Who is the Gourmet? You or Your Dog?

Jan 19 12:22 2005 Renée Alexandrea Print This Article

Thinking of cooking up a storm for your pooch? And that I assume you’re having ... in ... your pooch eating his premium dog ... are two issues ... meals verses comm

Thinking of cooking up a storm for your pooch? And that I assume you’re having difficulties in convincing your pooch eating his premium dog food.

There are two issues here—Home-cooked meals verses commercial premium dog food.

Whether or not one is better than the other is a matter of preference—you not your dog. And whether or not your dog becomes a demanding “gourmet” is also depending on you; not your dog.

In choosing varied “gourmet” diets for our dogs (diets which are quickly becoming expensive),Guest Posting we fall into an anthropomorphic fallacy—a tendency where human characteristics for animals.

Dogs and all animals are creatures of habit. A pup raised on an ordinary feed (even he’s strictly on commercially packed food) will grow to like it, sometimes shunning rarer delicacies in favor of "the usual."

Occasionally, your pooch may clamor for your steak while his own kibbles waits in his bowl, he’ll eventually go for his regular meal if other temptations don’t compete. Variety is not as crucial to him as it may seem to you.

Dogs are not finicky eaters by nature. We inadvertently create this problem by substituting food for love. We think that every time our dog does something cute, we should give him a treat. After a while, our dog wants nothing but treats, especially if they come from our plate or the refrigerator!
If you feed your dog a variety of food in hopes that one will appeal to him, he will demand a greater and greater variety, and you will have created a finicky eater! Choose a high-quality food and stick to it. Do not feed table scraps or give in-between meal snacks to your dog.
Some "gourmet" dog foods (and especially dog "treats") are designed to appeal more to the human purchaser than the animal consumer. Color-blind canines are indifferent to the pastel hues that beckon the buyer of dog candies. We pay extra for such gimmicks because we consciously or unconsciously equate human tastes and needs with those of our pooches.
What matter most to them is the taste, not the shape, size or colour. Dogs don’t know a clue about calories that gamey treat can add to their waistline. So is up to us to be the sensible one to give treats in moderation. If possible, limit it to training and party times.

Dogs become finicky when they are given too great a variety and by overfeeding. I’m not surprise that at this stage, they may already have weight and health issues to add to their existing dilemma.
If you do change foods, do it gradually by adding a bit of new food each day to the old food. The reason for this is that the digestive flora gets used to one food and a rapid change can cause diarrhea and digestive upsets.
If you choose a high quality food, there is really no need for vitamin supplementation. You will pay more for premium dog food, but you will use less because a small feeding amount has more nutrients and is more thoroughly digested.

And if you should decide on home cooked meals instead, just remember that you should depart from a “complete and balanced” pet diet in favor of a more specialized program. These reasons may include age, disease, or even stress.

A good rule of thumb to apply to your dog’s diet system is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And with this notion, your pooch will soon know you are truly the Gourmet—The Boss.

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Renée Alexandrea
Renée Alexandrea

Renée Alexandrea—a former professional show-dog handler, breeder and volunteer at animal shelters. She has written numerous articles from dog behavioural problems to dog party themes. Get a Free copy of her “21 ways of Budgeting Tips & Thrifty Ideas” ebook at http://www.small-dogs-breed-lovers.com Spend Less and Pamper More.

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