He’s so fussy, he will only eat chicken. This is something I have heard time and time again from dog owners who think they have the fussiest dog ever. Having owned dogs throughout the fifty five years of our married life, I can honestly say that this has never been a problem.
Dogs will eat whatever you give them and if you give them chicken, or any other delicacy, that is what they will prefer. Given a choice between lamb’s livers cooked in a white wine sauce, or the usual kibble, most dogs would choose the liver. The next meal, when faced with ‘el cheapo’ kibble, they will look in disgust at their dish and walk away. However, when hungry they will come back and eat the lot. However, if you panic and think that your dog will starve overnight, you may give him more of the liver, which sets a trend that is hard to break.
I love my dogs and will do my best to make them happy, they are spoiled, overfed and cosseted, however having watched them drink water from dirty puddles, wrestled with them whilst on walks to prevent them from eating some awful, dead thing they have discovered and told them off after they have cleaned out the deposits from the cat litter box, I have no illusions that they are fussy. Of course they prefer our food but they get their usual diet most of the time and they eat it. If they don’t they go without until hunger drives them back to the bowl.
The usual diet for my girls is several biscuits in a morning and kibble, mixed with a little wet food, in the evening. They get a marrow bone once a week which they love but, after they have taken all the good stuff out, the bone gets buried in the yard and an old, filthy one is retrieved. Apparently bones get more flavour after spending a week or two in the ground, as I remarked previously my dogs are not too discriminating in their diet!
The appearance and packaging of dog food, as with human food, is to attract the buyer who is not the animal but its owner. Dogs and cats do not really care if their kibble comes in shapes of barnyard animals or little fish, as long as they can get it in their mouth, they will eat it. Most cans of dog food I have opened look and smell delicious and could be served to husband Dave, if I put a crust on it. Cat food though usually smells so bad that I do not inhale when opening the can. It seems to be that the stinkier it is, the more they enjoy it. I don’t know why manufacturers make so much of their cat food from fish, if cats are just small tigers, why give them fish. Most cats hate water and would not catch fish for dinner, they would hunt and bring down a smaller, hot bloodied, animal. Given the choice of human leftovers my cats have preferred ham or cheese, not fish.
Read the wording on any can of dog food and it sounds like a fine dining experience, “tender cuts of beef in a delicious gravy”. They do not mention that tongues, tails and ears are part of the beef as this would put off the human buyer but these parts of the animal are just as nourishing and, by the time they have processed it, it smells appetizing.
As a child I know we never bought cans of anything for the cat. Butchers were happy enough to give you scraps of meat, this was boiled, with some rice and fed the cat all week. We could not afford to be fussy with human food and the cat was treated like the rest of the family, either eat it or do without.
Nowadays the pet food business is enormous and very few people prepare their own pet food, it is so much easier and the kitchen doesn’t get the greasy smell of cheap meat being cooked. The butcher no longer has scraps to give away and the discards of our childhood are now used as gourmet ingredients. Marrow bones are served in fine restaurants, chicken livers are a delicacy, chicken wings and any ribs are now an expensive item to buy. Most of the give-aways of my youth now cost as much as any other cut of meat. Even turkey necks are pre-wrapped and sold.
A packet of four small marrow bones, for my dogs, costs nearly six dollars, but they enjoy them so I buy them. However, because my girls have such a huge collection of old bones, I now retrieve some of them, fill the cavity with a mixture of peanut butter and kibble and freeze them. Fresh from the freezer the dogs dig into the treats with relish, the frozen peanut butter takes time to be chewed out of the bone and doesn’t have the chance to melt and make a mess. The girls enjoy their treat and I save a few pennies.
My dogs are not fussy eaters in fact, I quite often think that if I die alone in the house, they will be quite happy snacking on me until help arrives. Fussy eaters….yeah right!