Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Canine athlete definitely out of form...

It has been a long month. It seems to have taken forever for Jamie's toe to heal. He has put on weight and lost quite a bit of fitness. So has Jemma.

The big problem has been boredom. There is nothing more trying than an active dog that is bored out of its mind while convalescing. The main tip I was given was to keep Jamie chewing. Overwhelm him with chew toys, rawhide, hooves, stuffed kongs and bones.

Bones are of course the cheapest chew toy but they are also controversial. My vet nearly had a fit when I told her I was giving Jamie and Jemma bones to keep them occupied. Probably because she has seen all too often the end result of splintered bones stuck in the intestines of pets.

Those that are pro bones say that they must be BIG bones like knuckle bones, marrow or femur bones. The moment they start to thin or have raggedy edges, throw them away! Some say you must boil your bones as this reduces the growth of bacteria if your dogs like to bury their bones (Now I just chuck them before they get buried). Others say raw bones are better because they are less likely to splinter. Jamie is an "ingester" (tends to swallow whatever he is chewing) whilst Jemma is satisfied with destroying the object of her desire and then walking away. The main message is - be careful, no matter what you give your dogs to chew.

At our last beagle meet at Walkhaven I had to make excuses for why Jamie was looking a bit tubby. It was of course all those marrow bones and lack of exercise. The "Hunt" season starts this weekend. Too late to get them both fit enough. So they will have to toughen up as they run. (Me too!)

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