I’ve always loved big dogs, but I fell in love with Snuffaluffagus the moment I saw him. His enormous mastiff-boxer mix head, huge pearly whites, giant paws and wiggly little docked tail stole my heart in an instant. He had been found as an emaciated stray, wandering around downtown Chicago all alone. Castaway Pet Rescue took him out of an overcrowded shelter, and gave him a lot of love over a month to put weight on him and get him ready for adoption. I’d been casually looking for the right dog to adopt for a while, but wasn’t expecting to fall in love with a behemoth. It turns out, adopting a huge dog will definitely change your life.
I found his profile on Petfinder, and immediately contacted the rescue to set up a time to meet him. After seeing him in person, I knew he had to be part of my family. I was a professional dog groomer for years, so I have a lot of experience working with giant dogs. I thought I knew what to expect. I was totally aware that having a giant dog would mean buying lots of dog food, and that I’d have to really take time to train him well because he could do a lot of damage if he decided to be naughty or destructive, etc. Still, there have been a lot of things I didn’t really realize would come with having a mammoth pup. So, I’m here to share with you some tips and tricks to think about if you’re considering taking the plunge into giant breed waters.
No, Really, Giant Dogs Eat A Lot Of Food
I tend to be almost overly-cautious about the sort of food, treats, and toys I give my dogs because I’ve heard so many horror stories as a groomer about dogs being poisoned by bad batches of food, or getting blockages from cheap rawhide treats. I feed my pups USA-made Canidae dog food. Snuffaluffagus has grain and chicken allergies, so he has to be on the grain-free, limited ingredient (read: more expensive) variety.
When I adopted him, I knew he’d eat a lot. At 130 pounds, he’s a big boy. Still, I didn’t really realize just how much dog food I’d be going through. He eats seven cups of dog food per day, and I go through roughly two 24-pound bags of Canidae per month. I signed up for automatic deliveries from Chewy to save a little cash per order, but I still spend about $120 on just his basic food needs per month.
So, What Happens If A Behemoth Pupper Hates Kennels?
When I adopted Snuffy, I knew that most giant breeds drool, and I’m not very easily grossed out, but I was totally unprepared for the sheer amount of slobber I’d have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. I literally have to take a wet Swiffer mop to my walls and ceilings every day. Everything he brushes his head against gets slimed, from my bed sheets to all the furniture to clothing.
I love him to pieces, but sometimes I feel like I live with a giant snail who leaves slime trails wherever he goes. When I go out, I have to change my clothing right before leaving to make sure I’m not full of slobber. He’s also very sloppy when he drinks, and he likes to shake off right afterward, so the ceiling above his water bowl is basically constantly full of slobber, no matter how often I clean it.
Pro tip: When company comes over, I tuck a dish towel into his collar, so I can wipe his mouth off periodically to prevent everyone from getting drenched in slobber. It may be a bit of a hassle, but he’s so worth it. Every time I get a little annoyed by the slime ball, all he has to do is look at me with his huge, sweet eyes and I’m instantly over it. I love his big, squishy mastiff face: slobber and all.
Be Prepared To Drop A Lot Of Cash And Think Outside The Box
Adopting Snuffaluffagus came with a few unexpected problems that needed creative solutions, but it was so worth it. He’s the sweetest, biggest baby. He’s so loving and goofy, and he fits right into my little family. His lumbering, clumsy ways are endearing and he has the most charming smile I’ve ever seen.
If you’re considering getting a giant pupper, all I can say is: go for it! Just make sure you’re financially prepared to deal with the costs of owning a mammoth, be willing to come up with creative solutions to unique problems, and don’t be afraid of a little (a lot) of slobber. My new dog motto is the bigger, the better. I’m a giant breed dog-mom for life, and I bet you’ll be hooked on them, too.
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