Testing (modern girls make their own, informed choices)

IMG_1871
bowl number 1 gets most attention

When choosing Lily’s diet I consider quite a few factors. The most important is what my vet thinks. I follow the guidelines to avoid falling into a trap of pseudo-science. I mainly cook for her, it’s easy, gives me much more control over the things that go into her meal, she loves it and it helps with the ethical side of things. I’m a vegetarian (or, mainly vegan but I would eat something with eggs or dairy on a night out if vegan options weren’t available) so buying meat is a big thing for me. I mainly (though not entirely) rely on my local butcher, plenty of meat would be grass-fed/ organic but as I often buy ‘odd cuts’ it’s not as expensive as people think. And I use it all, I hate the thought an animal lost its life not to fed another life, but to end up in the bin. Lily’s sources of carbs and fibre are almost entirely vegetables, though I don’t demonise grains in dogs’ diet. I think she looks and feels better eating mainly meat and veg.

IMG_1873
bowl number 1 still in the lead

But, for various reasons, she always has a bit of dry dog food in her bowl. The last few of my dogs were seriously malnourished when I got them, so having small amount of kibble many times during the day helped with their health and behavioural issues. None of my dogs has ever been overweight and I don’t advocate overfeeding anyone (dogs or humans). Anyway, I always have a problem with commercially produced dog food as I’m never fully convinced how good it really is. I have used Hills in the past (the prescription type for Ardbeg and science plan for another dog) simply because it seemed to be the best compromise between the vet, the dogs and me. But when Ardbeg was healthy he used to get Eden Pet Food and he was thriving on it. I was happy with it, too, as it’s not a big brand (locally produced is better in my world), the ingredients seem more than acceptable and it might be tastier than most ‘healthy’ foodΒ  as my junk-food loving Ardbeg didn’t seem to mind. Ah, it’s grain-free if you’re obsessive ;). So, I’ve decided to check if Lily likes it, too. They do samples, so I’ve ordered all 3 varieties they offer and had some fun testing which one is the tastiest πŸ™‚

She seemed to like it more than most kibble we’ve tried (Hills, Waiwright’s, Acana, Orijen and Lily’s Kitchen. The last one she just didn’t eat at all. Not even one tiny bit!) And there was a clear winner:

IMG_1878
bowl number 1 : Eden Holistic Pet Food Original

She’s decided the ‘Original’ is best. Ardbeg liked ‘Country Cuisine’, which came second in Lily’s test. The ‘Catch of the Day’ doesn’t seem to be popular with my dogs, but…

Charlie, one of my cats (who generally seems to think he’s a dog) really liked it. Well, they do cats’ food, too (only one variety, precisely this one: ‘Catch of the Day’).IMG_1866

Letting her decide was fun. Dogs are generally rather restricted in what they can do, where they can go,Β  what they can eat. I like our small compromises. I know it’s still mainly me who decides on most things,Β  but letting her pick up the type of dry food she likes (from my ‘approved’ list) seems to be enjoyable for Lily and teaches me more about her. And the more I learn about Lily, the easier it is for me to make her trust me.

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Testing (modern girls make their own, informed choices)

    1. I like to try and see the world from her perspective, it helps me understand why she does what she does. It also stops me feeling frustrated when she does something I disapprove of (rolling in fox wee, barking at people who want to stroke her). When I remember her world is mostly the world of scent and that she’s a small dog who wasn’t exposed to humans as a puppy I think about finding a way to reduce her behaviour (no rolling in smelly stuff when I can see her) or reduce her stress (asking people politely not to stroke her). Well, I really think ‘a dog is for life’ and it’s a good thing to understand someone I share my life with πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Awww. So much fun. I guess Lily has a new kibble for her food. I think, in general, dogs are not really fond of food made from fish products, which is what The Catch of the Day sounds like. Cats on the other hand….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, at least my experience confirms it, too. Strangely enough, my dogs often like fresh or smoked fish. But I guess dried and powdered fish incorporated into the dry food is just as bad idea for them as it is for me…I don’t actually like dry food for dogs, even if the reasonable side of my brain understands the ‘balanced’ and ‘complete’ terms. But that’s just me πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feed Tippy Purina Pro Plan, which is dry. She does well with it, but doesn’t like the Salmon version. LOL If I had the time and money, I would cook fresh for her too. I don’t have time to cook for myself, so don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I once had someone ask me why I wanted to give my dog human grade good, both in the kibble ingredients and in the food I make myself. My response was, “If I wouldn’t feel good about eating it, why would I give it to my much loved pet?” I wish more people would pay attention to the quality of their pet’s food.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice one!
    I have watched numerous dogs eat different foods when faced with a variety of dishes to choose from……
    Always surprises me…… Scientists state we have about 10000 taste receptors, dogs unfortunately are said to have about 1500 and most of them are located at the rear of the tongue so they say.
    What it leads me to believe is that it is the odour of the various dishes that attracts the dog. We know how powerful their noses are,
    Maybe your clear winner just smells that much better to her than the others and perhaps very little to do with taste?
    Food for thought just thought I’d put it out there!
    Have fun keep building that trust. πŸΆπŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m sure it’s her nose that does the choosing πŸ˜‰ The cheap dog food producers unfortunately know it, too and by adding artificial meaty aroma take advantage of the fact that dogs use their sense of smell to assess the world around them. Then, even us, humans, with our joke of a nose, when we can’t smell what we’re about to consume find it difficult to taste it. So, I think the sense of smell is vital -even for us- to enjoy food. Well, it’s definitely vital for me (and as I am a huge single malt whiskies enthusiast, I’d rather lose my sense of taste than smell) πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. Thank you for doing a dog food post! Going to show it to Mum as her dog is off her food at the moment. She usually cooks for her, but hasn’t added vegetables. Then she will sometimes eat “Taste Of The Wild” kibbles… great information thank you very much!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cook meat and usually 4-5 types of veg, add herbs from my garden (if I can) and stuff like ground linseed. The problem is that good quality dry dog food doesn’t contain artificial scent or sugar -so dogs are not always too keen on it. Ah, and dogs don’t actually need salt (we do), even their receptors for salt cover a tiny area on the back of their tongue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you πŸ™‚ Your Mum might want to ask a good vet what the best food would be (as there are so may things to consider: the age, breed, activity level). GSD are prone to dysplasia, so omega-3 aminoacids and glucosamine might be needed . Bone broth is good for joints (for all dogs), I cook pig trotters and freeze the jelly . It’s cheap and healthy -and all my dogs have always liked it. You can do it with chicken feet as well, but remember that chicken bones should never be given to dogs (they are too brittle) so just use the gelatinous soup πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re awesome! Thank you so much for taking such good care of your little guys, or gals rather! They deserve it too! I can’t stand when people don’t take care of their animals, it’s devastating! It’s so cool how you let them pick their meals, like you said “from your approved list”. Thank you again, I love reading your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant! Plenty of ideas and things for Mum to try for Erin- there’s nothing wrong organically with her (the dog…not Mum) as the vet did a full health check on her and an ultrasound of her tummy just to be sure. I think, perhaps, she’s just one of life’s fussy eaters, and we’ve yet to find the right combination. Thank you for a great post and all your advice – much appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s