Learning to listen

26 May

I must be doing something wrong because my dogs are irritatingly fickle when it comes to food. They like something for a day or two but then the winds change and they won’t touch it. They do eat, but not reliably. We’re constantly experimenting, and also constantly returning the foods they won’t eat. A few days ago I made a run to return yet another selection of “gross, that’s not edible” dog foods, something our pet store is used to and very understanding about.

As we checked out we joked about our picky dogs and how they won’t eat anything. The checker, someone new and trying to be helpful, asked if we’d tried feeding raw. “Yeah, they won’t eat it. They’re weird.” How about lightly cooked? “Yep, they won’t eat that either.”

She kept attempting to advise me, never mind that I’ve been studying canine nutrition for going on a decade or that my particular dog has a very particular palate. Finally she gave up on me, deeming me uncooperative since I didn’t find any value in her advice.


Then she looked at me like this


This interaction reminded me of how important it is to listen. I know a ton about dogs, but I don’t know your dog. Maybe you tried X and he hates it, or he’s allergic to Y. I also don’t know your situation. Maybe you can’t feed raw because your 100 year old grandmother lives with you, and she has a 100 year old immune system. Finally, I don’t know you. For all I know you have tons of experience with this, you’re a DVM, or perhaps you literally wrote the book on whatever we’re talking about.

If I don’t listen I won’t learn any of that and, instead of helping you or learning something new myself, I’ll alienate you.

In case you’re wondering…

  • My philosophy on dog food? Just like people, dogs are meant to eat a varied diet of species appropriate foods. I prefer feeding raw and grain-free. That being said….
  • My dog has to eat. I can’t let my personal preferences and beliefs get in the way of what he’s willing to eat. Wally was no more enthusiastic about raw than he was about anything else and it was inconvenient, so I stopped trying.
  • I’ve literally tried everything except for the whole prey diet, in which you give your dog a dead animal (like a rabbit) and let them have at it. I did feed Fiona Pro Plan when she was nursing puppies but after a few days she wouldn’t eat it. Other than that I’ve never fed the box store brands like Purina, Pedigree, Science Diet, etc. and I really dislike Rx foods: all of these have garbage ingredients.
  • What will they eat? We normally mix dry and wet, and right now we’re doing Nature’s Domain dry. We’ve tried Open Farm, Orijen, Acana, Now, NutriSource, Core, Evanger’s, Zignature….. You get the point. PetKind Tripett is a staple canned food plus two rotating brands (Weruva is usually one of them). They prefer chunky canned food and won’t eat pâté; sometimes they eat loaf-style. Occasionally we make boiled or roasted chicken with minute rice and I’ve been known to make Satin Balls for Wally (which he likes for a day or two, then phffffbt).
  • They maintain a healthy weight and have plenty of energy. Nobody has an underlying medical condition that would cause these eating habits.
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Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Other Stuff


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