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microcollie
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Location: Western MA

pet lovers out there?

This is the first forum that I've joined, and I did so not knowing what to expect. I thought that I might find either a garden club like my mother would join, ladies of a certain age with lace gloves, sipping tea while they ruminated about their prize petunia (no offense meant to petunia lovers :oops: ), or a too technical, way over my head board of phd's talking advanced botony. My kudos to all, both new gardeners and seasoned, for well surpassing my expectations. It's proved informative even for someone with thirty-some years of experience, entertaining, angering at times, and, well, fun! Thanks to all involved.

My other passion is pet care. I volunteer at local shelters, am a foster parent to several dogs and cats looking for placement, and I'm an all-around animal lover. (My username, Microcollie, comes from one of my brood, a tiny collie, stunted both physically and mentally by horrible breeding practices. For all his troubles, he's the apple of my eye)

So I've been looking for a forum similar to this, but about all things pet related. I have looked at a couple, but have not yet found one that's a good fit. I'm not interested in purebreds or how to breed, but how to solve the never-ending problems of puppy mills, over-breeding, and general overpopulation of animals in need of help. I've heard mention in posts by a few members here about your pets, and was hoping that maybe some of you might be able to head me in the right direction.

Thanks again for the garden info. It's great to learn new stuff daily and hear such a diversity of ideas and opinions. Keep it up!

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Kisal
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I have yet to find an animal forum I enjoy. :(
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

petalfuzz
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I had more luck with breed specific forums. I don't visit any forum other than this one anymore (limiting my internet usage). But I used to enjoy:

[url]https://www.thecatsite.com/forums/[/url]

and [url]https://www.rabbitsonline.net/[/url] I like this one because they really try to keep the posts organized and they have a specific section about saving/rescuing rabbits.

I don't have any for dogs, sorry!

Charlie MV
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I'm for dogs.

sweet thunder
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I have one I like but it's very specific. I'm on a site called Ravelry, which is for knitters, crocheters and spinners, but it has many, many groups and forums, including one for pitbull lovers. There are lots of good-hearted rescue-oriented people there.

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microcollie
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Thanks for the feedback. The pack and I will keep looking.

tedln
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I've never been on a pet forum, but I think we have a lot of pet lovers here. I have three dogs. My gardening buddy is a 100 lb. Chocolate Lab. He is kinda nuts, but that is probably why we get along so well. We rescued him from a veterinarians clinic after he had been hit by an eighteen wheeler at a truck stop. He had a lot of injuries, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. He is usually our outside dog to keep the coyotes away. In the heat we have been having, he has his personal rug inside the house in the day, and sleeps outside at night. What can I say! We like animals.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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Kisal
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Yeah, Angus (in my avatar) is a goofball, too. Must be a trait of some Labs! :lol:

He's definitely my bud. At the moment, he and Daiz are sitting here beside me, one on either side, with chins on my knees. They just came in from a romp around the back yard, which included some splashing in the pond, so needless to say, my jeans legs are kinda "moist". :roll:

What can I say ... I love 'em! :lol: nutz:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

cynthia_h
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Lifelong cat lover; Bernese Mtn. Dogs since 1998. My second and fourth Berners; my (?) 23rd and 24th cats. (College BF and I took in a pregnant female and ended up with seven cats at once....I've always had three or four cats at once until the past couple of years, when it's been only two.)

You probably saw my recent series of running commentary when I was performing round-the-clock post-op care for my 6-y.o. male Berner, Vergil; we'll be seeing more of that kind of commentary very soon (I fervently hope). Not to hijack this thread, but Vergil threw us another medical curve last weekend. :( Thank heavens Vesta, our 10-y.o. female, is here to hold down the fort!

And how can I forget Copper, our orange and white "kitty dog"? Vergil's buddy, who has decided that he needs to perform Vergil's in-house duties: begging for food, trying to trip me on the stairs, supervising me at the computer and at the sewing machine?

And of course Betty, very sweet and loving, but way behind in the intelligence department. A short-haired calico, she suffers even more from being compared to Copper, one of the three most intelligent cats I've ever lived with. Betty--originally an emergency rescue master-minded by my gardening girlfriend, a hospice social worker by occupation--has had almost two years to manifest whatever intelligence she does have....she's a-l-m-o-s-t gotten UP to the previous low-water mark set by a tortoise-shell female we had from 1988 to 2001, another emergency rescue who was also very sweet....

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

wingdesigner
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Well, it's not exactly a forum, but have you checked out
https://icanhascheezburger.com/
and click on any of the tabs. Lolcats and Loldogs are good for starters.

Marsman regularly posts stuff on there and from there. I fall off the couch laughing, but the spousal unit doesn't get it. I get that "polite smile" and "curious look" a la Miss Manners.

Sigh.
Happy Gardening,
Wing

cynthia_h
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Oh, God! I Can Haz...is incredible!!! YESSSS! :lol:

Cynthia

wingdesigner
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Thank Marsman--he pointed it out to me. The "Plan B" one with the eagle and the cat is my new favourite. (under lolcats tab)

If you go to the last page under lolcats, you'll see the picture that started it all. The entire site has blossomed from that original picture. It's quite a story.
Happy Gardening,
Wing

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tomf
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My cat is very talented.

[img]https://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e57/twistedtomf/pianocat.jpg[/img]

gardengrl3
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Good idea to start a pet lovers website!

Microcollie,
I am a animal lover as well but mainly a dog lover! I have 2 Pembroke Welsh Corgis and a Smooth Coated Brussels Griffon(I adopted the Brussels griffon).
I think you have come up with a very good idea! Why not start a animal or dog lovers forum that is similar to this garden website! You might be on to a great idea!! I know there are forums for specific breeds but I think a animal lovers website is a great idea!! :D
Get digging!

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microcollie
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In my free time I enjoy eating and sleeping...Starting my own forum would be a great idea if only the days were a tiny bit longer. I keep telling my brood (4 dogs, 7 cats, a pig, 2 ferrets, and a newly aquired sheep who I'm hoping I'm just fostering) that if they'd get up off the couches and do something around here that life would be easier. It falls on deaf ears.
Sorry, I've been neglectful here and haven't said thanks to all for the responses and links. Some pretty funny stuff there.
I'll take the idea of a new forum to the ASPCA where I volunteer as a walker and foster home...maybe someone there will have the free brain space to make it happen...I'll let you know.

Cerbiesmom
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Location: Sugar Land, Tx

Also an animal lover. I have 3 rescue dogs, and 3 rescue cats, as well as hermit crabs (some of which are also rescues), an iguana, and 2 leopard geckoes. I keep myself busy. I also have a foster dog, a pregnant stray I found in March. All her babies got adopted, and we're waiting for that perfect home for her now. I have my fingers crossed. I too would love a rescue-type forum.

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Lesli
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Location: Spain

I have 7 cats at the moment, all adopted from the wild except one, and a mini poodle. Up until a few months ago they were actually 10 but sadly 3 left us due to various reasons. As we live in a rural mountain area there are always stray kittens or abandoned dogs...it´s very sad. We´ve spent a fortune on neutering them and maintaining their health. There is a service which collects strays and has them neutered and then releases them again into the wild but if they suspect that you are caring for the animal in question this doesn´t apply.

When finally someone buys our house here we are going to move down to the south of Spain and the thought of transporting so many animals over a thousand kilometres has been giving us nightmares but I´ve just seen a company advertised on this page which transports animals and which is based in Spain so hopefully they will be the solution.....Thank you Helpful Gardener!!!

I recently came across these two web pages, maybe they will be interesting to have a look at, I haven´t investigated much yet!

https://www.dogster.com/

https://www.catster.com/

Lesli

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lorax
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I am proudly owned by a pair of rescue kitties: Niro (Russian Blue; her name means "Jet Blue") and Michu (Burmese cross; her name means "Kitty"), and Michu's three adorable little kittens - she adopted me whilst preggers. Once I get out to the country to live permanently, I'll be adopting forest dogs and working in big cat and bear rescue. Niro came with me from Canada when I moved (Lesli, it's less difficult than you think to bring pets along), and Michu + are a recent addition to the family.

Niro
[img]https://unusualplants.net/gallery/data/501/DSCN2659.JPG[/img]

Michu
[img]https://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh196/HabloPorArboles/DSCN2882.jpg[/img]

I have yet to find a forum about rescue animals, but I do Luv Cheezburger....

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tomf
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Marlingardener wrote:Tomf, your calico is not only gorgeous, but talented. Our calico is so talented that she has taught me to play the piano for her!
That is cool music is like gardening it feeds the soul.

wingdesigner
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Nice pictures, Lorax! I'm surprised they held still that long; or were you guys playing a stalking game?
Happy Gardening,
Wing

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lorax
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Michu is quite photogenic and likes to have her picture taken, so she was no problem - I have far more pictures of her than I'd like to admit. For Niro, though, who is very shy, I had to wait until she was doing her "lion in the tall grass" thing and then sneak up on her. If she'd thought I could see her, she would have run off...

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tomf
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Lesli 7 cats! I see why your avatar is a cat.
I like dogs also but at this time I just borrow the neighbor's dog.

sweet thunder
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Wow, microcollie, that is quite an assortment! What kind of sheep are you fostering? I dream of having Shetlands some day, but it may never come to pass.

Back when I worked in animal rescue it was really hard to resist taking in more animals. We finally discovered that our household reaches equilibrium at five pets. Every time we went above that, one of them either died or refused to assimilate.

My crew includes two pitbull mixes, Sophie and Willow, both adopted from shelters, plus three cats, Barnaby, Geeba and Greymalk. Barnaby was adopted from the shelter where I used to work, while the others were street urchins who weaseled their way into our home.

Mine range in age from 10 to 14, so I'm dealing with a lot of cranky seniors around here! Plus a couple who don't realize they're old yet. They often drive me nuts, but I wouldn't trade any of them (well, maybe Willow :wink: ).

dancing star
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I had a beagle/terrier mix for over fifteen years. She was family. I have missed her, tremendously, for the last year and a half. I have a 'roof' cat. He is funny...even insisting that I feed, and water him up there. lol
My favorite animals are not pets, although, I love them just as much. Living in the woods provides me with many unusual critters. I have raccoons on my deck most evenings, a fox was 'sneaking' food from my bird feeder stumps this past winter, wild turkey/with young enjoying my raspberries, and whitetail deer that stick around and let me talk, and sing to them. I do not mind sharing the food with them, but I do have to ask the deer to move on ..sometimes. There are many owls, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and flycatchers. The dragonflies are among my favorites. It seems as though my yard turns into a huge butterfly garden for a couple of months. My big watering 'pond' tub has been full of tadpoles this summer. :D Gotta love em!!! ... I miss Midget! She was an awesome companion, but I will not be looking for another animal family member. I enjoyed reading about yours!!! :D

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microcollie
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sweet thunder wrote:Wow, microcollie, that is quite an assortment! What kind of sheep are you fostering? I dream of having Shetlands some day, but it may never come to pass.
She's a cross of East Friesian with something unknown...kind of just a plain old sheep. She was attacked by coyotes and was about to be put down, but the vet (a good friend of mine) managed to save her and she's with me while she's on the mend. She has a broken leg with some missing muscle, so she'll probably have a limp, but her prognosis is good now. It's given the collie a whole new outlook on life. He spends his day out in the yard tending his "herd" of one. Since this "adoption" happened suddenly, we don't have a fenced area for her, but he seems to know that he shouldn't let her stray out of the yard. For a dog wrought with emotional issues, he's stepped up and is doing a great job. (But he can't understand why she has to sleep in the barn at night instead of coming inside with him)
I'm still on the fence as to what to do with her when she's better. Her farm where she came from has no real desire to get her back, (She might need further surgery in the future if the leg doesn't heal), and, being a vegan and not really agreeing with the way she was raised anyway, I'm in no hurry to put her back into that scenario. I'm waiting to see how she fits in with the rest of the family...one of the dogs (a lab mix, blinded by a run-in with a porcupine) is having a problem with her. He barks non-stop when he catches scent of her. It's odd, because he's normally the most mellow of the bunch. So it's a wait and see kind of thing.

tedln
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microcollie,

I understand how a human can live a vegan lifestyle and only eat vegan food. How does a vegan provide for pets who are more designed for an animal protein diet since they don't have molar or bicuspid teeth?

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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lorax
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Ted, last time I checked Sheep were herbivores - and that's what MC was talking about. It's common practice on large farms to feed ground protein meal to ungulants instead of silage, because it's cheaper. And I can definitely see where MC might have a problem with that.

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microcollie
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Ted-
You've hit a point of contention in our household. As much as I preach to the animals about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, they all suddenly turn deaf.
I have tried every vegan pet food out there (there are quite a few), but the animals (more so the cats than the dogs) insist on meat. I went a solid year feeding them only vegan food, and while they all remained healthy, they seemed unhappy at meal time. I finally decided, after a huge battle inside my head, that it wasn't right to expect them to give up what's in their nature. So they now eat mostly V-food (vegan) with bits of meat and/or eggs mixed in. I get the meat and eggs from two friends, one raises chickens and the other goats. I can only rationalize it by knowing that the animals are raised in a happy and healthy environment and killed in a humane manner.
The one exception to this diet is Noodle, a daschund mix that we raised from a small pup, feeding her goat's milk since her mom wasn't around, then weaned her onto the vegan food. I guess that since she never had meat, she didn't miss it. She has no real interest in it when its put in front of her. All of the other animals were rescued as adults, so already had a taste for it.
As I said, it's a sore spot with me, and I constantly do battle with myself over it, but the animal's happiness seems to win out.

cynthia_h
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Vegetarians, esp. vegans, often find themselves conflicted when faced with feeding dogs; even more so when feeding cats.

The long-term health of cats depends on them receiving meat. They are obligate carnivores, which means they must consume meat for their health and survival. Their dentition is that of a carnivore: tear, shred, swallow. Although I've had a few cats who would eat, as add-ons, cooked corn or raw cantaloupe, they were much happier with chicken, cottage cheese, hard-boiled or otherwise cooked eggs, or regular cheese. (Or, of course, commercial cat food....)

The long-term health of dogs is harder to predict; dogs are, evolutionarily speaking, scavengers. They have the dentition of both carnivores and herbivores, like people do, and their stomach acids can break down even questionable meat (their stomach acids, according to a phone call I had with a U. of Penn. researcher several years ago, are anywhere from 2x to 4x as strong as those of humans).

However, many vegans and other vegetarians have found that their dogs enjoy more robust health and resistance to disease when fed meat (usually raw meat), vegetables, fruit, etc., in a specialized diet tailored to the individual dog, or at least breed/size/activity level of dog. This statement is based on several years' worth (since 1998) of articles in The Whole Dog Journal ("A monthly guide to natural dog care and training"), a newsletter on dog health, positive training, management, research, food recommendations--All Things Dog. https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/

Please, for the health of your cats, give them meat.

Regarding the dogs, if they appear healthy on the food you're giving them (complementing grains/legumes for complete protein?), it's probably fine. Maybe a few eggs throughout the week just to make sure about the protein quality (I base this statement on both Frances Moore Lappé's Diet for a Small Planet and Laurel Robertson's Laurel's Kitchen; The New Laurel's Kitchen).

I haven't researched vegetarian diets for dogs, b/c Berners do so much better with meat. I purchase (when I can...$$$) ground-up byproducts from grass-fed beef from an individual ranch. These are "innards" that the ranch has found don't sell well as people food but sell very well as dog food. Vesta won't touch this $$$ pet food; she prefers the Merrick canned food (sourced and made in the U.S.). But Vergil is a grass-fed beef guy. Whenever the ground-up innards appear in his bowl, he is visibly delighted. :)

Personally, I eat very little meat. Part of a chicken each week, I think, except when DH decides to cook dinner and I find a piece of dead steer on my plate. I take a few bites--he did, after all, make dinner--but give a few tidbits to the dogs and the cats and tell him that I'm full when there's half a piece still left. He's happy to "help out." Bleah. (Just to let you know where I am on the carnivore => omnivore => herbivore spectrum.)

Good luck with the injured sheep / collie / Lab dynamic. :)

Cynthia

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microcollie
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Cynthia-

Thanks for the in-depth reply.

Any experimenting that I do with my pets diet is done with the supervision and blessing of a good friend who's a vet. She certainly keeps me reigned in on forcing my will and diet upon the animals. As I said, as much as I wish that I could find a better solution, I've put their happiness before mine when it comes to this topic. (Hmm...now that I think of it, that applies to most topics!)
Last edited by microcollie on Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cynthia_h
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I know that it's difficult for you; I've read a number of veggie people talking in Whole Dog about how they put on nitrile gloves to handle the meat for their animals b/c it just creeps them out to handle it.

I think everyone on this thread puts the health and happiness of their animals front and center (unless they have children, in which case the kids, then the animals, but it's a close call).

But for every person participating in the forum, there are many more who lurk or just drop by and read, whether or not they register. I'm not sure even the webmaster has accurate numbers of *exactly* how many people drop in. If I can help save a few cats from misery by reaching these drop-in readers, I'm happy to do so, and giving 3rd-party sources where I can is another way to reach out to these unseen and unheard-from people.

Kudos to you for consulting with your veterinarian friend and forging ahead! :D

Cynthia

tedln
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I have a Labrador which I think would be happy on a vegetarian/vegan diet. He hovers around the garden constantly waiting for some food. If I am not paying attention, he will harvest his own, plant and all. I'm afraid one day he will harvest and eat Jalapenos before he realizes the mistake he has made. He loves bell peppers. The only thing he doesn't like is yellow squash. He will harvest it, but not eat it.

I know carnivore animals need a balanced diet containing some products which normally come from other animals. Humans can adjust their food intake to account for the missing parts, but can humans adjust an animals diet in a manner which would account for everything a carnivore needs?

I had not read Cynthia's response when I wrote this note. Questions answered.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

sweet thunder
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microcollie, I, too, have struggled with pet food over the years. I was vegan for about nine years (I'm now ovo-lacto) and for a while I was feeding the dogs vegan or vegetarian food. It was really challenging for me to find or make a food that worked well. One dog didn't like it and the other had bad skin and gas.
Recently I've been thinking more about feeding raw, but I can't quite get comfortable with handling it. My dogs are happy and healthy on their current food, so I think I'm going to leave it be for the moment.
I wish you luck with your animal family, and thanks for the work you're doing!

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applestar
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Great post Cynthia. I'm forwarding it to my brother who doesn't eat meat or fish and is allergic to dairy ... Not sure about eggs ... But does feed his dogs good quality meat and game meat... I think raw.

I've heard that cats get their vegs primarily from th stomach content of their prey. So I try to keep that in mind when giving them vegs and grain, type, portion, and state of processing (i.e. Digestion). Our kitties do like some vegs raw and eat a lot of them sometimes, but when they do, I try to give them corresponding raw meat and organ meat. They don't always appreciate it however :roll:, when I sneak cooked rice in the "gravy" (meat juices. -- OK call it blood -- diluted with water) or give them the bowl I used to beat eggs for breakfast -- I leave some of the unsalted beaten egg in the bowl and add some milk and yogurt/cottage cheese/cream cheese. That's not to say they don't eat it... Usually the bowl is licked clean sometime during the day. I think they prefer this particular combination to be less fresh for some reason.... :?

They love anything that resembles grass -- you should have seen them overcoming every obstacle to get to my rice hanging in the dining room to dry last winter. They did get to some of the leaves as well as the grains :evil: and I would later find soggy messes regurgitated elsewhere. :x They do have two 4" pots of wheatgrass and oatgrass of their own that are continuously replanted. I just started some ryegrass for them as well. :wink:

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Lesli
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tomf wrote:Lesli 7 cats! I see why your avatar is a cat.
I like dogs also but at this time I just borrow the neighbor's dog.
Wow, haven´t looked in for a few days.....yes tomf, I´m definitely more cat orientated although I love all animals, DH however, relates more to the dog although he´s been very good with my cat mania!!. Re food for them, we make the dog´s meals every day from a variety of meats and integral rice and pasta and veg but the cats mainly eat the bought stuff, tinned and dry as I read that they must have something called taurine in their diet otherwise they can become ill and die. Poor little mice are full of it apparently too. The dog could live from a cats diet but not the other way around. I haven´t eaten meat or fowl for over 13 years and my diet is about 75% raw too at the moment but as Cynthia says, I wouldn´t ever try to make my animals conform to my diet. The only thing I´m a bit concerned about at the moment is that the poodle´s nose is paler than it should be so I´ll have to make sure that he´s getting all the vitamins he needs.

Photos of the whole bunch can be seen at this link to my very tongue in cheek blog, written from the poodle´s point of view. If I put the photos here they´ll take up too much space.



[url]https://www.juspoodlinaround.com/[/url]

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applestar
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I'm going to go look at your blog in a minute. :wink:

You're right about concern for taurine. I give the kitties chicken hearts as heart muscles and organ meats are supposed to be a good source. I get chicken livers at the same time, and they love that. I just freeze them after cutting into small bits.

I also give them a supplement called "Missing Link for Cats" which contains taurine, along with other nutrients and some super foods.

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Lesli
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Yeesh! all gibblety things really give me the heeby jeebies but it sounds like a good idea for the furries non the less, may buy some to experiment and see what their opinion is...the supplement sounds good too. Some of them hunt, well, they all chase after anything that moves outside but only one or two actually eat what they catch I think :)



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