So first off, I'll make my disclaimers. I do not cook his meals for him, nor do I do the raw diet. I know that several people who sometimes read my blog do - and I really admire your dedication and effort. I... would probably implode if I added one more chore to my "to-do" list these days. I don't even cook for myself or my husband many days. I do my best for Argos, and get him nutritionally balanced kibble, without corn or wheat or any of that annoying filler stuff.
When Argos doesn't want to eat something..he just doesn't. I know that the common wisdom is to not give them anything else, ever, until they eat what is given to them. I started out intending to do this... but I kid you not, he will skip meal after meal after meal. He is a very stubborn dog. I know that this must have worked at least once - he was starting to get finicky last May, right before we left town last May for a long weekend at my parents' and left him at a pet resort. I worried about him that entire weekend, but when we got him back, his food issues were gone. He practically inhaled his food through the nose every meal for about a month after returning to us.
But going back in time a bit, his first month with us, he had diarrhea. We were told to expect this for a week or so, but I started to get worried about him after it kept up for longer than that. I frantically called the person who counseled us through the adoption, who soothed my fears. She told us that the kibble that we were feeding him, Eukanuba, might not be agreeing with him. And told me to boil beef and rice for his meals for a little while until his diarrhea went away. And to slowly start introducing a mild kibble into the meat/rice mixture.
And that is what we did. A month of boiling ground beef and rice. I found the time, spurred on by his anxious brown eyes staring me down, but it wasn't easy. And we started mixing in Iams Lamb and Rice, for sensitive stomachs. He liked it, a lot. And enthusiastically ate it every day for the next three months. And then one day, decided that he didn't like it.
When he stopped eating, it terrified me. I was convinced that he had a twisted gut, or was somehow sick. Except that I noticed every time I gave him a "treat" to see if he would eat something, anything, he gobbled it right up and came looking for more. I talked with a friend at work, who also has greyhounds, who laughed and told me that he was having a little joke on me, and that hers sometimes did that to her as well. He was just testing me, and going through a time when all he wanted to eat was cookies. I stuck to my guns, but he never completely went for the Iams again. He would reluctantly eat enough to prevent himself from starving, but no more.
Enter Nutro. I know that Nutro isn't as popular amongst dog owners as it once was, but it never gave us anything to complain about. They had a Venison and Brown Rice formula that was limited ingredient, and good for sensitive stomachs. And he LOVED it. His coat got shinier and softer, and it was clear that he was doing well on it. Problem solved. At least for the next 8 months.
Last month, he decided that he didn't want to eat this kibble any more. Since he was still willing to eat his treats, I figured it was the same thing as last time. We got a small bag of Blue Buffalo to mix in with the Nutro, to see if that would make him eat. He really likes the Blue Buffalo, and would eat around the Nutro. We tried a different FLAVOR of Nutro, Herring. Nope. He doesn't like fish, apparently. Nor does he like venison any longer.
So now we have a big bag of Blue Buffalo Lamb and Rice, which he seems to like. I also have cans of their canned food product, Blue's Stew, which he LOVES. If he's a little reluctant to eat, all I have to do is mix about half of a can in with his kibble.
His dietary habits drive me completely insane. There are several people who probably think I should have waited him out and forced him to eat the stuff that he didn't want... and part of me agrees with them, because he's clearly imposing his will on me here. But the other part of me kind of feels bad for him. It would be BORING to eat the same things every day. So I think we're going to try to shake it up a little bit. I think we're going to stick with the Blue Buffalo brand for awhile, but maybe switch flavors on him after every bag.
Do any of you have trouble getting your dog to eat? I just can't wrap my head around it. My childhood dogs (a Pekingese and a Basset mix) never EVER turned down kibble, and we weren't exactly feeding them high quality stuff. It probably never occurred to us to change the flavor on them back then... it just wasn't the way things were done. So nothing prepared me for a finicky dog.
|Divas come in all shapes and sizes.|