What If Your Dog Won't Eat Like A Dog Should?
(Salt Springs, FL, United States)
I have a little Chihuahua and he won't eat anything but human food. I think it's because he's been fed human food by his last owners since he was a puppy.
Right now he is fifteen years old this year and I don't know what I would do if anything should happen to him.
He acts like a little child sometimes and I adore him. So what should I do?
Answer From the Editors at Dog-Spoiling
Your dog is apparently doing quite well on whatever human food he is receiving since he has lived to a good age. But since I don't know exactly what he is getting, or if he has any health concerns, I can't say if what you are feeding him is the best diet for your Chihuahua. Here are some of our thoughts about dog food for you to consider:
First of all there are definitely many "people foods" that dogs should not consume such as potato chips, sugary desserts, fried fast foods such as french fries, chocolate cake, onions, citrus fruits, grapes or raisins, spicy foods and so on to name a few, or anything that would be considered junk food.
Most of the traditional commercial dog foods
that can be found at the grocery store contain very little in the way of real nutrition that a dog needs. The protein content - what there is of it - generally comes from a low value source such as slaughterhouse waste or worse, combined with non-nutritive fillers. Most of them also contain a slew of chemical additives, antibiotics, hormones, sugar, salt etc., - not the type of ingredients that make a pet thrive! Plus canned dog foods may contain up to seventy-five percent water, so on that basis alone, these foods are not cheap!
The main thing in feeding a pet is to make sure they are getting the right balance of nutrients. We are strong advocates of home made dog food where the owner knows exactly what their pet is getting and can make sure it's of good quality. Most dogs thrive on home made dog food recipes
and are fully satisfied by them so that they won't be begging at the table for your food.
For those dog owners with little time to prepare a pet's meals we like the simplicity of
Sojos completely natural, nutritionally balanced dog food bases
to which you can just add lightly cooked meat and veggies. It makes it so easy to prepare wholesome food for your dog. This small company, owned by a vet, makes their products in their own facility in the mid-west using only human-grade whole-food ingredients that are produced in the USA.
When transitioning a dog to a new diet it should be done over a period of weeks, gradually mixing a little of the new food with the old until the old is phased out completely. Also, the time period for allowing a pet to eat their food should be short - up to 10 minutes at a time - never left out. There is much more motivation to eat when food is not left out around the clock - this is especially important for picky eaters. It also makes mealtimes something for them to look forward to.
To anyone interested in preparing home cooked food for their dog, I highly recommend this book: Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
, which is a great resource for taking the guesswork out of a dog's nutritional requirements, as well as being an invaluable pet health care guide.
We hope our views on dog food have answered your question Tanetta and will help you make good nutritional choices for your little dog.