This stuff…

…would break my budget if it weren’t for Big Brother.


I have always been open to the possibility that, however blessed I’ve been since moving to the Gulch, I am cursed in one respect: I seem doomed never to have a dog that lives to be 10 years old.

In Little Bear’s case there was some speculation that poor diet could possibly have contributed to his lack of longevity – I don’t know, personally I think it was mostly the well water but poor health rarely only has one cause – and so when I got Tobie in May ’21 I decided to give more thought to diet. I was strictly thinking empirically, since I don’t know anything about canine dietary requirements, but D&L raised two dogs from puppyhood to old age on a diet of Taste of the Wild so it couldn’t have been actively toxic, right? So before leaving town that afternoon I stopped at the big pet store and bought a sack of this stuff – and the price at the counter floored me, it left me stone broke. No way this was sustainable, especially (looking over my shoulder at where somebody’s napping on the cool floor) considering how big Tobie was projected to and actually did get. He’s not “look at that mutant dog” big like Little Bear, not even full-size German Shepherd big, but he’s still pretty big and he has a proportional appetite. This was going to be a more expensive project than I could afford.

Happily, as in so many things, Big Brother bailed me out. Every six weeks like clockwork, a big box containing a sack of Taste of the Wild appears at the post office. That almost completely covers Tobie’s food budget, not counting eggs and treats which don’t cost a lot. “Almost” means that every now and then, say once or at most twice a year, I have to get one of these at the feed store in town to maintain that “at least one spare sack” cushion that my neurotic food hoarding instinct demands. 🙂

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to This stuff…

  1. Don says:

    Can’t have enough hound food. Ever.

    According to my guy, there is no such thing as “enough” food let alone “too much”

  2. Joel says:

    Actually I found out to my cost that you really can store too much kibble, since it molds very easily.

    But yeah – as far as the dog’s concerned there’s no such thing as too much.

  3. czechsix says:

    Not a bad kibble, as kibbles go. One thing I would really recommend though – vary the kibbles. I’m solidly in the belief that varying the diet a bit helps, rather than hinders. As far as impurities, crap in the food, etc? Well, the large majority of dog kibble is produced by only a few mills. I’m never surprised when contamination occurs. At the least by varying the diet, you somewhat lessen the chance of getting a killing dose. YMMV.

  4. jabrwok says:

    How feasible would local game be as an addition to Tobie’s (and maybe your?) menu? You have to practice shooting anyway, so are there enough jackrabbits, rattlers, and other edible vermin to make a harvest worthwhile? You’d have to do all the bleeding, skinning, and dismantling yourself of course, and that might not be worth the effort.

  5. Joel says:

    jabrwok: I never found it worth the effort. I rarely see rattlesnakes, jackrabbits taste like shit and despite their pudgy appearance cottontails have so little meat on their bones they’re only good for stew and even then they’re tasteless. Mulies and elk come and go from the Gulch unpredictably – I’d be in a terrible place if I had to depend on them for meat.

    Fortunately we now have two sets of neighbors who enthusiastically raise goats, and I’m on good terms with them, so I don’t worry about meat as much as I used to.

  6. Spud says:

    We’ve always had our dogs live to around fifteen. Feeding them whatever kibble they seem to prefer. Supplementing with table scraps , so long as it is fit for doggy to eat.
    Heavier on the vegetables than meat.

  7. jim says:

    Remember…before 1950~or so No. One. bought ‘dog food’…they ate the scraps we ate…

    We switched to that Taste of the Wild after one died of liver/spleen cancer after years of Beneful (@12&1/2)..next dogs did well – but the vet recommended switching to a Purina Pro version after the TotW and Blu versions showed some kind of bad effects – heart murmers etc – no definitive changes but we haven’t had the same cancer diagnosis on any since…

  8. Joel says:

    Remember…before 1950~or so No. One. bought ‘dog food’…they ate the scraps we ate…

    erm…I tried that with Torso Boy, and that’s when I was acquainted with the word “Pancreatitis.”

    With a bigger dog it’s probably true but I don’t produce enough scraps to feed a big dog. And I’m now leery of feeding him exclusively on what I eat. Is a puzzlement.

  9. jim says:

    …heh…never meant it was for every dog…every time…every now……

    It’s one of those ‘modern problems’ I guess…? We have a chance to feed those kids more/better than the previous gens…?

    Our expectations have changed – whether for better food or genetics…never sure… but for the last 30+ years I have tried to re-assure rescues that we can keep them going and we have worked with our vets on trying to use the best commercial stuff there is

To the stake with the heretic!