Picky, pickyPosted: November 23, 2007
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!