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-   -   Food boredom? (https://www.poodleforum.com/showthread.php?t=269949)

Eric 07-01-2019 07:45 AM

Food boredom?
 
I have a small dog that was eating Purina Pro Plan when we adopted him. He's fairly skinny and never ate much. We used to free feed, and honestly some days went by when it seemed like he didn't eat anything, but he seemed healthy and energetic, so we didn't worry about it too much.

About 4 months ago, we got a recommendation from a friend for a different food, so we thought we'd give it a try. I started mixing it in with his Pro Plan, and suddenly our dog got an appetite. He started eating more, and more regularly. He filled out a bit, his coat looked better, and we felt like we should have changed food a long time ago.

Well, now he's not interested in his kibble anymore. I thought at first that maybe it was because we've given him table scraps or toppers so often that he's just holding out for the good stuff. So I started cutting that out, and put him on a feeding schedule. At one point, he went 36 hours without eating any kibble. I'm starting to think that maybe he just needs some variety.

Sorry for the long intro. Now on to the question: have any of you changed food regularly just to keep it interesting? If so, how often to you make the change, and do you blend foods during the transition periods?

fjm 07-01-2019 08:14 AM

Sophy regularly went off kibble when the bag had been open a week or two - after reading up on what happens as it goes stale and the oils become rancid, let alone the risk of aflatoxins, I sympathised! I moved her onto a tray wet food, and then onto home cooked, which she loves and thrives upon. I think our dogs may often be trying to tell us that a food does not agree with them when they refuse to eat, and we are reluctant to indulge them for fear of creating faddiness. I also think that there is benefit in feeding a range of different foods - more interesting, and less likely to cause problems if one food is unbalanced in some way.

Dechi 07-01-2019 08:25 AM

No, I donít. If you start doing that, there will be no end. If you give table scraps, yes, your dog will wait for the good stuff.

Just pick a food he likes and stick to it, and very little table scraps if tou want him to eat his kibbles. I have an anxious dog who will easily go 48 hours without eating when his routine is disrupted. Itís nothing to worry about as long as it doesnít happen often.

I free feed here because Iím home so having to go outside is not an issue.

Small dogs tend to be picky, we have to be firm.

Michigan Gal 07-01-2019 08:33 AM

My neighbor's Siberian husky did the same thing. He would accept the food, then suddenly not. The dog did not get scraps, or at least not often. They just rotated his food.

I agree that the food you feed may not meet his needs and he should have food rotated. Other than the Pro Plan you don't mention what you have been feeding him. Basically, the more you spend on dog food, the higher quality it is.

Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble compares over 300 dog foods and rates them. See where your food ends up on the scale. You may need to upgrade.

Dogs4Life 07-01-2019 09:42 AM

Some people switch foods often for nutritional reasons- not all dry dog foods are created equal. Definitely go by the ingredient list and information of the food analysis rather than price because the more expensive foods aren't always the best (especially the ones loaded with peas and lentils as primary ingredients).

I like sticking to one brand and switching the proteins. I also add in some homecooked items like hamburger, chicken, turkey, and my dogs also get some boiled egg. Sometimes they get that with the food and sometimes alone, but they don't get it all the time because the dry food is their main source of food.

You have a lot of options. You could continue with the food toppers and stick with one brand, or switch out brands every now and again, and maybe try free feeding again. Or just stick with your current schedule and your dog will eat when hungry. I would just say remember to do research on the food you are using and never feed dogs from your plate or from the table- that leads to begging.

Dechi 07-01-2019 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michigan Gal (Post 3248465)
My neighbor's Siberian husky did the same thing. He would accept the food, then suddenly not. The dog did not get scraps, or at least not often. They just rotated his food.

I agree that the food you feed may not meet his needs and he should have food rotated. Other than the Pro Plan you don't mention what you have been feeding him. Basically, the more you spend on dog food, the higher quality it is.

Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble compares over 300 dog foods and rates them. See where your food ends up on the scale. You may need to upgrade.

Actually with the DCM problems going on these days, Pro Plan is one of the few foods that might be a little better, even though itís cheaper. The list of food thought to cause DCM is out, check it out before switching.

I started feeding Pro Plan sensitive stomach specifically for this reason. Others did too.

Eric 07-01-2019 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dogs4Life (Post 3248469)
Some people switch foods often for nutritional reasons- not all dry dog foods are created equal. Definitely go by the ingredient list and information of the food analysis rather than price because the more expensive foods aren't always the best (especially the ones loaded with peas and lentils as primary ingredients).

I like sticking to one brand and switching the proteins. I also add in some homecooked items like hamburger, chicken, turkey, and my dogs also get some boiled egg. Sometimes they get that with the food and sometimes alone, but they don't get it all the time because the dry food is their main source of food.

You have a lot of options. You could continue with the food toppers and stick with one brand, or switch out brands every now and again, and maybe try free feeding again. Or just stick with your current schedule and your dog will eat when hungry. I would just say remember to do research on the food you are using and never feed dogs from your plate or from the table- that leads to begging.

Thanks. I've been thinking of switching anyway, since his food matches the profile of the foods the FDA is warning about - grain-free with peas, chickpeas, potato, etc. I don't want to go back to free-feeding because we're going to be getting a puppy in the not-so-distant future and they will need to have different food for a while.

Honestly I like the idea of feeding the dogs whatever it is that we're eating, but sometimes we go out to eat, or just have a sandwich, and I'm not going to cook specifically for the dogs. So I want to keep the kibble in the mix for the sake of convenience. Maybe I'll go back to mixing in some cooked food, like chicken, ground beef, broth, etc, with his kibble to make it more appetizing for him. My dad used to melt a little butter and pour it on the dog's food when I was little. Maybe it's not very healthy but the dog sure loved it ;)

fjm 07-01-2019 12:44 PM

I don't think there is any harm in adding healthy toppers, although I think I would avoid melted butter - at best very fattening, at worst could trigger pancreatitis!

Good ideas for making kibble more interesting here: DogAware.com: Adding Fresh Foods to Commercial Dog Food

Countryboy 07-01-2019 01:13 PM

With Mr. Picky, I've been carefully switching since I got him 10 years ago. But I switch between similar diets with a different scent. I try not to go up to something better. If he gets a taste of 'better', there's no going back. So I'm wary.

Dogs have little sense of taste compared to us. But scent?? Oh, ya... that motivates them!

So I pretend I'm a perfumist when he's turning his nose away. Introduce a slightly different scent. Canned Beef and Rice added to his kibble for four days Canned Something Else the next four...

It seems to work fairly well...

Eric 07-01-2019 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Countryboy (Post 3248509)
With Mr. Picky, I've been carefully switching since I got him 10 years ago. But I switch between similar diets with a different scent. I try not to go up to something better. If he gets a taste of 'better', there's no going back. So I'm wary.

Dogs have little sense of taste compared to us. But scent?? Oh, ya... that motivates them!

So I pretend I'm a perfumist when he's turning his nose away. Introduce a slightly different scent. Canned Beef and Rice added to his kibble for four days Canned Something Else the next four...

It seems to work fairly well...

So you're mixing in canned food with the dry? In what proportion, approximately?


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