I’ve had so much love and support over the last couple months of having Miss Babette that I wanted to do a little post on how she’s doing and what life with her has been like!
Many of you know she had some medical things come up for her so it was a bit of a bumpy ride at the beginning. Between her surgery and getting her potty trained, it was a lot more than Michael and I had bargained for, but being the cutie that she is, it was impossible not to love this precious girl. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have days where I wondered if this was a mistake during our first month as a family, so if you’re in the first few weeks with a new pet, give it a month. Things settled down immensely for us.
2 months into having her, our life together has really transformed and changed into a much more normal routine. Now that she is happy, healthy, and much better behaved, she is much easier to manage. She’s a very independent little creature which we love because she doesn’t mind playing with herself. The downside to her independence, however, is that I am needy and am trying to teacher her to snuggle more 🙂 It has been quite an interesting ride (and frankly, a good introductory to parenthood), but let me tell you, I have no idea what I did before miss Babette came along!
I have had countless questions about what I feed her since most of you know how strongly I believe in the power of food as medicine and preventative healthcare. If you’re new around here, I’m kind of a “crunchy” dog mother and wife obsessed with good, quality ingredients in food. Welcome to my weirdness. But back to her diet, it’s been a journey with her food to say the least and has not worked out AT ALL as I had planned. Many of you know that my intentions were to make Babs homemade dog food (yes, I’m that person). After speaking to a few different vets, however, they made it clear that the felt puppers should be eating dog food specifically formulated for puppies to ensure that they are receiving the proper vitamins and nutrients as they are growing. As Babbers gets older, we will likely transition her to homemade food. I’ll keep everyone posted on that and will include puppy recipes here!
We started Babs out with Taste Of The Wild Venison Grain Free Puppy Formula. I really, really like the ingredients in this dog food, however, when she was post op, we couldn’t get her to eat anything at all. Her diet turned into mostly cold cut turkey and shredded chicken because that was all we could get her to gobble up. Our vet said to give her anything she would eat so we did! Following that, we transitioned her to a canned dogfood and let me tell you, she looooves the Weruva canned dogfood. Her favorite is the Steak Frites (lolol), so she ate that for a while. Michael says “she has expensive taste like her mother”……oops. Following the canned dogfood, we finally transitioned her into her Taste of the Wild food mixed with chicken broth, but a month into eating it, we felt her digestive system didn’t have enough binding properties on a grain free diet since she was having some tummy trouble. So then, we transitioned her into a mix of Taste of the wild with Earthborn Holistic Puppy Formula dry dog food. She currently is eating only the Earthborn Holistic food. I really wanted her on a grain free diet, but it just didn’t seem to be a good match for her little body. Just like humans, I’m finding that every dog is different and it is important to pay attention to the way that we and our pets process food to see what is and isn’t best for each of our bodies.
I mentioned a little ways back that I planned to use some essential oils with Babbers. I think essential oils tend to be a bit of a controversial topic when it comes to dogs, but we have seen really good results from using lavender essential oil and coconut oil on her paws. I mix one tablespoon coconut oil with 1-2 drops of lavender oil with my fingers and massage the tiniest little bit into her paws. I use the rest as a hand, knee, and shin moisturizer for myself 🙂 . When Babs wasn’t feeling well and experiencing pain from her surgery she seemed to calm down and fall asleep when her lavender rubs and I still do this for her before bed.
Speaking of bed, we have been lucky when it comes to her sleep. She sleeps through the night most nights with the exception of a middle of the night bathroom wake-up call here and there when she is desperately needing to go outside! I attribute her good sleeps to a toy that was recommended by one of Michael’s coworkers to help crate train puppies in the first weeks they are away from their mothers. This stuffed dog actually has a heartbeat and heating pad (we never used this) which is designed to mimic the feeling of another little body in their bed with them. From the first night we had her, she had no trouble going right to sleep with what we call her “heartbeat bear”.
One of the first questions people ask us, is “does she sleep in your bed?”. Sadly, no. We wanted to crate train her from the beginning so that she learned to feel safe in there when we weren’t at home. She does a really good job in there and doesn’t seem too mad about her little bed! We did recently try letting her sleep in our bed, but she was a little too excited and walked around on our feet periodically, made her way to up our pillows, and started licking our hands hahaha. Getting good sleep is really important in the D’Onofrio household, so for now, the three of us all sleep much better when Babette has her own bed.
Every time we have a guest over they make jokes about how Babette’s bed is nicer than theirs! It might be true hahaha. I hunted around for a long time for her dog bed and ended up with this one on amazon. At first, I was skeptical because it’s a little pricey, but it has ended up far exceeding my expectations in regards to practicality, comfort, and cleaning. If you have a puppy, this bed is amazing. It fits perfectly in her crate and the cover is waterproof so we can pop it in the wash if she has an accident which was very, very frequent in our first month of having her. I laid on it myself (I know, I’m the weirdest) and it is very thick, supportive, and comfy.
I’ll be back with more puppy updates in the future. Let me know if you have any questions you want me to answer about raising our Shiba Inu, Babette for the next post!
PS: Photo dump below of our little one in a chronological order. She is so big now!