What do you do with your pets when you travel? For me, the dog goes to a friend’s house. The cats, parrot, and dragon stay home with daily visits from a pet sitter. I like to make things as simple and easy as possible for everyone that helps out with my pets.
For the dog, that means making feeding time as simple as possible. At home, Cali gets a spoonful of canned food mixed with some dry food. This works for the pet sitter, of course, but it’s a bit of a pain for her to have to keep canned food in the fridge, measure everything out, and mix it up. I started making mason jars with the food all set and she just had to put it in a bowl, but the jars had to be refrigerated because of the canned food, another hassle.
For my last two trips, I discovered Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties, and they are exactly what I needed. The patties are freeze-dried raw, and grain-free. At the advice of my vet, I don’t prefer a fully grain-free diet, but I feed a dry food that has grain along with these patties to balance it out. Since they are freeze-dried, they are shelf stable.
With the Stella & Chewy’s patties, I can make up mason jars, pre-measured for each meal. They don’t need to be refrigerated, and all my pet sitter has to do is add water, shake, and pour in a bowl. Super easy and convenient!
What do I like about this product? The convenience is definitely what brought me to this product, but I’m also really impressed with the quality. These dinner patties are offered in 13 different varieties. I chose the Surf ‘N Turf variety with Beef and Salmon. Cali has allergies, so I find that fish based foods help her with her itchiness. The ingredients in this food are impressive: the first ingredient is beef, and the second is whole ground salmon. Each bag contains 14 ounces which lasts me a LONG time with one 10 pound dog.
Recommended feeding is 3 1/2 patties per day for a dog Cali’s size, but I supplement with regular dry food. For this last trip, Cali was fed 1/2 of a patty, plus a handful of her regular Halo Salmon dry dog food per meal, two meals per day. Two weeks of travel meals and I still have almost half a bag of the Stella & Chewy’s left over. One bag is priced at about $29.99.
If you are interested in a convenient raw diet, or if you want to do what I do and supplement some raw foods, I definitely recommend this product.
Pros: Convenient, Easy to Use, Good Ingredients, Raw food, Versatile (can be used as is or rehydrated,) Liked by my picky eater, great variety of flavors
Cons: I don’t have any real complaints about this product. It is a bit pricey, but all high quality foods are. I don’t like that it is Grain-Free, but that is a Pro to others.
The last few weeks have been crazy. Thanks to Covid-19, there isn’t much of anything on my schedule. I’m certainly not going anywhere, but somehow I’m keeping pretty busy. I started a garden, and I’ve been keeping a personal journal of all that is going on, so maybe that is why I haven’t been inspired to write here, but I’m back!
I can’t wait to see what kinds of new creatures I meet as the local wildlife discovers my new garden. I put an outdoor camera on the garden so if there are any visitors I can catch them in the act!
The other night we found a small, lovely poop in my son’s bedroom as we were all heading to bed. This wasn’t the first time. We had been blaming Cali the dog, but we had started keeping her downstairs to keep that from happening and it still happened. Must be a cat?!? Yikes. I really freak out about the cats not using their litter box. So of course, I couldn’t sleep. Midnight, 1AM, 2AM, I’m up, stressed, why is this happening?
About 3AM, I had a revelation! It was all my fault! I had been messing with the cat litter boxes trying to find a solution to our tracking problems. I rushed downstairs and cleaned the litter boxes and returned them to our regular clumping litter. That was a couple of nights ago, and the problem has definitely cleared up. I was really enjoying the paper pellet litter and the pine litter, but I guess the cats didn’t like it as much as I did. Time to figure out a new plan. I’m not sure I will be able to find a litter that doesn’t track around the house and isn’t pelleted, but I’ll be on the look out. Does anyone have a cat litter that they really like?
The bearded dragon is doing well. I’ve managed to keep her well fed with greens and bugs even though my shopping is limited these days. She’s fat, happy, and having a nice spring shed.
Hector is Hector, what can I say? She’s still taking over the house, strutting around with her beak in the air, chasing cats, and destroying any cardboard that she can find. She is definitely enjoying all the out of cage time with me being home so much. She actually mumbles at me when I close her cage during the day if I have to lock her up. I bought her some lovely freeze-dried chop from Texas Freeze Dried Naturals. She didn’t eat it very well last time I tried it, but this time I’m using it to stretch the fresh chop I make. I’m adding a bit of the freeze dried to her fresh food every day so that I can use less fresh, and she is actually eating all of it. Old birds CAN learn new tricks!
I bought a handheld steam cleaner a couple of weeks ago. I had heard they were useful for cleaning bird cages, but hadn’t bothered in the past. I saw one on sale for about $30 on Amazon and thought it was worth a try. It was great! If anyone is interested, I bought a Bissell Steam Shot. It comes with brushes for scrubbing, and it is simple to use. I rolled her cage out on the back porch and went to work one sunny day. It isn’t a miracle cleaner. I still had to do some scraping, but it definitely got the cage cleaner than it has been in a very long time. I’m also finding the steamer handy for cleaning showers and bathtubs, bonus!
Cali has been super annoying lately. I’m not sure if it is because we are home, if the weather is nicer, if her allergies are bugging her, if she is bored? She barks at every little noise. I’m trying a couple of different things with her and it seems to be helping. First of all, I’m trying mandatory walks every single day that the weather permits. I’m also keeping treats around the house and working on basic training again. She knows some tricks and I’m trying to teach her more. She seems to be doing a little better. I’m not sure if it is the discipline of the training or the exercise, but whatever it is, I’ll take it! I need to put a haircut for her on my schedule.
Puck’s urinary issues seem to have cleared up, but I’m still wary. I’ve got him on the prescription diet, but it is super expensive with three cats in the house. There isn’t really a good way to feed him alone, so all the cats are getting it. I’m switching between the prescription food and a couple of non-prescription urinary health foods. I found a Purina dry food that I realized is making one of the cats throw up! I won’t be buying that one anymore. Bean also throws up, hairballs are the issue. I’ve been using a paste I bought which seems to help, but he still has occasional problems.
I’ve been researching cat diets, and I feel like my best bet is going to be putting all the cats on a raw food diet. I thought about making it myself, but with everything in various stages of being open or not lately, I didn’t want to have to try to track down healthy, fresh raw meats. I’m also worried about making sure they get all the right nutrients.
My research led me to Primal brand raw foods. They seem to be well respected and easily available. I like the idea of a commercial food because I’m worried my homemade food won’t be nutritionally complete. My local pet store sells both freeze dried and frozen versions of Primal raw food, so I’ve ordered a couple of different types to try. Hopefully I can pick it up today or tomorrow. Puck seems to be allergic to any type of fish or seafood, so I’ll be trying turkey and pork varieties. I’m hoping the cats like it, and maybe it will help keep Puck stable and help with Bean’s hair balls. Primal is expensive, but now that I have to use prescription food, it is actually cheaper than that, so worth a try. I’ve been feeding the cats a bit of canned food twice per day, plus free choice dry, so my thought it to sub in one meal a day of raw food and see how it goes. Of course, I’ll update here!
Bean is getting so big! I’ll have to see if I can get an approximate weight on him. He is just about 9 months old now. I’m 99% sure he is now our largest pet! Cali weighs about 11lbs, and I’m pretty sure Bean is heavier than that now.
Let me know what you and your pets are up to. Stay well.