We've had our 1.5 year old mpoo Jessie for a fun 2 weeks now! We went on our first long road trip together and she loved it However, feeding her is still a struggle. Her previous owner warned us she's a picky eater, and that's definitely the case. Sorry for the long winded post, but I'd like some advice and I want to give you the details.
At her previous home Jessie ate a homemade chicken stew with vegetables over Royal Canin kibble. Due to the amount we travel, it's imperative that we find a commercially available food she likes since we won't always have access to a kitchen. So we tried the Royal Canin kibble that she was used to. After these 2 weeks she's still turning her nose up at it. We feed twice a day for 15-20 minutes and did the whole "tough love" approach with no treats or other food during the day, and she'll grudgingly eat a little. We tried adding water (no effect) or a little unsalted homemade chicken bone broth. If we let the broth sit on the kibble for half a day in the fridge, she'll eat a little of it willingly (maybe 2 Tbsps) before having to be encouraged to eat more. With the dry kibble it's always a struggle. After a week and a half or so, we also tried Bil-Jac Picky No More and Small Breed dry and with the broth with no change in behavior or excitement.
Jessie is a healthy weight, has tons of energy, clear eyes, and is happy and playful. Her teeth are fine too. Normal poos.
Yesterday for dinner after she turned her nose up at the dry food again, I tried mixing in some wet Royal Canin small dog breed wet food with her RC poodle kibble. She dove into the bowl and ate all of the wet food only. Didn't touch the kibble. Same with breakfast this morning with the wet food mixed well with the Bil-Jac kibble.
I want Jessie to enjoy her food, and like I said before homecooking isn't a feasable option for us. But I also want Jessie to stay healthy. Assuming we stay on top of brushing her teeth and choose a high quality food, any issues feeding a wet food diet only?
I can see no issues at all with feeding wet only - as Skylar says, kibble was invented to use up cheap ingredients and appeal on the grounds of convenience. It has been refined over the years, but as long as you feed a complete food I think there are still advantages to a wet food. Less chance of dehydration and urinary issues, and much more obvious when the food has gone off.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring- it was peace.
~ Milan Kundera
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I haven't tried other kibble varieties than the ones I mentioned, but I am heading to PetSmart today and will see if they have any sample sizes. I'd love to find a kibble she'd eat and enjoy, but I'm dubious. I've never had a picky eater pet before! I'm also more used to cats where not eating can become a serious problem fast, so I'm being too paranoid about it. I was just out mowing the lawn laughing to myself that I actually posted a question if feeding my poodle dog food would be bad for her. You know what they say about the first child...
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I don't see anything wrong with it as long as you brush her teeth at least most days of the week. I agree dogs should enjoy meal time. I've had to change some things for my dogs to make their meals more enjoyable. You can just use canned, but you also might try dehydrated food like The Honest Kitchen (a little more expensive). You might also check out pour overs which might make dry kibble seem more appetizing. Switching to another kibble might help, too. My dogs were not too enthused about the last brand they ate, even with the different meat flavors, but they really love the dry salmon kibble they currently are eating. I even was able to transition my Jasper from eating canned to eating dry food as long as I added some water and a topper.
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I think wet food is okay, though I would second trying a dehydrated food. Misha's on a raw diet, but I use dehydrated complete foods as training treats for him. My favorites are ziwipeak and Real Meat air dried diets. Misha is crazy about these and the Real Meat smells so good I've actually tried it and found it pleasant if a little low in salt. Both of these are expensive but are good supplements. I also use Vital Essentials which is freeze dried and has a harder more kibble like texture, and Misha likes that one as well. These sorts of foods are more appetizing than most dog treats, so there's a good chance your picky eater will go for them.
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Misha's on a raw diet, but I use dehydrated complete foods as training treats for him.
My favorites are ziwipeak and Real Meat air dried diets. Misha is crazy about these and the Real Meat smells so good I've actually tried it and found it pleasant if a little low in salt. Both of these are expensive but are good supplements.
I also use Vital Essentials which is freeze dried and has a harder more kibble like texture, and Misha likes that one as well. These sorts of foods are more appetizing than most dog treats, so there's a good chance your picky eater will go for them.
My spoo is also fed raw, and I appreciate the suggestions for training treats
I often use bits of leftover cooked chicken or beef from my own meals for treats. I totally avoid giving him things things like hotdogs or other items with preservatives and artificial food coloring, etc.
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I don't see anything wrong with wet food. I have a standard he of course gets a bigger portion than yours but I take 1 1/2 cup kibble and mix it with a heaping tablespoon of wet food, and I mix it well till all the kibble is basically covered with the canned.
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