Feeding Raw Dog Food to a Picky Eater
24 April, 2017
By Kimberly Gauthier, Dog Nutrition Blogger for Keep the Tail Wagging
My dogs eat their food without incident, but it wasn’t always that way. And every now and then one of my dogs (usually Scout or Sydney) shows little interest in their food and I’ve had to find ways to quickly turn that around because I have to leave for work.
Some people will say that a dog will eventually eat; take the food away and feed them later. I use this tactic as a last resort. Instead, I first rule out the possibility of illness. If having an off appetite accompanies listlessness then I’m going to call our veterinarian.
If my dogs are just being picky, then I add one of the following, which makes mealtime fun again.
1 – Freeze-Dried Food Topper
One of my favorite raw brands, Vital Essentials Raw, makes freeze-dried pet food and treats an sprinkling a ½ a handful of freeze-dried bits of their freeze-dried minnows onto my dog’s meal makes them happy.
I like using freeze-dried food and treats because the right brand produces this with limited ingredients, I trust the sourcing, and my dogs are eating something that’s good for them.
2 – Raw Goat Milk or Kefir
I use raw goat milk or kefir as a food topper several days a week and my dogs love it! Not only do they enjoy the taste, but raw goat milk and kefir does wonders for their digestive and immune systems. When Sydney had yeasty ears, I fed her kefir for three days to boost her immune system along with doing the following:
- Add 50/50 distilled or filtered water and organic apple cider vinegar to a spray bottle that has a mist option.
- Spray the inside of a yeasty/dirty ear and wipe away dirt with a soft tissue. Repeat until clean.
- Massage a small amount of organic coconut oil to the inside of the ear; coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
- Repeat daily until ears clear up (usually two – three days with my dogs).
3 – Sardines
I add sardines (from a can, low sodium and/or olive oil) on top of raw meals. The sardines offer beneficial fatty acids and the dogs love it. I stock of up canned sardines for the health benefits and have found the best prices on sardines in olive oil or low sodium/water can be found at WalMart.
4 – Cook Your Own Food Topper
I received a pressure cooker and will often toss in lean ground beef, chicken livers, crimini mushrooms, sardines, kale, spinach, eggs, and ground mint to create a yummy food topper for the dogs. I can also serve this as an individual meal, however, it’s not fed regularly because it’s not balanced and many of the nutrients have been cooked away.
5 – Don’t Throw Away Treat Crumbs
I washed out an old peanut butter jar and add a mix of dog treats to for the dogs. When I reach the bottom of the container, there are crumbs and pieces of bigger treats that I sprinkle over raw meals as a food topper.
6 – Bone Broth
I make a batch of bone broth for our dogs every other month. I used to make it in a slow cooker over 20 hours and now I make bone broth in 3 hours using a pressure cooker. Bone broth has a load of nutrients and a ton of benefits for dogs and warming up a little to use as a food topper is a big hit with my dogs. It boosts digestive health, immune system health, and joint health.
About the Author: Kimberly Gauthier is the Dog Nutrition Blogger and Pet Food Nutrition Specialist behind Keep the Tail Wagging, a blog about raw feeding and dog nutrition. Kimberly and her boyfriend are raising two sets of littermates in the Pacific Northwest where they enjoy a property with plenty of room to run and explore.
Like this article? You will certainly like this other great article on raw feeding : Raw Feeding Sources