Friday 28 August 2020

Things I have Learned Being a Pet Owner For 4 Years

It’s been 4 years since we brought our mischievous puppy home, and haven’t those years been full of fun and mischief. 

Lux, our now 4 and a bit year old Dalmatian is always keeping us on our toes.

Thankfully his destructive days have fallen into the past tense, but his running away days will happen as soon as he is provided with an opportunity.

It was just the other month that I mistakenly left the gate open and unleashed Lux on the general public, I was in the middle of a field half an hour into a 12k stroll when I got the call to say ‘your dog has escaped’.

Thankfully he was commandeered by the post man who was then spotted by my Dad, and he was safely returned home. I was very thankful that he didn’t get hit by a car, but I knew that one way or another he would cost me at the vets as a result... After a week of Lux throwing up I took him to the vets for a once over. £65 later and he seemed to be on the mend again.

I guess you could say, that you really do know you have our big bundle of puppy, and that statement can equally be applied to the garden...

Dalmatian’s as a breed have a gene mutation that means that causes high levels of Uric Acid, this can cause the breed to form crystals and/or bladder stones... but it also means that these beautiful dogs can really kill a lawn with their urine!

There have been many times that I have considered ripping up the lawn and laying some Cheap Artificial Grass instead. I always notice that the lawn does back quicker over the winter months and leaves nothing but mud in its wake, of course when spring rolls around I can be found hastily throwing grass seed down in the hopes of rejuvenating some life into the turf before summer rolls around.

I was fully aware of the gene mutation in the breed before we committed to a Dalmatian, this has meant that I can work with Lux and make sure that we keep him healthy by feeding a low purine diet. 

Purines are found in many different types of food, but there are certain food groups that boast higher levels. It is due to this that we have primarily fed Lux a raw diet that consists of chicken thighs, eggs, meaty bones and vegetables. These are all foods that keep his purine levels low, and ultimately help us to keep him stone free!

We float his meals with water so that we can keep flushing him through (I know... the poor lawn!), but it also means we need to avoid the food groups with higher purine levels, which unfortunately for Lux means absolutely no offal! 

It is also due to this that we decided against using kibble dog food, opting to construct his diet ourselves. 

You could say the last 4 years have been a learning curve, and you wouldn’t be mistaken! I have learned that it's not just the parts of having a dog you know will cost you money... You also have to budget for the things that will unexpectedly come your way.

For me this has come in the form of having to upgrade my hoover to something that can handle the amounts of dog hair that drop out of Lux on a daily basis (365 days a year!), and in those puppy days... Replacing the kitchen floor and patching up the wall he decided to eat!

Every so often Lx likes to do something that we aren't expecting, you know... Just to remind us that he still can be destructive if he so chooses to be... I learned a long time ago to never leave ANYTHING on the kitchen worktops when we go out without him...

As mischievous as Lux is, he is equally as loving, and although life would be a lot quieter if we hadn’t brought him home, our lives and hearts certainly wouldn’t be as full.

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