Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Puppy Nutritionist

When it comes to people food, I'm somewhat of an amateur nutritionist.  I've done a lot of research over the years and taught myself about healthy food and how the human body works.  Granted, there's probably no real need for the chocolate I so dearly love but otherwise I feed myself and my boyfriend healthy meals loaded with lean proteins, complex carbs and fiber.  I consider it my specialty to cook in a way that makes these foods as tasty and appealing as possible.  So why then, have I not applied these talents and interests to my puppy?  I don't know what took me so long but Hadley being such a difficult eater nudged me into putting my nutritionist hat on.

From day one I had been feeding her Hill's Science Diet dry food.  It has a reputation as being a high quality food and it's what the vet sells and recommends at her office.  I was surprised to find it wasn't good quality after all but, then again, I don't know why I'm surprised.  In a nation where people are subjected to an advertising onslaught for junk foods masquerading as healthy, why should the dogs be immune?

Since I switched from free-feeding to regimented meals, I've had nothing but grief.  Hadley has become a terrible eater and I've sought out and gotten lots of conflicting advice.  "No, don't give her wet food because it's bad for her"..."it's OK to give her some wet food"..."combine the wet food with dry food"..."don't combine it because they don't like it"..."be tough because a dog won't starve themselves"..."you're being too soft"..."you're being too harsh."  Aarrgghh! 


And so, I'm embarking on the same research odyssey I'd been on years ago when figuring out what I'm supposed to eat.  Here's what I do know already:

-  Much of what I'd been told or believed is wrong.
-  I wouldn't force Hadley to eat food she hates just to keep from starving to death.
-  Among the healthy dog foods, there will be one that will be both nutritious and palatable so that my doggie will be both happy and healthy.

I will be back with my results.

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