Teething!!! Aw the Joy!!!

Dexter is four and a half month and the teething phase is up on us. His permanent teeth are coming in and all the “fun” aspects of teething are right behind them.

Blizzard chilling #canecorso #canecorsopuppy #blizzard #chillin'

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Adult dogs have 42 teeth. Puppies have small and very sharp teeth. Around 4-5 months of age, the new permanent teeth start to come through. As the new teeth come out, they push the baby teeth out of the way.

During the teething phase the expected things are just the tip of the iceberg. Most people expect the puppy to chew on things more and be a bit more mouthy.

However, it often comes as a surprise to dog owners when they are confronted with other effects of teething.

Here is a list of common issues one can observe during the teething period:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Lethargy
  4. Hyper-activity … and that’s from a puppy. So that can be ton’s of “fun”
  5. Nervousness
  6. Unusual and out of character behavior
  7. Biting the owner and others around them.
  8. Blood on the toys

Dexter has demonstrated almost all of the above in a span of few days. He still has his baby fangs and not all molars have come through.

Thankfully, the teething period is not that long (few months at most). Once they are done, you do not have to suffer from those needle sharp teeth any more.

So if your puppy is about 4 months of age and is acting weird or not feeling well, take a quick look in their mouth and you will probably see some changes. Do not despair or panic. Get them some chew toys and bones. Be patient and it will pass by very soon!

Raw food vs Dry food Costs

I am seriously considering going with raw food option for Dexter.

Here is him trying it for the first time… To say the least, it was a success

It has been 3 days and we are doing kibble (Taste of the Wild Salmon) in the morning and raw Bravo Turkey Blend in the evening as a transition process. I do see qualities of raw food that many people speak of. Dexter’s stool is more solid and he is drinking less water after he eats raw. There hasn’t been enough time yet to make a better evaluation, but so far there has been no negative side effects.

However, an important aspect of going with raw (pre-manufactured, not home-made) option is the cost. Especially for a large breed it could be substantial even with kibble, but raw comes out even more.

Here is a breakdown of costs kibble vs raw:

Taste of the Wild Salmon 30 Lb = 120 cups $40.79 s/h http://amzn.com/B0018CIP6K

According to the manufacturer, Dexter requires at the age of 6-12 weeks about 2 and 1/2 cups a day. As an adult at the weight of 110 lb, he will require about 5 cup per day.

Thus, simple math shows that a 30 lb bag would last me about 48 days now and about 24 days when he is an adult. The cost of feeding is about $1 a day now and about $1.70 later.

Bravo Original Formula Turkey Blend  from PetFoodDirect.com 2lb Chub $6.01 s/h

According to the manufacturer, Dexter requires at this age about 0.56 lb a day. As an adult, at the weight of 110 lb, he will require about 2.5 lb per day average.

Thus, same period as a bag of food would last me, raw food for Dexter would cost me about $80 ($1.66 per day) and about $180 (about $7.50 per day) when he is fully grown

So the cost of raw food is about double the price for the puppy (or small dog) and almost 4.5 times more for an adult large breed (Cane Corso) dog.

48 days of food for puppy

Dry high end kibble food – $40.79 (aprox. $1/day)

Bravo Raw – $80 (aprox. $1.66/day)

24 days of food for adult

Dry high end kibble food – $40.79 (aprox. $1.70/day)

Bravo Raw – $180 (aprox. $7.50/day)

Obviously, it is a lot more expensive to feed raw, especially for an adult large mastiff breed. If raw food delivers all the health benefits claimed by pro raw food community, then the argument is easily won for the favor of raw diet. The vet bills to deal with skin, coat, allergy and digestive issues can be very high. Many dogs with food allergies end up on special vet diets, which can be nearly as expensive as raw.

Aside the costs, dogs health and well-being is a major concern and if raw will prevent all of the above mentioned health issues then, again, the pro-raw argument is easily no-brainer.

I am not arguing here one way or the other. There are great quality kibble foods out there (nearly 100% grain free; grain is usually one of the main concerns in kibble food). I think a conclusive ruling on raw vs kibble is still out there. I am leaning towards raw.

Raw also presents a storage issue as it requires fridge space which can be difficult if you live in an apartment (like I do) and do not have space for extra fridge.  I will have to buy a mini-fridge to store food for Dexter.

Here is an article from WebMD discussing raw diet for dogs.

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/raw-dog-food-dietary-concerns-benefits-and-risks

I would love to hear back from people about their raw vs kibble experiences and opinions.