Not me, the Boston Terrier.
Not My Dog
The Boston Terrier is a dog that was chosen by one of the two older children. My child chose this dog because it was "cute". That, and because they thought they would be given $600 every time somebody wanted to breed Boston Terriers. No surprise to Mrs ERJ or me, the breeding fees never showed up.
When that child left home, their dog stayed. This is a fact-of-life for parents. Kids move on. Dogs don't.
Diversity complicates management
Different sizes of dogs have different needs. German Shepherds like being outside even when it is -10F. German Shepherds like playing in the snow. German Shepherds are happy when they can run for miles.
Boston Terriers are much smaller. Our's weighs about 15 pounds vs. 75 pounds for the GSDs. Boston Terriers have short, flat coats compared to the German Shepherd's deep, lofty fur.
Boston Terriers do not like cold. They do not like snow. They don't like drinking cold water on cold days.
Another difference between BIG dogs and little dogs is dietary. Little dogs need more calories per pound especially in cold weather because they shiver more. They are also vulnerable to excess calcium in their food. Small urinary tract passages are easier to plug. Higher rates of H2O transpiration and lower water intake in cold weather cause lower urine volume and result in more solids precipitating out of their urine. Not good.
We decided it was time to get a dog food that will be specifically for the Boston Terrier. No more big-bag food for that little boy.
|We purchased a bag of Hills Science Diet Small/Toy Breed Adult dog food. The bag lists the calcium content as Min...0.65%. The internet says 0.96% That is a very large difference.|
The foods formulated for small or toy breeds have a higher fat content. Higher calories means less food per day which means less calcium.
Water is the magic ingredient
One source on the internet suggests that feeding the food moist helps small dogs get more water into their systems.
In miniature Schnauzers, increasing dietary moisture content increased total moisture intake, and reduced urine specific gravity, urinary oxalate concentration, and calcium oxalate RSS (Stevenson et al. 2003b). In contrast, there was no effect on the urinary concentration of Labradors (Stevenson et al. 2003b), indicating they may regulate water balance more effectively. These data show that small breeds that tend to be at greater risk of calcium oxalate formation may benefit from increased dietary moisture in order to help maintain urinary tract health or manage calcium oxalate urolithasis. -Source
The same source also suggested that adding common table salt, sodium chloride, to the dog's diet also stimulates water intake. The plan is to moisten the Boston Terrier's food with chicken bouillon and kill two birds with one stone.
The other little tweak is to give the little pooch distilled water. Our water is hard and the primary cation is Ca++. I know that it does not add very much calcium in the overall scheme of things, but distilled water is cheap and we will go back to "regular" when the weather warms up.