Not a whippet - but too cute to resist! (Photo: Montana Dogware)
The Real House Whippets’ December Expenses:
- Food/Treats: $154
- Vet: $85
- Interceptor: $89
- Supplies: $ 6
Food: I try to keep the dog food around $2 per pound – the 3 whippets together eat about a pound a day – while keeping the ingredients as organic and healthy as possible. The best source I’ve found is National Pet Pharmacy. The NYC House Whippets love Castor & Pollux Organix – they’ll pretty much guzzle as much as we give them. They seem to do really well on that and on Natural Planet Organics, which has made their fur super silky. They also don’t smell at all. Could be the good nutrition, or could be a whippet thing. As the Narrow Dog author said, his whippet, Jim, smells like “buttered toast.”
Picchu (front), Biski and Sesame tackle Avalanche Mtn in Boyne City, MI.
Vet: For Sesame’s annual checkup. Fortunately he didn’t need any vaccinations and Dr. Brown said he seems super healthy. She mentioned he’d make a good model for anatomy class at vet school. Part-time job opportunity?
Interceptor: A six-month supply for Picchu, Biski and Sesame. We order from Drs. Foster and Smith, which has a good price and free shipping. I read once that it’s rude to your vet to get prescriptions elsewhere because that’s part of their livelihood. But with three well-cared-for dogs at Manhattan prices (several times we’ve paid an $85 office visit for a 5-minute consultation), I consider our vet duly compensated and don’t feel guilty saving money on prescriptions.
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Kids love to point to C-Biscuit and Machu Picchu and call out, “Look at the skinny dogs!” We can guess what the adults are thinking: Skinny bitches.
"Don't hate us because we're beautiful...and thin...and fast...and quite fashionable."
Realizing that canine obesity is a national problem, Biski & Picchu are thinking of doing a dog weight-loss book, which could even be part of the successful Skinny Bitch series. Their barking points would include:
- Exercise: Sure, some of being thin is genes. Biski and Picchu admit to being well-endowed there. But the other part is getting off your hindquarters and exercising!
How much exercise do dogs need? An hour of walking a day seems to be the minimum for good health & behavior. Biski and Picchu walk 3 to 5 miles a day, plus regular sprints at the soccer field, playdates, indoor romps, and hikes most weekends. Good for the body, good for the spirit. Dr. Oz and others recommend people walk 10,000 steps a day, or about 5 miles. Research also shows that exercising with a buddy keeps people motivated – so walking the dog is good practice on all fronts (and backsides).
Sleep: When not exercising or eating, the whippets are sleeping. Several human studies have shown that not sleeping enough correlates to weight gain. Maybe it’s time to lose the American glory badge of being sleep-deprived and overworked and start to treat sleep like the dogs do, as an essential part of any health and beauty regime. Biski & Picchu prefer the buddy system here, too.
Time to take snoozy time seriously
- Eat Well: As a child, my sister had a t-shirt that read, “If you love me, don’t feed me junk.” Learn to read labels, both theirs and ours. In dog food and treats, avoid meat by-products, chemical preservatives, sugars, corn and soy. If you don’t understand the ingredient list, research it or avoid the product. To maintain a healthy weight for your pooch, feed high-quality food twice a day, and follow this advice from trainer Victoria Stilwell in her book, It’s Me or the Dog:
It’s a question of monitoring your dog. If he’s getting plenty of exercise but is still gaining weight, you’re feeding him too much. If he’s regularly leaving a lot in his bowl after 20 minutes are up, you’re offering him too much. If he’s lethargic and losing weight, or if he’s ravenous at every meal, he may need a calorie boost. A dog is the right weight when you can feel his ribs clearly but can’t see them.
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