Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Jenny Update

On Friday hubby and I went to one of my new favorite places, the Loyal Biscuit Co., to get special food for our Jenny, the pug. (www.villagesoup.com/loyalbiscuit.com ) Not only is it cozy, clean and beautiful, the owner is super friendly, knowledgeable and also quite witty. I always have a good time whenever I visit. The two store dogs are pretty darn cool too. The bed in the window is frequently filled by a lovely female named Orli.

Jenny has been getting hives lately and has been quite itchy. Being itchy is no fun. Yeah I didn't know dogs got hives either. It looks pretty weird. Special baths haven't helped and we have tried a couple different medications through the vet to no avail. The next step was to try a food change. (after ruling out environmental possibilities-laundry soap and the like) Perhaps she is allergic to the different food we feed from her previous home. We currently feed Canidae. So we picked up some Wellness Simple Foods Venison and Brown Rice just for her. I thought I was pretty well schooled in dog foods but I have nothing on LBc's Lauren. She really does her research. I wish all pet supply places were as dedicated.
It is supposed to be one of the best for food allergy dogs. I've always liked Wellness brand (made by Old Mother Hubbard) so I didn't hesitate to try it. Thankfully she is a small dog as it is a tad high end, as all specialty foods seem to be. Of course we couldn't just get new food, we also needed special treats as well.
Aren't these boxes cute? And I love the name. I got her some peanut butter ones and some blueberry. She is a bit of a gulper so I am sure the flavors are quite lost on her.

This is a brand and type of treat I use regularly for training anyhow. I love that they have no fillers in them. Plus they break up easily into small bits and are good and stinky. Dogs love stinky so they make the perfect paycheck. They also have chicken, liver, venison and fish available.

Now it is a waiting game. She was switched over a few days to avoid loose stools and now we have to give her system time to reboot so to speak to the new stuff. Most people want to see results quickly and don't give a new food a chance. Impatience solves nothing. The rule of thumb that I learned was 6 weeks before you begin to see real change. All dogs being individuals of course means that some dogs do respond faster or slower. Time will tell.

The other updates I have on Jenny are that she still isn't completely house trained. Or should I say she hasn't learned to ask to go outside. When I am home we rarely have accidents. She goes outside on a schedule with me and I watch her like a hawk. When she is home with the kids and hubby she doesn't always get out when she needs to. So to combat this I picked up call bell. (From staples, only 6 bucks!)

The plan is to train her to ring the bell when she wants to go out for potty time. Hopefully this will get the kids and hubby's attention. It is an ambitious plan I know. Mainly because the kids and hubby will be involved. We shall see how it goes. I was going to get one of those easy buttons (They say "That was easy" when pushed.) but they need batteries to work and they take more pressure than I realized to activate them. Jenny is small so I didn't know if she could easily push it on.

The poop eating has decreased because I leash her for potty time. We were making good progress on it but then she needed to be kenneled during our trip and she backslid. I was expecting that since it can't be managed in a kennel setting. I am teaching a nice "leave it" cue to go along with the leash. This way when she is off leash I will have verbal control in instances it may becomes an issue. It is pretty easily managed using a leash as long as she doesn't have a house accident we (kids and hubby) don't see in time.

I have noticed she has quite a good nose on her. She found a watch my daughters friend left outside on the fence a day later. (I saw her catch the scent of something new and follow it.) I may do some tracking training with her in the spring or once it gets somewhat warmer. Not something you see many pugs doing I know. She is also very food motivated. Almost to a fault. Great for training as long as you can get her to think and not go into food overdrive. (if to overstimulated dogs don't think, only react)

Hopefully we can get her itchies under control. It makes her miserable which isn't fun for anyone. I know I hate being itchy. She is a handful for sure. But we love her and all her idiosyncrasies. After all, who couldn't love that face?


Riley said...

I just love that store! She told me that she wasn't going to hire anyone else in the immediate future because she's picky about who's behind the counter. They really need to know their stuff as well as she does.

Good luck with Jenny on the new food! We finally had one too many bouts of upset tummies on Wolf King and so three months ago, we switched our dogs to Canidae, and are very pleased with it.

Lauren said...

Thank you for the awesome comments!