DOGS bring love and laughs to the home – which is no doubt why many find new homes at holiday time. But you’ve heard the saying “A pet is for life not just for Christmas”. So it’s important to start your life as a family off on the right paw.
Feeding and behaviour are key to happy doggy family life and can mean the difference between a dream and a nightmare for families and the dogs themselves.
Mutleys Meals on Wheels (MMOW) local specialist pet food delivery service operators, Ros and Jo, say welcoming a new pet or improving the life of an existing pet starts with good food and good training.
Animal lovers themselves, they started delivering MMOW to the Sunshine Coast two years ago and have grown their base of Peregian Springs and Peregian Breeze residents in that time.
They only use the BARF diet ( stands for Bone And Raw Food) from the one consistent producer, Canine Country, whose food is all preservative free, grain free, no fillers, using fresh Australian products, most from human consumption processors made with fruit and veges from Brisbane Valley farms or local produce stores with a combination of fresh meat, ground soft bone, seasonal fresh fruit and veg, linseed and kelp, yoghurt, Omega 3, 6 & 9, eggs and garlic plus offering a wide range of carcasses for variety and dental health.
Jo says when people call up they’re asked about their pet including any special needs like low allergy, high energy, weight loss, inner health requirements, and food is planned from there.
There are 11 varieties to suit all dogs including duck, beef, chicken to roo, fish and organic chicken and holistic wild boar (there’s feline food too). Food comes in a 1 kg plastic sleeve twisted in the middle to allow you to defrost half at a time or the convenient 1 kg portion pack of 6 patties from those who don’t like to handle meat – simply pop out and defrost.
There’s also a specially designed puppy mince, for puppies up to 14 weeks old, which is finely minced to a paste like consistency to help puppies go from mum’s milk onto raw food.
So what about dogs that are just fussy? “Dogs have a good sense of smell and some dogs don’t like eating the same thing all the time.” Jo said.
Which is why you can order a mixture of meat packs. Prices start at $8.50 per kilogram with free home delivery for orders over $25.
Ros and Jo also often get asked about how to improve undesirable behaviour in dogs and how they can improve their relationship. Dogs can often be a source of stress in the family. They recommend Faith Wild from Bark Busters to help with training and socialising into a new family or to improve existing relationships.
Faith says if you’re thinking of getting a new pet this Christmas, consider animal shelters and rescue groups, and don’t write off breeds you think might be “unsuitable” for y our family because each dog has different traits.
In her 25 years as a dog behaviourist there’s never been a dog she could not connect with and a family she could not help. She says getting a pit bull who was used in a dog fighting ring to co-habitate with a cat in a home was one of the many good outcomes she’s had.
She dispels the myth that pit bulls are dangerous or nasty and no dog is beyond help.
She doesn’t use “treat training”. This one-to-one program uses body language and the way dogs naturally learn, to promote respect and understanding of the dog which she says is more lasting across a wider range of situations and doesn’t rely on treats constantly for compliance.
Training is in your home for convenience and is far less stressful and more effective for dog and owner. Bark Busters offers a Lifetime Support Guarantee, Call Faith from Bark Busters on 1800 067 710 for free advice if you’re thinking of getting a dog or for training details or see www.dog-training-sunshine-coast.com.au.