Picky, picky

jackscatwould-eatnotrout.jpg
Jack’s Cat Would Eat No Trout
His Dog Would Eat No Spam
by Rebecca Stringer Korpita

Alma brings up the issue of picky eating habits: “I just ordered some Ground tripe and liver treats from absolute K-9.  Roadie is getting picky again.  He will eat if I am  sitting there.  He eats a little and goes back off and on  to eat.”

Alma, please describe how you prepare Roadie’s meal, as well as the exact contents and his mealtime ritual. Do you feed him once or twice a day? How often, how many and under what circumstances does he get treats.? Knowing the answers may help me give you more specific advice.

Each dog is an individual, but in my experience picky eaters are usually created by concerned dog owners. A dog isn’t going to starve itself or go hungry, unless it is very sick. My feeding routine is used to monitor each dog’s daily well-being and doesn’t allow picky eaters. I feed a mixture of kibble, raw meat and ‘dog grog’, as Ginny calls it. Dog grog consists of leftovers, fresh vegetables, maybe a seasoning or three. Each morning I put a soup kettle on the stove – go Deb go; see Debby cook. 🙂 I start by putting in enough water to adequately moisten the kibble, adding the other available ingredients and heating up the concoction. The dog grog that’s cooking right now contains fresh carrots, fresh potatoes, a turkey carcass, leftover rice and pepper. I will toss that into the kibble, add raw meat and mix thoroughly. I wait a few minutes before feeding, allowing the kibble to soak up the dog grog. Each dog is presented with a bowl of food. Any food not eaten is picked up in five minutes. That is the key, so let me repeat…any food not eaten in five minutes is picked up. I say nothing to the dog. There are no second chances. The dog waits until the next morning when, once again, breakfast is served. No big to-do, no pleading, no comment. The food simply goes away.   

On occasion, I have a dog that doesn’t dive in and gobble my tasty preparation. (One reason I like to cook for dogs is they all think I’m a GREAT cook! I can fool the dogs every time with my finesse in the kitchen!) I make a mental note and if the dog doesn’t eat the following morning, I know something is wrong. In my situation, the feeding ritual is extremely important for monitoring each dog’s health.

Puppies, of course, are feed more than once a day. Thateus and Wyatt (Sadie’s puppies) eat breakfast along with every one else. Up until last week, they ate a second meal in the late afternoon. Now, kibble is available to them throughout the day and taken away in the late afternoon.

The keys to overcoming an picky eater, I think, are to offer the food for five minutes and make sure the food is interesting. Dry kibble just doesn’t cut it!

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4 Comments on “Picky, picky”

  1. Alma says:

    Hello Debby, I usually eat around 9:00 a.m. I feed Roadie at the same time a mixture of Kibble and Blue can food, about a cup. I don’t add any water, I put a little of Olive Oil on the food.
    What he leaves i take up and put in the frig until about 5 or 6 and I put it down again. About ll p.m he barks to go out and he will drink water and go to bed with no further ado.

    I have spoiled him by giving him something of what I am eating while at the table like in the cartoon.
    so he sits and looks at me and sometimes he will bark.

    I tried wetting the Kibble like you suggested and adding the can dog food and some gravy from some left over turkey gravy. He eats what he wants and then he pushes his bowl in the corner and covers it up. I take it up then. I have a lot of can vegetables in my cabinet, maybe I will try that when the ground tripe comes.

    How much should I be giving him portion wise in the morning? His hair is getting long and he looks pretty big . I don’t want him to get too heavy.

    The cartoon reminds me of Roadie and me at times. I give him treats when he comes in from outside . He likes the Pedigree marrow bones the little round ones which is like a biscuit with the marrow inside.

    Did you watch the Dog Show?

    Warmly,

    Alma

  2. Debby says:

    Hi Alma,

    By dog show, you mean the big one in Philadelphia, right? I didn’t see it. Did you?

    The way you’re handling Roadie’s meals sounds fine. Continue to pick up the bowl just as soon as he’s done eating. I guestimate about 3/4 cup would be adequate for him. Today, in a magazine I’m reading, I found an article that address how to tell if your dog’s in proper weight. I’ll get it moved to the website soon.

  3. Alma Meredith says:

    Thank Debby for the info. No I did not go to the Dog show, they had only 3 Lhasa’s listed. I saw it on TV thanksgiving day after the parade. I just finish reading the extensive articals about giving Rabie shots or boosters. I know Roadie is good for 3 years according to what you sent me.

    I don’t think he will get a booster???. He is doing fine, sometimes he seems to get choked or have a hacking dry cough like his throat is dry or something in his throat, but okay after that..

    He is so attached to me every move I make he makes. Even if I move in the bed and he is asleep he will lift his head to see what is the matter.
    I am beginning to call him my hearing aid or a dog for the diabled. He knows the mailman, the UPS, or just if some one puts a flyer in the door. he will run down the steps fast and look back to see if I am coming. He goes up the steps slowly though, ( remember when he couldn’t go up or down the steps at all (smile)

    Well this is it for now, I have been in your website and hour.

    Have a happy day.

    Alma


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