“My dog eats better than me.”

The woman laughingly made that comment to me the other day. I had Bernie and Chris on a leash as we walked around the neighborhood. It was the middle of a beautiful fall November day.

I don’t usually take the dogs for a walk in our neighborhood. The sun was out; the blue sky streaked white like a paintbrush smeared clean.

I was doing double-duty. Not only was I enjoying the super afternoon, but I was also training Bernie and Chris to walk on a leash. Walking on a leash is supposed to be the normal pace for a dog. I see other dog owners confidently stroll along with no problem at all.

When I have Chris on a leash, I don’t have any problem. He’s a pleasure to walk. Bernie is my problem. He always pulls me. I’ve had him for almost five years, and despite my efforts, his DNA urges him to be a champion sled dog leader.

It doesn’t help I have both Bernie and Chris off leash more than ninety-five percent of the time. I exercise them twice a day. Off-leash they run and play in vacant fields.

We signed up for the Jingle Bell race/walk on December 15th. It’s a community event, and we participated in such walks last year. For me, these walks were a disaster. I’ve written about the walks in my book Challenges and Rewards. Bernie pulled me through those events. Although he pulled less the second time around, I need him to walk without pulling.

While walking, we spotted some folks approaching us. Naturally, they stopped, and we chatted. As they were petting Bernie and Chris, the woman commented how her dog ate better than her.

I often get asked what I feed my dogs. I tell them the same thing. My dogs eat better than me.

It’s true.

I have a responsibility to care for my dogs. I make sure they get their vitamins and other supplements. I carefully select nutritious ingredients in the dog food I buy and prepare.

I don’t always take the same care for what I stuff in my mouth. Spooning in delicious ice cream or enjoying a huge bowl of chips dipped in salsa while watching a movie isn’t exactly healthy.

On the other hand, here is what Bernie and Chris get.

food bowls450

Yuck! That doesn’t look very appetizing.

Here is what that messy stuff contains;

dog supplement467 Veggies400

I’ve used Dr. Jone’s Ultimate Canine Health Formula for years. It’s a powder and chock full of everything in a dehydrated formula.

The can under Dr. Jones’s container is Lamb and Rice from Kirkland (Costco). The Kirkland kibble is also from Costco.

Now, here is where I become the ‘belt and suspenders’ kind of guy. Either device will hold up my pants. But, when it comes to Bernie and Chris, I double-down. I use a select variety of Springtime supplements for dogs.

Fresh Factors chewable tablets contain a broad-spectrum nutrition with chondroitin sulfate, bee pollen, yeast culture, kelp, biotin, and tasty beef liver for life-long health.

Joint Health chewable tablets have all-natural anti-inflammatory & joint lubricant for dogs that are safe and effective.

Skin & Coat Oil for Dogs and Cats have a blend of seven of the most antioxidant and nutrient-dense oils available to produce a soft, brilliant, weatherproof coat and healthy, itch-free skin.

Vitamin E is essential for functional and structural maintenance of cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscle. Vitamin E is also helpful in the formation of red blood cells and assists in maintaining stores of vitamin A, K, selenium, and iron.

Bee Pollen for Dogs (I labeled it HONEY) is a super-food that contains protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and live enzymes for optimal health and vitality.

Bug Off Garlic for Dogs is nature’s insect repellent from fleas, ticks, and other biting insects.

The red peppers and baby carrots are fresh. The cut green beans are canned. I grind everything up for Bernie and Chris.

In a saucepan, I heat brown rice and oatmeal in water. Then I add the kibble.

Finally, everything goes into elevated bowls. The bowls are placed on platforms, instead of the floor. Bernie and Chris are large dogs, and studies indicate that having to eat food directly from the ground or floor can potentially cause digestion problems.

Not to make a huge issue of it… animals have been surviving by eating off the ground for eons. However, humans usually eat by lifting food to their mouth and let gravity assist swallowing. Have you ever tried eating food (and swallowing) while lying on the ground?

I only feed this complete meal in the morning. In the evening, the dogs get kibble. Of course, they frequently get treats.

My nutritional meals should be as balanced. <sigh>

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