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My new dog won't eat her kibble

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I recently rescued/adopted a dog from a local animal shelter. She is 2 years old and appears to be in good health. She is the first dog I have owned during adulthood, so bear with me and my ignorance.

The shelter gave us a huge bag of the same kibble she had been eating there. I wanted to make sure we started her off on that before weaning her on to another diet. It's Purina Beneful, which I imagine can't be too terribly good for her. But regardless, the issue is that SHE WON'T EAT. She's been with us for a week now and has probably eaten about 2 cups of kibble. I'm not freaking out about it yet because 1. Up until this morning, she has pooped once a day on a regular schedule. 2. She has an appetite-she wants "people food."

We have refused giving her table scraps, trying to train her not to beg. She's persistent. It doesn't matter what I'm making in the kitchen, or what anyone is eating, she WANTS IT. We haven't given in yet, on the advice of others that "she'll get hungry enough to eat her own food" and "will learn she can't have our food." I really would like to stick with the no-begging rule.

However, I am just now looking into alternate feeding methods for her. I am not interested in a raw diet at this time. (Possibly in the future, but right now I am having enough trouble time-wise and financially to provide natural foods for US!) I'd like to explore supplementing her diet with some homeade foods. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Also, how do I feed her "people food" and still make it clear that she is now allowed to beg when we're eating?
post #2 of 37

Not Eating Kibble

Well, your dog is one smart cookie! Recently dog owners have been dealing with a mold issue in Beneful (mold on dog food can cause severe illness and death).

Anyway, I am an avid raw feeder! I recently posted some thoughts on Raw Food (it's still on the front page) and I'll let you read it there - I don't want to bore anyone with the same darn stuff! However, I will repeat that I would strongly suggest that you joing the Yahoo group: rawfeeding . Join now, even if you aren't going to switch right away and start reading the archives and current questions.

I would recommend though that you do switch right away. Your dog is clearly intelligent (refusing the Beneful!) and hungry! Start with chicken - it's easiest for you and her for the first 1-2 weeks.

My dog is about 58 pounds and VERY athletic (2+ hours at the dog park every day) and on average I spend about $1.30 per day (averaged over a month) on feeding her raw (meat, bones & organ). It is very easy, here are some easy steps:

1. Buy meat
2. Unwrap meat
3. Put meat on floor (towel, yard, etc..)
4. Store leftovers

Repeat next day!!

When you are eating, place your dog where you want her to be (crate, bed, etc....) and tell her "down" and "stay". Of course, you dog needs to acquire and work on these skills first! In my experience kibble fed dogs beg way more than raw because they are hungry for some decent grub! My dog still "begs" - just watches us eat - but we just place her on her bed, or tell her "down" right where she is. Also, give your dog "hard eyes" when she begs and they will usually lay down in response to your body language.

Good Luck,
post #3 of 37
Ew. I wouldn't eat that food, either.

Seriously, could it be an allergy or sensitivity? Maybe your dog just doesn't feel good when she eats that food, but it's not bad enough to make her feel and act obviously ill. Maybe try a good natural food--one that's grain free--I think Innova EVO is one (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Do you have a good shop local to you that sells good quality, natural and organic dog food? I think that raw and/or homemade diets are best, but, like you, I can't do that right now--so we buy dry kibble. We (ok, my husband) did a lot of research on different natural brands, so he has a list of favorites. Also, we have a great doggie "health food" store nearby, and they are a wealth of information, not to mention the source for all kinds of great food.

One of my three is just downright picky. He'll eat one type of food wonderfully for weeks or months, then turn his nose up at it. He usually seems to prefer something with fish in it. Some of our favorites (and at times, though not necessarily this week, the favorite of mr. fussy-pants!) are the Innova EVO, the Artemis fresh mix, one of the Candide dry foods (can't remember the variety)...and a few more I can't remember. Right now we are feeding the Nutro Holistic something-or-another because we ran out of our Artemis (which above-mentioned picky eater had decided to not want after several months, anyway) and our usualy pet food shop was closed...this was the best label (most natural) we could find on the shelves at PetCo. Picky-dog loves it...this week?!! He's so weird.

I think that if you feed her homemade food in her own bowl, not out of your hand or from the table, that she won't associate it with begging....I think that the begging will remain a separate issue, in her mind? I'm assuming, anyway. I'm sure someone with more experience with correcting begging can chime in. My dogs love it when we feed them oatmeal and eggs, which we do occasionally as a treat! It doesn't make their begging any worse...they aren't terrible about it in the first place, though they will hover like vultures when I'm cooking!
post #4 of 37

I think that if you feed her homemade food in her own bowl, not out of your hand or from the table, that she won't associate it with begging.[QUOTE]


Whenever I give Miles "people food", I make sure that it's a) not something that i'm currently eating and b) not given from the table or the counter. I always put it in his dish. So far, no problem with begging. However, we have had him since he was a wee pup. It's different once a dog has started begging to stop it, but it can be done with persistance and consistency. No one can ever feed your dog from the table or the dog will continue to beg.

Like the PP said, Innova EVO is the best commercial food you can get (IMO). It is grain free and simulates a natural canine diet without you having to feed raw food. You can certainly add raw/cooked meat or yogurt or eggs or veggies to the food if you want to. With your dog being so picky, I'd start by adding the canned EVO to her diet while you transition over to the dry food. The canned has that extra stink value that she might need to get her interested. Canned food is actually better for them, but way more expensive in the long run.

If you want to do raw, I've been told that it's actually a lot cheaper than kibble. I haven't done it yet, well, just because I get physically ill from handling raw meat. I'm thinking about adding some of the pre-ground raw food "meals" that Nature's Variety makes. They are quite expensive to feed as the primary diet though.
post #5 of 37
Extra "stink" value.... Yes, I think that's exactly why our picky eater loves "fishy" food! If it smells good enough to roll in...it must be good enough to eat!

We occasionally give our dogs canned food, too, as a treat or when our one is being extra picky. They love the EVO canned.

DH and I are both veg, so I have a hard time conceiving of feeding a raw diet. We have occasionally fed those pre-done raw meals from Nature's Variety. Our dogs LOVE that! I make DH feed them those, though...I just can't handle it. I think that meat does make for a healthy diet for a dog and that it is normal for them to eat it (yes, even per all of my discussions in the recent veg diet for dogs thread ), so I can morally get over the fact that I'm feeding them meat...but I can't go raw....But, to the OP--I know you said finances were an issue, but maybe if you get a few cans of EVO to mix in with a good-quality dry kibble, or even a package of those Nature's Variety raw patties, that would increase your dog's appetite, I bet! And that will give you some time to look more into a homemade diet for long-term, if that's what you're interested in doing.

ETA: k9rider: My "picky eater" i've been talking about...his name is Myles!
post #6 of 37
Originally Posted by Crunchie View Post
ETA: k9rider: My "picky eater" i've been talking about...his name is Myles!
COOOOOOOOOOOOOL What kind of pup is he??
post #7 of 37
Jericho gets pumpkin and yogurt with his kibble. I use the same containers when making people food (say, a pumpkin-cream sauce for pasta, or a dish of raita to go with dinner), but he only gets those items when they're put in his food bowl on the kitchen floor.

He stands hopefully in the kitchen (or sits very patiently), but he doesn't beg.
post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by christyb View Post
Well, your dog is one smart cookie! Recently dog owners have been dealing with a mold issue in Beneful (mold on dog food can cause severe illness and death).
Okay, that's totally gross.

Thanks for the info on the raw feeding. Like I said, I'm new, so I'm still researching. For the moment, I just fed her some leftover (cooked) chicken from my hand. She gobbled it up. I walked away for a moment to go get my DS up from his nap and when I came back, she had taken the baggie with the chicken leftovers off of the counter and was eating it on the kitchen floor. (She has NEVER gotten on the counter or gotten into something she wasn't supposed to-lol). I let her eat the rest of the chicken, and then found her in the garbage trying to find more when she was done. I really hope I'm doing the right thing. For now, I'm going to get a small bag of natural kibble. We don't have big franchise/chains where I live, only natural pet stores, so it shouldn't be too hard to locate something that will work better than the Beneful!
post #9 of 37

Feeding Raw On A Budget

Hi Rae,

When you are ready, you can ask your butcher/meat department person to order cases for you - quite a savings. There is another Yahoo group: Carnivor Feed Supplier - there you can post your location and find places to buy on the cheap. I live in southern California and there are no farms or farmers nearby (another great resource) but we have a great co-op (SoCalBarf) and another processor that delivers fairly close by. You will be shocked at the resources and how inexpensive you can do this! Just the other day I bought pork shoulder for $1.19/lb and have found it as cheap as 70 cents/lb! If you know someone who owns/manages a restaurant you can find out if they can buy cases for you; if you know any hunters you can ask them for parts they aren't going to eat or use; taximdermists I've heard LOVE giving stuff away as they see it as such a waste.

Another thing to consider when you consider price are the benefits that you save money on. As an example: no dental cleaning (the food does it for you); no baths (my dog hasn't had a bath in over a year); no poisonous "preventatives" for fleas, ticks, worms, etc... (a healthy immune system deals with those quite effectively; no emptying of the anal glands - ick! (the poop does that for you); poops do not smell anything like kibble poop (which more often than not makes me throw up); lots of doggie kisses because their breath is sweet; no ear cleaning; virtually no visits to the vet. A LOT of money saved!!

Good Luck,
post #10 of 37
Just wanted to add 2 things-
1. our dogs don't beg, even though they get to eat all the table scraps, and we are now raw feeding them. I'd say they are even less interested in table scraps now than they were when they were on kibble.
(they used to lay on their beds and wait patiently for meals to be over, and the second they heard a fork scrape a plate, they'd be up and waiting for the food. Now, they still get up and wait, but there is a lot less "urgency" it seems. lol)

2. If you are in the US, I'd bet you can easily raw feed cheaper than you could feed high quality kibble.
In my estimation, it would cost the same to feed raw if I could buy for .75/lb as it costs to feed Canidae (which is the cheapest, high quality kibble I could find). It's super hard to find meat less than 75cents/lb here in Vancouver, but I used to live in Ohio and it wasn't hard to find meat less than $1/lb on a regular basis, and sales were even cheaper.
If you want to do a cost comparison, there are about 4 cups in a pound of dry dog food (that's what I read anyways. lol).
post #11 of 37
I keep the dog bowls on the counter and fill them with scraps as I'm cooking/cleaning up. I do NOT allow begging, it drives me insane but my guys still get all the leftovers and scraps, as long as they don't see it coming from plate to their mouth, they have no idea you are eating better than them most of the time (our exception is Havoc and spagetti, from the time I start making the sauce he sits in the kitchen salivating)
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 


I went down to our local farm store today and bought the Innova food. Brought it home to her and she literally inhaled it. But yes, I bought the smallest bag and it was $15.

DH went to the local pet store and inquired about raw food and the woman at the counter feeds her dog raw food so she was excited to give him info. DH brought home a pack of frozen "raw food." It has turkey, grains, veggies. I have no clue on that one.

How can you get meat so cheap--don't you want to feed natural/organic/free range, etc?

She is an Australian shepherd mix, probably at least 70lbs so I imagine she should be eating a ton.
post #13 of 37

Raw Food Cost

It's me again! The pre-made "raw" is better than kibble however it is expensive AND you loose the benefits of feeding actual whole raw since it is ground. Of course dog's are carnivores and cannot digest veggies or grains so that is a complete waste of your hard earned dollars.

On your next grocery store trip, check out how much whole chickens are. Also, expand your horizon - before I started feeding raw I had no idea what a pork shoulder was!! Look at everything in the meat section; look for bone content (10-15% overall); look at price per pound; look at size (it's easier to feed BIG); avoid beef bones (fracture teeth); avoid small easy to swallow things (chopped up pork neck).

Where do you live? I could do a search on the CarnivoreFeed-Supplier group and see what resources are near you.

Good Luck,
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
I just joined the raw feeding Yahoo group and the carnivore one and am waiting for approval.

I live on Whidbey Island in Washington state.

The book I'm reading says that there are definitely 2 different camps as far as feeding purely meat/bones or adding grains and veggies. Like I said earlier, I'm still doing my homework. (Along with everything else...nutrition for my family, vaccinations, unschooling, etc, etc...LOL!)

Christy, I'd love to talk to you one-on-one for more advice. I've also been questioning vaccinations for my pup. We don't vaccinate our kids, so I imagine some of the same concepts hold true for dogs. Everything in life, I've found, is easily answered by one question--"what is NATURAL?" I'm learning that this concept spreads to dog care as well. I'm just very new and still ignorant. Thank you so much for being willing to help. 7 days and I'm already in love with my first dog. I want only the best for her!
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
Simple question, but re-reading your post to DH and about the veggies/grains he said "Well then why do dog's eat grass when they have a stomach ache? Isn't it to help them digest?"
post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 

DH also brought home a BULL PENIS for our dog to chew on. Yuck! I don't know if I can handle this carnivore business. LOL.
post #17 of 37
I personally, am not too concerned about organic for the dogs. It sucks, because I hate factory farms. I'm going to work on finding affordable sources though.
But there are a few reasons- we are broke for one lol, I'm sure the meat in most kibble isn't organic (though maybe it is in innova), and I'm not as worried about the effects of non-organic on the dogs as I am on people.

From my reading (and I'm very new to raw), it seems that grains are generally accepted to not be needed (and most say they aren't good). What I'm unsure about it veggies- some say they are necessary, and some say they are bad. lol. Who knows?

I found a cheap premixed that has a small amount of grains in it, and I would keep feeding that, except that my dog is (I think) allergic to grains. So we're staying away from grains. I'm feeding them a premix with veggies now, because it's the cheapest grain free I can find.

I'm feeding one dog only premix plus organs (she won't eat bones) and the other gets an AM meal of premix plus organs, and a pm meal of raw meaty bones.

I did a google search for "raw dog food BC" or something like that, and eventually found a list of sources in my area. I did a regular google search, and a "local" google search.

But to be honest, if my one dog (the one who won't eat bones) weren't grain allergic, I'd feed her Innova or Canidae. She just doesn't get the kick out of rawfeeding that my other dog does. lol

At any rate- glad your dog is eating the innova! That's a good food to feed while you are exploring your options
post #18 of 37
Since just geting to raw feeding is such an improvement over kibble, most don't worry to much about organic. Although I like to splurge on organ meats since they carry more toxins. Best places to find cheap and unusual cuts of meat are ethnic grocery stores and grocery stores in poorer areas. Then start looking for raw feeding co-ops in your are as you get more into it for more variety and better prices. But no need to dive in that heavily at first. I do whole prey and it really is so easy and convienient. I just keep my eye out for meat that has a nice ratio of bone to meat at a good price. Some of my dogs favorite, whole chicken, chicken legs, spare ribs, lamb and pork necks, hearts of any kind. I never have to worry about running out of some hard to find, pricey kibble. I can always find something he will eat at the regular grocery. I love raw feeding because it's just as natural as feeding yourself. If I run out of meat or forgot to defrost something, I just whip up a puppy omlet (3 eggs with a little yogurt if he's lucky) or get a can of salmon out of the pantry. Now that I have joined a co-op I am refining his diet a bit. Trying buy more natural pasture raised animals, like I got a ton of ground scrap venison for $1/lb from a deer processor. And one of the co-ops suppliers is a pasture based farmraising animals specifically for raw feeders. www.hare-today.com . I am also trying to widen the variety of organs he gets as well as switch to a more ungulate based diet (deer, lamb, goat, etc) as that is the primary prey of wolves and even conventionaly raised of hunted ungulates are generally eating grass based diets.
post #19 of 37

Raw Feeding and Grass, etc...

Well just because the dog eats it, it certainly doesn't mean that they can digest it - case in point cereal/grain based kibble! On thing that you will notice when you start feeding raw is that your dog's poop will be very small - basically the bio-availability of the nutrients is perfect! With kibble fed dogs their poops are huge and they stink to high heaven!! As an experiment, feed your dog a carrot and watch what comes out the other end - the carrot will be the same as it went in (undigested). A dog cannot digest vegetable matter - your dog MIGHT be able to something with it when you let the vegetables go bad and then grind/pulp them to break down the cellulose. Left to it's own devices a dog certainly isn't going to do that!

Nobody really "knows" why a dog eats grass but the theory exists that it correlates to an upset stomach because dog's typically throw up after eating it! That in itself should give us a small clue. Dogs will eat a lot of things (butter, bacon fat, socks, cat poop, kibble - but that doesn't mean that they are appropriate food. Heck, I just bought some french fries but they certainly don't qualify in the "appropriate" or the "food" category!!). Unfortunately, just like with a lot of people who we bestow authority we tend to believe everything they say because they wear a white coat. My vet loves point out that there are a lot of things that "they" (veterinarians as a whole, himself included) don't know but are afraid to admit that they don't know. He said that a vet "explaining" behavior, symptoms, problems when they really don't know serves several purposes, 1) it gets you off their backs, 2) you come back because "they know" and the myths help support future business, 3) often times they sell something that helps "deal" with the behavior, symptoms, problems.

With regard to vaccinations, please see my post from a few days ago titled "Special Needs PUPPY..." - I currently have a foster dog that got distemper from the vaccination and now will deal with neurological issues for the rest of his life (twitch, weakness, digestive issues, skin erruptions and crazy teeth!) - all which is so very pathetic because he and his littermates were born healthy and now he, the sole survivor of 7, has these chronic conditions all because a bunch of people in white coats keep denying that anything is wrong with vaccinating.

Hopefully that wasn't too much of a rant!! Of course you are welcome to e-mail me privately. Hope to see you on the rawfeeding group and if I can be of further help please let me know!

Good Luck,
post #20 of 37
Ok, silly question for you raw feeders--you feed the dogs the bones, too??? Is that safe? Sorry if that's an ignorant question, the only exposure I've had to raw is the pre-packaged stuff. My husband has done a lot of research on it so he may know....me, I'm too veg and a little too freaked out to dive into a raw diet...But really, bones? Even chicken bones? Don't they splinter?

k9rider--Myles is a pit bull, as are all of my pups (or pit/bully breed mixes of some sort!). I should try and dig up his dogster page...he was seized during a drug bust as a teeney puppy (3/4-ish weeks old), along with his momma (I believe she was euthanized, probably unadoptable due to temperment issues, not sure) and several litter mates (all adopted! Cuties!), as well as a few other adult dogs presumed to be used in an illegal fighting ring : (as far as I know, all euthanized). He was probably otherwise destined to die as a bait dog...he has the temperment of a mouse! He never would have fought if they tried.
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