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Friday, 2 December 2011

What's the top dogs' dinner for taste?

I find food that smells good makes my picky eater much more interested. I guess it's obvious as dogs' noses are so much more sensitive than ours, but which type of food gets your dog's nose twitching the most?
I have a young dog that really seems to find little joy in eating her 'proper' dinner, it's so depressing picking up the bowl to find hardly any food gone so I have got used to trying to tempt her!
I have an enormous sack of dry food that breeder insisted I feed, but I find I have always have to add something extra to get her to eat any.
I don't always have a suitable leftover from our human dinner and would like a reserve of prepared food in the store cupboard to tart up her dinners.
What do you suggest?
When I have eventually finished this sack can I switch her to all wet food that she so obviously prefers? Which one is the tastiest? What's worked for you?
Hattie is a Cocker Spaniel, so not a huge dog. She's fully grown now - but how she's managed to grow eating so little I have no idea! The vet has checked her he can't find anything wrong with her apart from having gourmet tastebuds!
I've tried the 'pick it up and put it down' till she eats it philosophy but she held out for two days last time and I couldn't keep it up it made me so unhappy seeing her go hungry.
The breeder insists this dry food is the best, but my instincts say not for our Hattie! It really would make me happy to see her enjoying mealtimes.
Fiona Smith, Luton


  1. You don't say what brand she's on at the moment. Some dog foods are full of sugars which appeal to the dog's sweet tooth.

    Any manufactuer is going to tell you their food is the best.

    Having never eaten dog food I can't say which is the tastiest but as a trainer and behaviourist seeing dozens of dogs a week I can say that the ones on raw food seem to be the happiest and healthiest with the least amount of health and behavioural issues.

    Olwen Turns
    MAPDT (1094) MPDTE, Member INTODogs

  2. I have recently discovered Bob & Lush, my dogs love it! They do dry and wet food and they can be fed together.
    Fish4Dogs is a favourite as well, and the do a salmon mousse.


    I would suggest that you read the above :)

    Your dog seems to know what is "not good" for him :)

    Good luck and my personal recommendation would be to give him "real" food, preferably raw.

  4. My dogs (a chihuahua/yorkie cross and whippet/staff/heinz 57) are on the Holistic diet Nature Diet which is supplemented with one raw lamb heart a week. They absolutely love the heart! Our little chihuahua mix used to have Bakers and although we've cut it his diet now he still absolutely loves the chunky squares, so he has one of those a day too. He leaves it til last, picks it up and takes it to the living room to throw about and dance around it before finally eating it!

  5. How would anybody like eat bits of hard dry biscuit themselves for every meal, instead of a tasty cooked one. No wonder some dogs are so called 'picky' eaters. I wouldn't say that they are picky, they just know that these foods are not the best for them.

    I would ditch the bag of dry, and go for something that is going to be good for your dog, like a naturally prepared cooked food. Some people will also probably recommend RAW feeding which is going to be the most natural, but dogs of mine in the past haven't got on with it. I now feed Forthglade, but started with Naturediet. These contain a good meat source, are not filled with a lot of cheap cereals, and are not containing artificial additives and preservatives, and the dogs have always loved this. Also what comes out the other end, is no more than a small amount, meaning that the dog is utilising most of the food it is eating, and it is not coming out as waste, and lots of it!

  6. I have exactly the same issue with my Dobie. He will not eat dry food to the point of starvation!

    I have been buying chicken from my local supermarket and left over bones from our butchers to suppliment it. Every day while cooking our own food, I throw something into a pot and boil it, I then remove the bones (never feed cooked bones to a dog!) and mix the meat into the fatty, watery, juices. (Chicken forms a beautiful jelly if only a small amount of water is mixed). When this is mixed in with the dry food, 8 days in 10 he will wolf it down. I feed him twice a day so one evening's mix is halved and the other half saved for breakfast.

  7. My dogs a sheltie and a Bichon are both raw fed, I wasn't sure if my Bichon would take to it as she was used as a breeding bitch in a puppy farm but she loves it as soon as the bowls are put down they're emptied. If your not confident at getting the mix right ( I'm not ) there are companies out there that do the mix for you, the only thing you need is loads of freexer space, it costs me between £3 and £5 a week to feed 2 dogs.

  8. I would feed him raw or if that's not possible, then Naturediet [as several people above have recommended]. My chihuahua and american bulldog have a combination of both [including raw bones and pulverised veg and fruit]. They love it. Also read Ian Billinghurst's 'Give Your Dog a Bone' for info. Certainly stop the commercial dry stuff !

  9. I have had exactly the same problem with my Cocker Spaniel Badger, he is 10 years old now, and he hardly seemed to eat anything for days, I'm sure his small size 9'5kgs is maybe due to his lack of eating, but he is healthy and the vet said I was probably overfeeding him and that he just wasn't a greedy dog, and he was getting all his nutrients..

    I started feeding him a raw diet plus terrier meal, which was great for a while, then it all started again. I now cook the meat and he loves it and always clears his bowl. Trouble was he loved it so much his weight shot up to 11.5kgs so he had to go on a diet.

    I would get her checked by a vet to make sure she is healthy. It may not be that she is a picky eater, just that you are overfeeding her and she's not a greedy dog. As in my case, good luck...

  10. Hello! I had the same issue with Yoda, not as bad though. Sometimes he just won't eat treats or food put in front of him. I recently found Vet's Kitchen brand of food at Discover Dogs and I am currently trialing it to see how it makes a change to my dogs.

    I am SO impressed with the results so far, and they even do a gravy which I think might help tempt your baby?

    You can read my review on my blog here if you'd like to see how my dogs get on. I will be updating it regularly with their progress xxx

  11. My dogs have sampled many foods over the years and always seemed grateful for being fed but never over excited by any one brand.

    I reverted to raw feeding and have been very happy with the results but recently, Vet's Kitchen rocked the boat in our house as I duly sampled it only to find the dogs really, really enjoyed it. I enjoy the handy sized resealable bags and I was impressed by the prophylactic ingredient contents but the dogs seemed to genuinely enjoy the taste, way more than any other dried dog food - perhaps it's something to do with the concentrated formula.

    Even over a longer period of time they still haven't tired of what must be a pretty good flavour if it has to compete with tasty meat on a bone!

  12. Jez Rose recommends Vet's kitchen. Well, there's a surprise! He works with Joe Iglis who owns the brand. Not exactly an honest, independent recommendation.