Today’s program was unusual in a few ways, not least that I interviewed more guests than usual—and that those guests consisted of family (Karen Allanson, my wife’s cousin) and friends (Kathryn & Kevin Szalasny, whose son and our son were best friends growing up). These three were brimming with self-taught expertise about the topic at hand: Making homemade dog food. The conversation commenced with Kevin, Kathryn, and Karen recounting what sorts of commercial dog food they were feeding their pooches before embarking on the path that ultimately led the three (and the non-interviewed fourth, Karen’s husband, Pete) to start making their own canine chow. They received different signals as they traveled this road—Karen recalled Jake (their golden retriever) itching and scratching, while Kathryn observed that Paco, one of their two Mexican Hairless dogs (the other is Pippin), seemed to be indifferent to food, was more of a grazer, and she often heard his stomach gurgling. But, our guests explained, these different red flags prompted a similar measure: testing for allergies–yielding significant results, including that Paco is allergic to, among other items, grains, rice and fish. Jake was deemed allergic to the widely-encompassing “meal,” as determined by 5Strands, a company Karen found that specializes in this kind of testing. What came next for everyone included researching dogfood and canine nutrition, with the Szalasnys conducting a deep and wide examination online, while Karen reports finding stellar guidance from two books, “Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs” by Rick Woodford, and “Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs: Maximizing Health with Whole Foods, Not Drugs” by Dr. Judy Morgan. The upshot of these investigations is the Szalasnys and the Allansons (Karen additionally consulted with a canine nutritionist) began to make their own dog food, describing their processes and recipes in some detail. There are strong parallels in both approaches, though owing chiefly to their penchant for traveling, the Szalasnys sometimes make batches of dog food as large as 100 pounds. The trio describes the differences they’ve noticed that the homemade food has cultivated in the health and well-being of their dogs, including that Jake’s itching and scratching has disappeared, and his energy has increased, while Paco now eats with gusto, thrilled at meal time, plus he’s showing improved skin condition, mobility, and more.
ALSO: I spoke briefly Dr. Sandhu, the veterinarian-owner of Companion Pet Hospital, in Thonotosassa, which was slated on Saturday, Sept. 16, to be offering a special low-cost pet shot clinic, at 1pm. Dr. Sandhu provided a brief overview of the practice he operates at Companion Pet Hospital, and the impetus for offering these low-cost pet shot clinics, He noted the clinics do not require an appointment, and don’t involve an exam fee, nor an office call charge. These clinics also provide the opportunity to get a heartworm tests—and get the results during that visit. (https://companionpethospital.org, https://www.facebook.com/PetHospitalCompanion/, https://www.instagram.com/cph11499)
COMEDY CORNER: Kevin Nealon’s “Salmon” (https://kevinnealon.com/)
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)”
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