Saturday, October 27, 2012

Feeding the German Shepherd

Sometimes you try and follow the general wisdom out there but it just doesn't work!
German Shepherds are susceptible to gastric dilatation-volvulus (or GDV, which is also known as "bloat" or "twisted stomach").   There is a long list of do's and don't's. With my previous German Shepherd, my wonderful Willie, I followed all the recommendations:
  • feed the dog two or three meals daily
  • prevent rapid eating
  • avoid exercise immediatly before and after eating
  • avoid large quantities of water after eating
  • no eating from a raised feeding bowl
  • avoid stress and excitement immediately before and after meals by feeding the dog individually in a quiet location
And Willie still got GDV!  It was awful and I feel lucky that he survived.  We are trying to follow these recommendations for Bodie also but he is just not cooperating.  He won't eat his breakfast!  I can't believe it!  What dog won't eat breakfast?  Bodie!
He acts as if we are torturing him when we feed him a morning meal.  He turns his head, he circles, he whines, he sticks his nose up, he gets really upset if we try and feed him breakfast!  So much for avoiding stress!  We have varied the food, the location we feed him, the time of morning, but he does not like breakfast.  But we never have a problem with Bodie eating his dinner.  So he only gets one meal a day.  I feel like we are doing something wrong, but you do what you can...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another Toy Failure

Well, it was time to replenish Bodie's toy box so with great trepidation, we went to PetSmart to try and get a new toy.  The puppy has been fascinated with the recycle bin lately so RB had the great idea of getting one of those stuffed animals with a plastic bottle inside the body that you can refill as it gets too crushed up.  The Martha Stewart toys were on sale so we got Bodie a beaver.
We took the toy out of the shopping bag and while trying to cut off the price tag, the bottle inside made the appropriate crunching noise and Bodie came running.  He was so excited that he could barely contain himself.  After we finally managed to cut off that annoying plastic string/tag (what are those things called with the little T's at both ends?) we gave it to him.  Expecting to hear a whole bunch of crunched plastic bottle sounds, were we surprised!  Bodie was chewing on it, but not in the way we expected.  He was intent on amputating a leg!  He had one of the back legs off in just a couple of minutes.  We tossed that away and gave him the toy again.  This time the puppy started work on the velcro closing at the bottom.  We had to take the toy away.
Only five minutes!  That was it!  Five minutes with the toy and Bodie had chewed off one leg and was ripping the bottom apart.  It is a great idea for a dog toy.  Bodie loves the noise of the plastic bottle getting crunched and will coming running when he hears it.  But this particular toy could not withstand a determined German Shepherd.  May be if we could find one without legs, and made of a tougher material....