say it, cats.

    And other dog note: if you feed raw be really vigilant about clean up. Dogs don’t process salmonella the same way human guts do, and anyone with a compromised immune system should not go near the poop of a raw fed dog. There’s a bigger than average chance that it will have salmonella in it. Organic raw chicken is still chicken and still going to carry that and Campylobacter. (source: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/18/farmers-market-chickens-higher-in-bacteria/ )

  55. So awesome that Linus is feeling better! :) We switched to better foods when we rescued our first dog and he couldn’t tolerate grains – dogfoodadvisor.com is a HUGE, wonderful resource for researching foods. Chili is on The Honest Kitchen now (some dogs like our last foster didn’t like it that much, but has Mekko tries the Zeal flavor?) and our second pooch Frosti alternates between Acana, Zignature and The Real Meat Company (all have ingredients sources in North America). Chili’s liver disease is now in remission due to the wonderful food he eats, and it’s made my husband and I reevaluate what WE eat! Anna’s blog got me trying some juicing!
    Amber @ Pooch and Puddy, if the Nature’s Variety is super spendy in your area, try wag.com. Our website has wag coupons for first time customers. They have free 2 day shipping, which totally rocks when you don’t have any good, independent pet food stores in your area.

  56. I think I”m in love with Linus. He is gorgeous in the photo. I’ve been feeding my dogs Nature Variety for 2 years now. I too have a little geezer dog. Lolo is 12 and suffers from hypothyroidism. Despite the medication, he’d been losing fur and was looking fragile. Feeding him the raw food diet transformed this dog. His fur started growing back and he started filling out. Like you, I noticed the little old guy having a lot more joyful energy. My young female dog got leaner and more muscular on the diet and her coat is super shiny. It’s so great that you let folks know about this.

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