This is Zander. He is a Golden Doodle which means a standard white poodle was intentionally bred with a golden retriever. He is 6 years old. He is very big and has super long legs. His eyebrows are as expressive as Groucho Marx.
|Him when his hair is longer.|
|See what I mean about the eyebrows?|
|His favorite toy.|
|He loves to curl up into a tiny ball.|
Zander had a small problem however. He started licking his paws. Sometimes for an hour at a time. At first we thought it was an OCD kind of thing so we would tell him "Off!". We taught him that whenever we say "Off!" he is to not touch or spit out anything he has near his mouth. So he would stop licking for five minutes, then start again. This went on until he realized that whenever we saw him licking we would tell him to stop. So he got smart. Zander started hiding behind things. The couch, a wall, in a nook, so we wouldn't see him licking. Told you he was smart.
Then he got an ear infection so we took him to the vet and decided to ask about the licking. The vet said that it could be allergies. Apparently when dogs get allergies they don't have a runny nose or itchy, watery eyes. Instead they lick their paws! We felt so bad! This whole time we where telling him "off!", while he felt like he was crawling out of his skin. Poor baby!
So the vet gave him a cortisone shot and said that would last for 3 months but the itching would probably start again in two weeks. It did and he was miserable. So we decided to try and find out what he was allergic to.
Now zander is an inside dog. He gets exercised inside in the winter, and only goes outside to go potty. Also it was raining so no air born allergies like pollen could be gettin' him. So we started doing research and found the one thing he was eating that was exacerbating his symptoms. Gluten! That's right. He truly is our dog!
So we switched out his food for a gluten free kind. We liked Taste of the Wild: High Prairie Canine formula. Here's what the site says:
"A grain-free formula with sweet potatoes and peas provides highly digestible energy for your active dog. Made with real roasted meats, this formula offers a taste sensation like no other. Supplemented with fruits and vegetables, this hearty formula delivers natural antioxidants to help give your friend a healthy lifestyle. Your dog craves a taste of the wild. Go ahead and give him one.
High Prairie Canine Formula
with Roasted Bison & Roasted Venison
Zander loves it! And it smells so much fresher than the dog food he was eating before.
We also found that giving your dog allergy medicine helps with the seasonal allergy part. So we needed something that we could put a couple of pills into. I know a lot of people use cheese, but dogs can be sensitive to dairy. Plus it causes mucus. So I decided, "Hey I bake allergy free for a living. I will just bake something for him."
It couldn't be a bone, though I baked him some of those. It needed to be soft and big enough to hide a pill in. So I created a doggy muffin. Enjoy!
Zander's "Pup"kin Muffins
Makes about 30 mini muffins
312 grams Brown Rice Flour
2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 cup Apple Sauce
1 cup Pumpkin, solidly packed
1/4 cup Honey
1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
2. Mix all the dry in a large bowl.
3. Mix all wet in a smaller bowl.
4. Add wet to dry and mix until combined.
5. Scoop into mini muffin cups, pre-lined.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
|It took forever to get him to just lick it. He wanted to eat it so bad!|
|He just had to give them a high-five!|
Also just so you know, this is Zander's couch. We got it specially made for him. It's big enough that me and my sister can both sit on it.