Friday, August 9, 2013

More adventures with the Clean Plate Club

I saw a special 'trial offer'-sized bag of this natural dog food at Wegmans and since my dog was running low on her IAMS, I decided to give it a try. Well, more accurately, I decided my dog was going to give it a try.  I love my dog but not enough to be her personal taste-tester.

This is the lamb version; I bought the chicken version.  But you get the idea.  The first ingredients were meats, not corn or meat by-products, so I thought it might be better than what she is currently eating.

I mixed in the EVOLVE with what was left of her IAMS.  My dog came running over eagerly to her plate.  Suddenly, she looked taken aback.  She reviewed the landscape of her supper, picked out all of the IAMS (an impressive feat, given how small the kibble of that brand is), and then threw herself on the ground with a sigh.

The next day, she was so listless and depressed, I considered calling the vet.  I tried the EVOLVE once more, which was greeted with a disgusted sneeze. Since I was low on her rations I tried sprinkling it with Parmesan cheese and throwing some of my own organic hamburger on top of it. She licked off the people food and left the dog food.

I remembered how when she was younger I tried several healthy brands and she refused to eat them, despite being a dog that lives for mealtimes and who has no qualms devouring squashed McDonald's  Quarter Pounders by the side of the road.

I went out to the grocery store at 7am to replenish her IAMS, came back, and served it to her for breakfast.

More drama.  She now looked at the IAMS as if to say, once again: "what the fuck is this?" Or "I realize I can stay strong and go a day without eating! I feel so empowered!  Hold out for better food!"

I started panicking.  Maybe it wasn't the food at all. Maybe she wasn't feeling well. There was only one test.  I rustled a wrapper of a package of roast beef and immediately her appetite miraculously returned. (And yes, I am a softie so I gave her some.  It is the good, grass-fed, expensive kind, too!)

It took a day, but she grudgingly returned to her regular IAMS food, which she had always loved before.

Damn, if even I can panic that much about the idea that "she is not eating, therefore something is wrong," I can better understand how parents can get 'all weird' if their otherwise healthy children skip a meal.

To be fair, my dog is eleven years old and I know her food habits very well and although she has a very young spirit, she is not quite a spring chicken.

If she was reading this right now, she would be thinking...mmm...chicken...

Although the nice thing about dogs is that, unlike sullen teens, they can't start Facebook pages complaining about their owners with names like: I'M NOT GONNA EAT KIBBLE--ORGANIC BEEF BURGERS FUR-EVER!

My old dog held out about the indignity of having to eat Mighty Dog for long enough that my mother eventually capitulated and started feeding her people food.  Fortunately, Asta is not as strong-willed.

Depressed, pathetic heap when contemplating healthy dog food shot....


  1. Once when I was buying dry food at PetSmart, there was a sales rep there from Blue Buffalo who talked me into buying a bag of their organic cat food with (I had to look this up just now) "Life Source Bits." They were soft little pellets mixed in with the kibble that were full of vitamins, and she assured me my cat would swoon for them. In reality, my cat stared at the bowl of strange looking food then gave me a look indicating that she'd like me to stop mixing weird shit into her Purina. Also, about two seconds after you open the bag and the air hits them, the Life Source Bits turn into gravel.

    It's cute/maddening that they can eat around what they don't want in their food dishes. (Asta: "This one is IAMS; this one is poison.") For a short while, I tried the senior versions of Cat's wet food that added rice in with the protein, and she would somehow manage to eat the salmon and gravy, yet leave a little pile of rice in the bowl.

  2. The sales reps at pet stores are even more annoying than the women selling makeup in department stores. They attack you with their cheerful sales pitch and make you feel guilty in the same way about your life choices, only because it is about your animal's health, it is easier to be persuaded.

    I think that was my dog's thought process exactly: "why is she putting SHEER POISON in my food?" (Or your cat: "why is she trying to slow me down with this white stuff around the meat?")

    I guess from her perspective, I originally was feeding her the dog food equivalent of Captain Crunch with whole milk (Beneful Healthy Weight), switched to the slightly healthier but still somewhat junky Cracklin' Oat Bran with skim milk (IAMS Super Senior) and then to the dog food equivalent of unprocessed bran with soy milk. The latter she will not tolerate!

  3. Sadly, I was thinking "mmm chicken" too.

    Ivy was a dog who thought she was people. She begrudgingly ate dog food, but it had to be a specific kind. It had to be wet food in individual pouches (she hated dry food), and it had to be served to her slightly warm. She was also fat enough that she could go a few days without eating if she really wanted to, but my mom would never let that happen. First sign of trouble and my mom was making soup for everyone else's dinner so that Ivy could have boiled chicken for her dinner(her favourite) :).

    1. I love your Ivy stories! It sounds like she had such a sensitive palate! Whenever Asta is feeling poorly, I always serve her boneless skinless chicken breasts. The rare one or two times she has been ill, I knew to be alarmed when she showed no interest in chicken. All other times she is a chicken fiend!

  4. LOL...your dog is so adorable. And definitely know what she wants! Glad that it's just that she doesn't like the new food, and not anything else. :)

    1. Thank you so much! My photograph does not do her justice!

  5. Our dogs are our family and they can be finicky eaters too. Your dog knows exactly what she wants and she was trying to express it. If I had a choice between people food and dog food, the choice would be simple (smile). She settled back into her Iams.


    1. Yes! Dogs ARE family. I guess I cannot blame her and sometimes I feel guilty not making homemade dog food, but I have heard many criticisms of homemade food as not being nutritionally balanced for the dog.

  6. That is funny (and so are the comments). Finn was finicky, for a while, and but somewhere along the line decided I was not trying to poison him. Now I can't leave my dinner plate unguarded or a certain furball creeps up on it. There is not much Betsy Beagle won't eat other than salad vegetables, and even those she will give a try.

    1. I have heard beagles have very enthusiastic eaters! I actually have heard of some of them eating, um, women's underwear when left unattended.