|Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 12:24pm PST |
|You ARE creating an unhealthy behavioural cycle by allowing your dog to determine when and what he eats. A dog who feels off and refuses food for a day is fine- but a dog that refuses food because it's not to his taste is not. What you're doing is rewarding his behaviour (Refusing food) through positive reinforcement (Giving him better food) You are training him to refuse to eat, and it's working, because every time he refuses, you give in. And if you try to fix it and he refuses for longer, you give in. So now he knows that if he just holds out for X amount of time, you'll give in, and when you don't, well, maybe if I hold out for one more day... And one more day... And one MORE day...
The only animal I'll cater to is a cat, because their bodies can shut down extremely fast. Dogs are more robust. It won't hurt for him to have to wait a few days to eat, and when he's finally really hungry, he'll eat.
What I don't agree with are the previous poster(s?) who are acting like canned food or other healthy food additives (Water, egg, etc) are bad things. If you want to include something in your dog's bowl, go ahead. If he expects it and refuses to eat without it, then you have a bit of a problem. So feed him kibble with canned food if you want, and the day you run out of canned and he refuses to eat until he gets it, don't give in until he eats his kibble dry. His next meal will be the reward- you ate the boring food, here's the good stuff, good boy!
Peach eats 1/4 cup dry and a tablespoon of wet each meal. If she doesn't get her wet, she looks at me like I'm crazy until I sit down and ignore her, and then she realises, well, that's it, I might as well eat it! My in-laws own Peach's mother, and while she lived with me she ate what I gave her when I gave it to her, but they cater to her whims, so she won't eat until she puts up a proper amount of fuss. People create dogs with food issues; dogs will happily eat anything that they find, naturally.
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