Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Persnickety Puppy

I didn't realize how good I had it, food-wise, until I switched from free-feeding to regimented meals.  From day one, Hadley was fed Hill's Science Diet Small Bites Puppy Kibble.  I would scoop the correct daily amount into her bowl and put it in her pen.  She ate little bits, here and there, and somehow most of it would be gone within a 24 hour period.  She clearly didn't gobble or overeat so I didn't care how much she ate or when.  For healthy snacks she got little pieces of apples, carrots, string beans and bell peppers.  Occasionally there would be a piece of chicken if it was on my dinner menu.  She was energetic and healthy and growing like a weed.  No issues.  No headaches.  But I now have both!

The first day that I switched to regimented feeding, she ate her dinner.  But the next morning she didn't want breakfast.  Fine, she'll eat at dinner.  Nope, she didn't want it then, either.  She wasn't sick because she begged for whatever food I was eating and lunged for the little treat she got for peeing in her potty box.  OK.  I don't want to be mean.  I didn't get a puppy to not love and spoil it.  I do prefer her to eat a high quality, dry food because it's better for her but I can try to make it more appetizing.  So, I tried pouring a little canned beef stock over it.  Nope.  I had some homemade gravy left over from a pot roast I cooked so I poured that over it.  Nope.

I had a little bit of Cesar's wet grilled chicken food left over from when she got her heartworm medicine so I mixed a tablespoon of that in with the kibble.  Now she ate.  OK....  Science Diet makes a wet puppy food which I figured would be higher quality so I bought a can of that and mixed it with the kibble.  Nope.  She didn't even like it on it's own.  A dog-experienced friend told me that her vet suggested Pedigree was not too bad so I've bought a can of that along with another tin of the Cesar's (just in case).  If I can get her to accept her kibble with a couple of tablespoons of wet food blended in, I will live with that.

In the meantime, no regimented meals means no regimented poop.  We had been making progress but this has derailed it.  Brian says to let her be.  She won't starve to death and will eat whatever is there when she's miserable enough.  I agree about not nurturing a fussy eater but neither do I see the need for her to be miserable if there's a compromise to be had.  I do have newfound respect for the parents of children who are picky eaters and I'm trying to take my example from them.  You wouldn't give in to a child's demand for nothing but cake at every meal.  But you do compromise.

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