One of our Home Dog Training clients from Suwanee called up the other day and said he was in a quandary. He spends more money on his dog’s “holistic/good for you food” than he spends at Public’s on his family’s groceries. (I didn’t really believe that, but it probably felt like that to my client…) He said that he places the food down and his dog plays with it, eats a few pieces of kibble, and then simply walks away. He told me that he didn’t want to feed his dog any of the “junk dog food” he sees all the time in most markets and pet stores. So, what can he do to get his dog to eat healthy food?
We have heard this many times and have even had the same problem with some of our dogs over the years…
When our clients’ dogs don’t want to eat the food put in front of them, many of our clients take the “McDonald’s Happy Meal” way out. Even though they know that their dog needs to eat something nutritious for a long and healthy life, they start to look around for anything their dog will eat. Their reasoning is that they would rather feed their dog anything than have their dog eat nothing. They will often switch to lower grade foods such as many of the Purina dog food products. (I don’t want to pick on Purina; some of their dog food products aren’t that bad. They just happen to be the brand I can think of at this moment.)
These foods are filled with fillers and other chemicals that make the food taste good. Their dogs would gladly eat the food because it tasted good, but they were receiving almost no nutrition. In essence, they are feeding their dogs the “doggie equivalent of Happy Meals” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When we were kids, the possibility of Happy Meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be excellent. Our parents would not have been of the same opinion.
I tell my clients to think about their childhood when their Mom was trying to get them to eat their Lima Beans (I hated and still hate Lima Beans!). There was no way that they were going to eat them. Their Mom then mix the Lima Beans up with mashed potatoes and butter… Yum…yum…yum. (I ate the mashed potatoes and left the Lime Beans…)
I am not saying that my client should serve his dog mashed potatoes and butter with his dog food, but I do have some ideas on adding some healthy goodies to make his food a little more interesting. I offered my client some suggestions that have worked wonders for our dogs for many years:
- LOW SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH. Chicken is a healthy meat and the low sodium means almost no extra salt. This is like a very healthy, moist gravy that adds a little zing to the food.
- PUMPKIN PASTE. Pumpkin is naturally good for the dogs and is easily combined with the dry dog kibble. I tell my client just to add a spoon full and his dog will love the entire meal.
- COTTAGE CHEESE. The really wonderful thing about using cottage cheese is that it is simple and quick to mix with the dog food. It’s moisture helps to cut back on the “boredom” of the dry food. It is healthy and good for my client’s dog. What dog doesn’t love cheese? It is a true winner that we have been using for years for all four of our dogs.
Again, these are just some simple ideas that I suggested to my client to make his dog’s healthy meal a little more fun and tasty. The one thing that I told him was that he should never mix wet dog food into the dry food. Although there are many good and healthy wet dog foods on the market, they all require you to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Most of us just don’t do that. Our dog’s teeth will then rot out early, causing health issues in their later years.
I told my client to try options 1, 2, or 3 and things should be just fine. I also mentioned that he should consider trying a premium dog food that we have fed our dogs for many years. It is called Life’s Abundance and he can find more information at Really Good Dog Food.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over fifteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.