When Mavis and Lola are Away

Jimmy and Allie will play! Or just sleep in πŸ™‚

My parents’ gave Jimmy and I a weekend off of our pups last weekend and it was so lovely! Sometimes we just need a break, you know? I find I’m a better fur mom after I’ve had some time away from our girls every now and then.

Plus, I know they had fun at their fur grandparents’ house!

Yellow lab and cocker spaniel cuddling together on couch

Mavis cuddling on the couch with my Reggie (my parents’ lab) and my Dad.

When my dad dropped the girls off on Monday morning he sheepishly said “Yeah… we spoiled them…” and left it at that, haha. Jimmy and I are fine with them being spoiled there, since they know the Zottola house rules when they come back home!

Jimmy and I were able to have a relaxed weekend. I had a pet sitting job for a family on vacation, Jimmy worked on our bed, and we watched the Olympics. I was even able to deep clean our kitchen. Let’s just say the dirty mop water from our kitchen was dark… really dark.

Here’s the progress on our bed. I think we just need to add the wood in now?!

Industrial steel bed frame

We’re really getting close to finishing! And by “we’re,” I totally mean Jimmy. I just cheer him on and keep his belly full of apple pie and rice pudding. When it comes to picking out, painting, or staining wood, I’ll be of more help!

Here’s us watching the Olympics on the couch with Malcolm snuggled in between us! I was totally ordering house supplies (toilet paper and peanut butter… the necessities of life) from Jet on my phone when Jimmy took this picture, haha.

Couple cuddling on the couch with cat in black and white

Remember how I mentioned that we bought a new quilt in my last post? I put it on our bed and we’re loving it! I think this will be a lot easier to clean than theΒ white duvet cover we previously had.

The picture quality isn’t great since I snapped it with my phone, but I’ll do a more detailed post when I get out my DSLR and take some better pictures πŸ™‚

Gray and blue master bedroom with bench and turquoise and grey throw pillows and hummingbird watercolor prints

See that bench? Malcolm has completely shredded it since we got it. I spent about 20 minutes cutting little pieces of loose threads off the sides of the bench earlier this week.

We made a new rule: no more pets in the bedroom. We’ll see how it goes. We’ve been able to stay strong for two nights and the pets haven’t protested too much, thankfully!

What did you do over the weekend?

Do you have any house rules with pets?


Our Favorite Dog Food and Feeding Resources

I’m continuing my series on dog and cat products that we personally use and love, and today I’ll be discussing our favorite dog food and feeding resources.

If you talk to people about dog food, you’re likely to get some strong opinions. Mavis’ trainer feeds her dogs a raw meat only diet, our neighbor makes and sells homemade dog food, and of course there are options like dry kibble and wet food.

The best advice that I can give in terms of dog food (because we’ve tried them all, aside from raw meat) is to find what works for you and your dog. We do a combo of homemade food and dry kibble and it works great for us in terms of health for the girls, pricing, and the time it takes to prepare.

Below you’ll find our favorite dog food brands. Jimmy and I have worked hard at finding high quality food at an affordable price and these are our top picks!

The Best Dog and Puppy Food

1. Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice Formula
We started using Diamond Naturals in 2014 when we had two siberian husky puppies. Our breeder actually recommended this food and fed it to all of her dogs, regardless of their age. It is a great wallet-friendly and healthy option for dogs of all ages and life stages! A 40 pound bag of the chicken and rice formula costs around $37.

2. Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food
This is the kibble that we currently feed both Lola and Mavis, and they seem to really enjoy it. We feed them the salmon, sweet potato, and pumpkin recipe, and a 24 pound bag runs us about $32. I like the fact that it’s grain free and the first ingredient in the formula we use is salmon. Can’t beat that!

3. Taste of the Wild Wetlands Canine Formula
When we just had Lola, we fed her this food and she loved it. We usually gave her the wildfoul formula, but there are also other flavors such as bison and venison, lamb, salmon, and more. My brother also feeds his two golden retrievers this food and they are healthy as can be. Taste of the Wild is grain free, but is a little pricier than Diamond Naturals and Nature’s Recipe. A 30 pound bag costs around $48.

4. Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Puppy Food
When Mavis was younger, this was the kibble we fed her and we didn’t struggle with any tummy issues with this food. Just like its adult counterpart, it’s grain free, affordable, and the first ingredient in the chicken, sweet potato, and pumpkin recipe is chicken. A 12 pound bag costs around $20.

5. Nutro Max Canned Puppy Food
We fed Mavis this canned puppy food when she was teething and it really helped her with not having to chew dry, hard kibble while she was losing her puppy teeth. We bought a case of the lamb and rice flavor and would feed it to her in a KONG or just on its own and had a great experience with it. A 12 pack case costs around $17.

Dog Feeding Resources

Okay, onto feeding resources! I have some great books and websites to share.

1. Dog Food Advisor
If you’ve ever wanted to know the breakdown of your dog’s food in terms of protein, fat, and carbohydrate ratios and which ingredients are good or bad, this is the website to check out. It even gives each food a rating out of five stars. It also has a list of dog food recalls and a lot of informative articles.

2. American Kennel Club Resource Page
The AKC has a wonderful website with a resource page that has tons of articles on dog nutrition, training, health, and so much more. I’ve learned a lot on the AKC website over the years.

3. Dinner PAWsible
Dinner PAWsible is a cookbook filled with homemade meals for cats and dogs written by a veterinarian certified in food therapy. It has over fifty recipes and a lot of useful information on which nutrients are important to cats and dogs. I’ve owned this cookbook for a few months now and love referencing it when I’m making homemade food for our pets.

4. Chewy
Chewy is a website that sells dog and cat food, treats, and supplies. The prices are always amazing, and if you spend over $49, you get free 1-2 day shipping. Another great (and convenient!) way to save on Chewy is to set up an autoship of your dog’s food that is automatically shipped to you every 1-16 weeks (you can choose when and even delay or speed up the autoship). When you set up an autoship, you save 5%! I’m literally on Chewy at least a few times a week and highly recommend checking it out!

5. Feed Your Best Friend Better
Feed Your Best Friend Better is a dog cookbook written by Rick Woodford and contains recipes for meals and treats. I’ve owned this cookbook for almost a year now and I have used it so, so much. There are tons of delicious recipes that Jimmy and I have totally tried (yeah, you read that right!) and liked, along with information about determining portion sizes, healing common health problems, and so much more.

Along with all of the above resources, your veterinarian is one of your best resources for figuring out a balanced and healthy diet for your pet! It’s always a good idea to check with him or her about what you feed your dog πŸ™‚