6 Myths About Dog Care That I Used to Believe

December 5, 2013

Dog Health, Dog Nutrition, Dog Rescue

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studying dog care online, dog with notebook, dog with computer, dog with laptop

Being a blogger blows (and rocks), because once you learn something about dog care, you can’t unlearn something.  And because I have a great following (thank you so much for reading) I feel obligated to share what I’m learning.

I remember when I was blissfully clueless about dog care; today, I’m convinced that blissful cluelessness that made me think that puppy food for large breed dogs was just what our dogs needed.  I blame that puppy food for our dogs with arthritis and didn’t feed Blue puppy food.  I don’t think it’s necessary, but don’t quote me on that, I’m just a dog mom.

It’s cruel to keep a dog in a kennel – Blue sleeps in a kennel at night in the puppy condo with Rodrigo and Sydney, who don’t sleep in kennels.  We put Blue in a kennel when he was a puppy to (1) give Rodrigo and Sydney a break and (2) because he would jump out of the yard and wander around on our property (coyotes).  Today, he goes to bed in the kennel with his Nylabone and Monkey with no trouble so we keep up the tradition.

Kibble is kibble – Before we adopted dogs, I used to think that premium kibble was just a buzz word to get more money out of soft hearted dog owners.  Being a blogger and dog mom has helped me see the light to the different levels of kibble available on the market.  I’ve learned to research the source of the meat, grains and vitamins – although the ingredients look healthy, doesn’t mean that they are healthy.

Of course, NOW I’m starting to be suspicious of the marketing terms “holistic” and “all natural.”

The FDA forced manufactures of chicken jerky treats made in China to recall their products –  I got this news of the recalls through social media channels and made my own conclusion.  After taking some more time to learn about the jerky treat recalls, pet food labels, and what’s allowed in our pet food – I’m a little more careful about what I bring home to our dogs, because just because people report that a brand has a problem, doesn’t mean that it’ll be removed from shelves.

But thanks to the chicken jerky treat recalls, I’ve started paying more attention to the ingredients, sourced country, and calorie content of the treats we buy for our dogs.

Flea and Tick spot treatments are perfectly safe – I know that there are loads of dog parents and veterinarians who believe this, but like with everything on the market, there’s always going to be a percentage of dogs that have a bad reaction to a product.  I also learned that there are holistic, all natural options that do work.  There’s also a way to make them safer for your dogs if you don’t have another option.

One thing that we do is split a 3 pack over the summer. One treatment is shared between each of our dogs and the rest of the month, they get sprayed weekly with Bright Eyes Pet Wellness.  We’ve never had a flea.

Dog food and treats that contain glucosamine offer enough to help with arthritis – I’ve learned that these are great for a dog’s overall joint health, but since our dogs actually suffer from arthritis and joint pain, they need a good supplement, not just treats.  We use Wag Lifetime Joint Care for our dogs; the rest is just fluff, but maybe it’s better than nothing.

Pet insurance is a huge scam – 15 years ago, this may have been true.  I would hear from pet owners who would submit a claim only to be denied several times before being reimbursed and then promptly dropped.  Sounds like a scam to me.  Today, we have three very active dogs and after our experience with Riley’s vet bills, I just didn’t want to be caught unawares again so we invested in Trupanion Pet Insurance for our dogs.

What dog care belief was shattered when you became a dog parent?

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25 Responses to “6 Myths About Dog Care That I Used to Believe”

  1. YourSpecialdog Says:

    Thanks for sharing :)
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  2. Lara Elizabeth Says:

    This is a great post. All so true!

    I did not have insurance on my two old dogs (they were too old by the time I started considering it) and am still paying off thousands in vet bills accumulated this summer when I lost them both. When I adopted Ruby, researching and signing up for pet insurance was one of the first things I did.

    The recalls also caused me to become much more aware of what I was feeding my pets – I read labels like crazy now.

    I’m also a crate convert. Having fostered a few dogs I have learned that it is a valuable tool when you aren’t sure what they can be trusted with.
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  3. Amanda Says:

    Luckily, before I became a dog mom I had already done a lot of rescue work and research on dogs so I knew what I was getting myself into. However, as I become more involved and dedicated (and honestly as I have gotten older) I just pay more attention. I put Wynston in a kennel when I am away and he’s great with it! I do feed him kibble, and it’s not the cheap stuff but I do make sure I am giving him the best that I can afford – as well as homemaking treats and food. I am still hesitant on pet insurance but it would probably be wise. Wynston was a puppy mill dog and he was dying when I rescued him so it will probably be useful down the road if the puppy mill situation catches up with him at an older age!

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    • Kimberly Says:

      We haven’t had to dip into our pet insurance yet, but I’m happy that we have the protection just in case. We were a little concerned about Sydney, but her limp went away – but I didn’t panic, because I know the cost would be covered :)

      We haven’t boarded our dogs; when we go on vacation (finally) we’ll be working with a pet sitter this time around. But I did meet a person who owns a kennel and also does dog training and I’d love to work with her on our dogs this Spring. It’ll be fun for them.
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  4. Karen Hug-Nagy Says:

    Kibble is Kibble, there is so much to learn about dog food, it’s bewildering. I try really hard to feed my dogs top notch dog food, reading labels is confusing, sometimes I just have to go on how they are actually doing on a particular food, to make a choice.

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  5. Jana Rade Says:

    That in order to train a dog all I gotta do is to train the dog. Wrong. First I gotta train myself.
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  6. Aimee @ Irresistible Pets Says:

    I’m with you the kennel myth. We keep Chuy in a kennel anytime we leave the house without him. I feel that it’s for his own safety. That way he can’t get into anything bad and I’m not going crazy worrying about what he’s doing or if he ate something toxic, or something fell on him. When we first brought him home I read a story about a family that came home to a dead dog b/c he got into something toxic and it was too late b/c nobody was home or knew what he ate. Ugh. Just the thought really freaks me out. Kennels are a good thing!
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  7. Diane @ To Dog With Love Says:

    I am a huge fan of pet insurance — I have Trupanion too. After racking up huge cancer treatment bills I vowed I’d get insurance for Rocco soon as I brought him home. Puppies get into everything… the investment has already been worth it!
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  8. Kristine Says:

    That the same training technique works the same for all dogs. That if I read enough books I will know exactly what to expect when I bring home my first dog.

    Yeah… Right… ;-)
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  9. Pamela Says:

    I most regret believing crating was cruel when I had my first pups. I think they would have felt more secure with a secure place to be alone.

    As for fleas, I’ve discovered by accident over the years that dogs with excellent nutrition tend to attract fewer fleas. It may not be true everywhere. But a holistic vet suggested that fleas are attracted to dogs with stressed immune systems. The biggest flea problems came when I was feeding my dogs Iams kibble.

    Lucky our dogs are so forgiving when we have so much to learn.
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  10. Kirby the Dorkie Says:

    Good points I can agree with! Kirby was crate trained as a pup and when I go to work he now stays in a spare bedroom I’ve gated and turned into his playroom. He can be comfortable if he had to be confined to a crate in the event of a disaster and if there was ever a fire, he can be rescued from his playroom which has a rescue sticker on the window. When we get a new foster, he or she stays in the large crate in the playroom for the first few days and once I know they get along stays in the playroom with Kirby.

    Kibble is not kibble so I do my homework. NO products from China, in fact I make the majority of Kirby’s meals and treats including jerky. If you ever need a recipe please check out http://kirbythedorkie.com/the-recipe-box/

    Living in Mississippi fleas are a nightmare. I did all the natural ways for years until we became overwhelmed. Kirby acts as if the spot treatments cause him actual pain so we couldn’t continue using them. We have finally begun using comfortis with no side effects and no fleas.

    I purchased pet insurance when Kirby was attacked by a large dog. His owner paid all of the medical bills but I knew if something major ever happened I would have to take out a loan because there is no way I would let him be put down. I feel better knowing its there if we should need it.

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  11. Kathryn Durno Says:

    I am still unsure on my decision for insurance, but a lot of good comments, good to know. Training never stops…just becau you took the class doesn’t mean your dog is trained. I used to have dogs that did things I didn’t like…they are certainly not perfect, but now I train for behaviors I like instead. I no longer have dogs licking the dirty dishes as I put them in the dishwasher… Win for me!!! I realized I am my dogs’ advocate… Just because it is out there on the market doesn’t mean it is the right thing for your dog…
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  12. emma Says:

    Good list. Mom says she has learned so much over the years having dogs and it has accelerated since I started blogging. We are always amazed by questions people we know ask us. We quickly forget how much we have learned compared to many first time dog owners!
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  13. Dawn Says:

    Good to know about the glucosamine treats. Maya doesn’t suffer from arthritis yet, so her treats are good for joint health. I’ve heard of the brand you’re talking about and will consider it. Insurance in general seems like a scam. I’ve even had trouble with my own personal health and car insurance denying me coverage. It is the nature of insurance. It can’t cover everything, but there are times when you’re really glad you had it.
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    • Kimberly Says:

      I was MAJORLY SCREWED over by American Family Insurance. I laugh now when I think of how much my accident cost me and how they treated me. It took a long time for me to trust insurance companies again and I still don’t full trust the car and health insurance companies. Why exactly is my mammogram free, but having someone review the screens costs me money?
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