A la carte

My husband heard from a friend about the benefits of feeding your dogs raw food. Now, while I am skeptical and don’t like change, my hubby embraces it. It didn’t take a lot for said hubby to decide that we were failing our dogs in the food department and that change was needed as soon as possible.

Now, you don’t just give your dog raw food or mix it in with kibble; there’s a process. First, you have your dog fast for about 8 to 12 hours to have all the cooked kibble leave their system. Then you have to figure out how much raw food to feed them; that involves a special calculator that’s online. Then, you need a fancy a scale to weigh the appropriate amount. Finally, there’s a lot of careful washing of utensils, bowls and counters afterwards because raw dog food sometimes comes with things like e-coli and other things that don’t hurt our doggie friends but certainly aren’t welcomed guests for humans or their digestive systems.

River sniffed the new concoction for about half a second and dove right in. Ocean, on the other hand, took one look at the stuff and turned her nose at it.

But we were ready for her pickiness. The raw-food dealer had talked to us about this. “If they don’t go for it at first, just grill it a bit,” she had assured us. “They’ll love it.”

So, we started cooking.

Big. Mistake.

The stench this raw food produced when heated defies description. It was an acrid, horrific stink that seemed to go straight into my throat and stay there. I shoved the stir spoon at my hubby and ran for the washroom.

Later, after the windows were opened, fans were left on and we had febrezed the house from top to bottom, we placed a new offering in front of Ocean.

Her dogginess gave the stinking mess a remarkably human-like disgusted look before leaving the kitchen. River perked up, ready to inhale whatever was not nailed to the ground.

Through the remaining waves of stink, I saw my hubby’s crestfallen expression and tried to help him. Ocean has always been his dog and he took this rejection hard. “She’s might not be hungry,” I tried. “Let’s try her tomorrow.”

When Ocean refused her breakfast the next day and started acting lethargic, we decided enough was enough. Out came the computers and we were off to try and find a new food for our delicate girl. Next thing I knew, we had two large bags of special kibble for picky eaters.

So, tonight, River enjoyed his raw food meal while Ocean had a plate of special kibble picked just for her.

Yes, our dogs eat a la carte.

Where the kibble is just not good enough

Well, I might have mentioned that we have 2 dogs. They’re akitas and we love them dearly. As caring doggie parents, we try to take good care of them, walk them, hug them and feed them good food.

Believe it or not, our search for just the right kibble for these two has been a labour of love that took years. We’re not newcomers at the dog food store. We’ve had other fussy eaters before but Ocean, our little princess, beats them all.

Only kibble? I want to register a complaint with the chef.

River, our tubby guy, will eat anything not nailed to the floor. That, itself is an issue, because we don’t want him to be unhealthy.

Breakfast was exhausting.

So, our kibble has to be perfect for both Ocean and River because to have 2 different brands would send us over the edge into insanity. We have searched, asked experts, compared the tiny ingredient writing in the bags and changed our minds a hundred times. Finally, we have one that we agree on and that our doggies like.

So, what do we do? We add things to it.

That pale stuff in there? That’s tuna. Yeap. We don’t eat it…but we buy it for our dogs

Where Ocean is sick and I rant

Ocean, our lovely, fluffy, spoiled girl akita, has always been a picky eater. She likes blueberries, if you please, and only organic ones, please. But she won’t eat strawberries and turns her nose at bananas.

While River will almost eat your finger when you offer him cheese, Ocean will sniff it endlessly before making a commitment. At every meal, River consumes his kibble in under a minute. Ocean sits and stares at it endlessly until we pet her and encourage her to eat it. Finally, after about an hour, she will dignify the offering of food and reluctantly eat it.

Now, as picky as she is with our kibble and organic treats, she finds earth, grass and the little putrid crab apples in the yard irresistible. Another thing that temps her choosy palate are dead mice or putrid critters. And, to my horror, she’s not beyond eating sticks.

Please note, all of these things aren’t good for her. However, dogs are blessed with an incredibly short digestive system which means they can survive eating things that would kill most humans. Still, even a digestive system as powerful as theirs has its limits and at times, they have to puke some of those tempting offerings back up to avoid complications.

I wasn’t concerned when she didn’t eat supper a couple of days ago. She does that, especially since the kibble didn’t have tuna added to it. I wasn’t concerned when she took her usual 2 hours to eat her breakfast yesterday. But this morning, the sounds coming from her stomach made me think someone was dying.

I rushed to get my stethoscope (I have one for my dogs–don’t judge me) while my lovely hubby stared at her in shock. While I poked and robbed her tummy, he got her a cup of tea that Ocean promptly ignored.

So, I’m super worried. The stomach of this puppy of ours is still making all sorts of weird sounds. Ocean doesn’t seem at all bothered by it, but still.

Hubby is pretty certain she’s gone outside and eaten something terrible and, unfortunately he’s probably right. But, of course, this is the long weekend and our trusty vet is away and ignoring my frantic calls. So, I’m trying to give her a massage, plenty of water and rest.

Does anyone know how to make kibble taste better and more like putrid apples and earth? Maybe if I can manage that, she’ll eat what we give her and leave the other things alone.

My silly, little baby girl.

Recipes for doggies

I have one week off and then start back to work, so I’m trying to get some treats for my sadly-neglected pooches. Since it’s summer, I thought of something cool…like ice-cream, but that’s not good for them. Instead, though there are tons of great recipes out there for doggies who are hot and want something to cool off.

Did you know they love watermelon?

Here are some sites that have great ideas for cool doggie treats: www.pinterest.com/explore/summer-dog-treats/


Just one suggestion: give it to them outside. I gave mine a piece of a beet inside and the mess that ensued defies description.


My dogs eat dirt.

It’s not like they don’t have kibble to eat, they do and it’s good kibble too. Like most doggie parents, we’ve tried every type of dog food from the B.A.R.F. diet to cooking for them, to the super-expensive, to cheap. Finally, we’ve settled on ours and they love it, so all is well. Until they eat dirt.

I don’t understand it. A dog’s nose is something like 500 times more powerful than a human’s. Dirt doesn’t exactly smell great to me. With their powerful nose, it must smell even worse to them. So, why eat it?

They eat it from the plant inside my office. It’s a delicacy they simply can’t resist because every day, the poor plant has less and less dirt. I keep refilling the pot but there’s no keeping up with my two hungry akitas. Now, the roots are starting to show and soon, the plant will die.

I’ve tried explaining things to them and tried positive reinforcement with treats. Nothing works. Apparently, good cheese doesn’t have the appeal that dirt does.

Maybe they’re missing a nutrient.

Maybe they’re trying to tell me something.

Maybe they have prairie dog DNA in those fancy CKC pedigrees of theirs.

(credit: zooborns.com)

(credit: zooborns.com)