Will you just eat the food! C’mon, I know it’s not steak but it’s good, I mean it smells funky to me but you like that right?? What if I add some gravy….you’re not meant to just lick the gravy off….sigh.. Sheesh! What is the go with my dog? Did I get a dud one? Is he broken? Why does he refuse to eat his food?
This was a question that I had to ask my Vet, all the while my sweet little Dudley was scoffing the liver treats like I had starved him forever… way to guilt trip your mother mate.
The vet laughed and mentioned that there were quite a few reasons that he may not be eating, some of which I hadn’t even thought about, so after he ate the entire jar of liver treats and farted the entire way home, I actually stopped and watched him while he was going to his bowl and trying to eat that night.
So, Dudley is a Shih-tzu, the long hair, squished face and bad mouth…face only a mother could love but just the sweetest little dude ever, and he had always had issues eating. I had always thought it was because he was spoilt, “why would I eat dog food when I could just look at you and you might drop a small tid bit on the floor?” I had tried really hard to make sure that that never happened, but I honestly didn’t take in to account that the shape of his mouth, his squwoosh face, the size of his nostrils and the fact that he may not be able to eat out of certain food bowls because of these reasons would be playing such a big part in his eating habits or, lack there of.
So here I was, hovering over his food bowl trying to figure out what the problem was, and it was really interesting to just sit there and observe the whole battle raging in the food bowl…FYI…the kibble won.
Number one, he couldn’t pick the food up, I have always fed him dry food to help with his dental issues, being a Shih-tzu they are sadly prone to dental disease so we wanted to make sure he kept the Colgate Smile, but the steepness of the bowl v’s the shape of the kibble and the squish of his face, made getting the kibble in the mouth a real effort, I think he managed a handful of biccies while I was watching and gave up… can’t say that I blamed him really. Also, I don’t think he could smell it, he did have really little nostrils….hmmm
Next day, mother on a mission! After checking out a few options on the internet, I headed into the local pet store with my list and a new appreciation for people that took time to notice this is the first place.
A “Go-Slow Bowl”….ha hahahaha, the opposite of what I need, but interesting to know that there dogs who gulp their food to the point they’ve actually had to make a bowl to help with this 😊 Labrador owners, perhaps one for you.
Bowls on a stand, to help with a condition called “Mega Oesophagus” google that one for an interesting read!
What I wanted though, was a more shallow bowl so his little face could get in there, one that he could corner the kibble and actually get it in his mouth to eat. Also, I wanted to find another food that he might like, one that smelt a little bit more but was still natural and as long as we had a good dental treat, he should be OK so I was feeling happy about ditching the dental food for the moment.
After a good 45mins of searching, reading and asking the very helpful staff, I headed home with my stash and was excited to see what the nightly feed would offer, would it be a success or an epic fail.
New bowl…check…new food…check….and my 2 surprise tactics…. Number 1- a face wipe, being that he has to get his face sooo close to stuff to smell it, his little nose was always caked in dirt or other things so I grabbed him and gave his face a good clean, he looked shocked but didn’t fight me over it. Number 2 – New food with a dash of warm water on it…..HOLY MOLY!!! There was a flash of dog over to bowl and whammo!! No food left!! He was actually shocked himself I think that he got a full tummy! I had to admit I had a little “moment” of Aww 😊
Just goes to show, chatting to your vet about the little things can sometimes solve massive problems and just watching your pets eat, how are they chewing, does it look like they’re having issues? Is their mouth sore? Can they round up the kibble? Are they actually enjoying it? All of those little things can really help.
FYI – the vet also mentioned that dogs don’t mind eating the same thing over and over, we as humans find that sooo boring and cruel…they just care that the bowl is full and they have fresh water…note to self for when this little turd turns it on again…..