The pug life

When Matt and I first started noodling around the idea of pets (12 years ago! Gasp!) he was dead set on having a pug. I thought they were the ugliest dogs ever. I wanted a big, protective dog. I wanted something to run with or go on adventures with us and this fluffy, wrinkly dog didn’t fit that bill.

Since I am typing this with a pug crawling all over me, you can gather that I’ve since changed my mind about pugs.

George’s first night in our home!

Over the years though, we have realized that pugs as a breed in general need a little more attention to detail. Those precious little wrinkles need to be cleaned and checked for bites and infections. Their ears need to be cleaned and de-gunked. And with George we have also discovered a litany of skin issues. Vito very rarely scratches, and if he does, it’s his ears. But not George! He has scratched himself raw so many times. At first we thought it was allergies, so we tried hot spot sprays and oatmeal baths. But it wasn’t really effective as a long term solution.

Our vet then recommended that we try a grain free diet. I reached out to the Facebook world and asked for suggestions, and settled on a brand that would be easy to find in town. We followed the protocol for switching food and yet, the itching continued. Then, Vito started throwing up. It stressed me out because Vito is old and I was afraid if he continued to have intestinal issues, it could usher in the end of his life sooner than we want. As the final straw, we discovered George was munching on poop. POOP! And the vet said, he’s not getting proper nutrition, we’ve got to get him on fresh food.

I had looked at making my own dog food over the years and while I always thought it was a great idea, I never did it because, you know… time. But when it came down to it, I was desperate enough to make the time. It’s been a few months now and I wanted to share what we do!

I have tried quite a few recipes that involved a few different fruits and veggies mixed with different meats. They’ve been pretty excited to try new things, but I will tell you that turkey, applesauce and butternut squash was not accepted. Let me tell you, I have rarely seen my dogs turn their noses up at food, but that one? Nope.

Basic Dog Food Recipe:

  • 3 pounds ground meat
  • 1 bag frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced

Put the meat in a crockpot. Just dump it in! Pour the veggies over the top. Cover it up, turn the crock pot on high for three hours. Break up the meat about an hour or so in so that it cooks through. Keep it in the fridge for a week or freeze in daily packages. The dogs get about 3/4 of a cup each twice a day. So I freeze in 3 cup amounts and thaw a bag at night before I go to bed.

Tiny note here: the dog food looks like chili. Matt now asks if he’s allowed to eat something ­čÖé

In the last few months, we have not had any digestive issues with either dog. George has stopped eating poop (there are not words, people, no words) and Vito’s wrinkles are doing great. George’s skin suddenly flared up, but I take blame for that since I had experimented with adding rice into their diet. So, rice is definitely off the menu now!

The Pug

Hi. ┬áI’m Vito. ┬áI answer to Vito, Snoob, Deedo, Snuggly Puggly and Baron Puglet Von Snugglet. ┬áI was the dream dog of my Daddy and was born March 8th, 2006. ┬áWhen my brothers and sisters and I were 6 weeks old, we were listed in the newspaper classified ads. ┬áIt was love at first sight because I’m crazy and happy and wiggly. ┬áI got picked because I had an umbilical hernia and it reminded Daddy of Chandler (on Friends) and it was then named my┬ámagic┬ánubbins.

My vet calls me “The Tank”… apparently, I eat too much “people” food. ┬áFood is food, right? And that is how the blog came to be named after me. ┬áI’m not the only dog in the house, but I’m far more interested in the food. ┬áNunzio waits to come into the kitchen until the meal is served and then being cleaned up. ┬áI shadow my mama until something drops and then… I pounce. ┬áWell… I do whatever you call a pug scrambling for food anyway. ┬áPretty much the only thing I won’t eat is lettuce.

I came to this family a month after my parents got married. ┬áI sat with my head on Mama’s lap while she mourned the death of her mother. ┬áI went on all kinds of fabulous trips and adventures the first few years I lived with Mama and Daddy. ┬áWhen Mama was pregnant with Liam, I laid on the floor in the bathroom for months while she threw up. ┬áThe sound of someone throwing up still upsets me. ┬áWhen Liam was born, I was right there. ┬áI was there when Mama’s water broke when she was in labor with Sylvi. ┬áIt is I who sounds the alarm any time a stray leaf moves in the yard and threatens my family’s safety. ┬áI am responsible for the after meal clean up of Sylvi now… no matter how much Mama protests my attempts to climb into her booster seat… I know she needs my help.

So yeah… I’m pretty much awesome. ┬áI don’t like long walks, they make me too huffy. ┬áSometimes, I dig in the sandbox, but it gets in my paws, so I try to remember not to do that too much. ┬áI like to sniff around in the garden, but always get caught right before sampling the carrot tops. ┬áI can’t sleep at night unless I’m snuggled up next to Mama. ┬áI love to hang my snout over the edge of the bathroom trashcan and scope for goodies. ┬áI have super soft ears and love having them scratched! ┬áMy favorite thing to do with the kids is to chase them and try to snatch their snacks from their hands… and we all have so much fun running like a bunch of crazies!