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Sophie's Finally Putting Needed Weight Back On


Guest Becky__R
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Guest Becky__R

My grey has been underweight recently, and has been a fussy eater for the past ten years+ We have always struggled getting her to eat. Sometimes she'd just eat her yogurt off the top of her kibble. Sometimes she wouldn't even eat her yogurt. We've followed the advice of the forums, cleaned and pulled ouchy teeth, tried to slowly introduce her to better kibbles, you name it-we did it. Nothing worked.

 

Meanwhile, We decided to start looking for a new dog. While looking an an adoption event, I visited with a Nutro rep who suggested we try the chicken, rice and oatmeal kibble. Without much hope of Sophie eating the sample, I gave her a few bites. She wolfed it down. We slowly introduced her to the Nutro, but after a few days, she again lost interest in her food. The Nutro gave her a better coat, and great poops, so we are going to stick with it.

 

After much searching, I found a new dog for our home. She is a dauchshund-chihuahua mix and is the biggest chow hound on the east coast. Sophie watched this new dog get excited about her meals, and the enthusiasm caught on to her too. I've also been mixing something that I call "puppy gruel" into their dry kibble. It's a mix of cooked ground beef, brown rice and red lentils with yogurt. Having a new food-motivated dog and the puppy gruel has made all the difference!!! So far Sophie has cleaned her plate every single time. I'm so happy that the food stalemate is over and that she is putting a little weight back on. My recipe is below.

 

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here's a blog covering the new dog's transition into our family. Maggie's blog

 

 

 

Puppie gruel recipe

 

Thoroughly mix 1 pound of lean ground beef with 3 cups of water.

Bring to a boil, and add 2/3 cup brown rice.

Turn the heat back down to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.

Add 2/3 cup red lentils and cook another 15 minutes, or until the rice is soft.

Check periodically, and add more water if needed.

Let this mixture cool, then freeze half of it and use it later.

Take the other half and mix with a two pound container of plain, low fat yogurt.

Serve a dollop of this mixture tossed with your dog's kibble.

 

 

chef's notes: If you can't find lean ground beef, brown it first and drain off the fat. I was surprised at how little fiber was in brown rice, so that was why I added the lintels. They are high in fiber and protein. Red lentils cook quickly, which is whay I add them toward the end. If you can't find them, use another type of lentil, but add it to the pot earlier when you add the rice. I was tired of adding hamburger and rice, plus yogurt separately to the food bowls, so this is how the gruel recipe was born. Maybe you can suggest a better name for this recipe.

 

 

 

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I also have a reluctant eater. What's up with that? Anyway, I now have her on Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon but even still, it takes her all morning to eat it. Sigh. Getting another dog is not feasible so I'm going to try your gruel recipe! My question is: I always add water to her kibble. Assuming you did that, are you still adding water to the kibble?

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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Congrats on the new addition :)

 

With Ivy I was cooking for her for a while but found that egg noodles had more calories than rice so I began using those as well. I haven't had to cook for her in a while, it took about 3 weeks to get her to where she was doing really well with just kibble. I still mix with water and sometimes still add in some egg noodles but haven't had to use hamburger in a while.

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~Beth, with a crazy mixed crew of misfits.
~ Forever and Always missing and loving Steak, Carmen, Ivy, Isis, and Madi.
Don't cry because it's ended, Smile because it happened.
Before you judge me, try to keep an open mind, not everyone likes your taste.

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Guest Becky__R

I also have a reluctant eater. What's up with that? Anyway, I now have her on Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon but even still, it takes her all morning to eat it. Sigh. Getting another dog is not feasible so I'm going to try your gruel recipe! My question is: I always add water to her kibble. Assuming you did that, are you still adding water to the kibble?

 

The consistency is pretty loose with the gruel once the yogurt get mixed in, so I wouldn't bother with the water. You can eyeball it when you're filling her bowl to see if you still need water. Sometimes a little water separates from the food mixture when it sits in the fridge, and I give the bowl of gruel a quick stir sometime before I dish some out.

 

Also, if you're not adding the gruel, you can add a little low salt beef or chicken broth to your water if you have a disinterested eater or drinker.

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Guest ArtysPeople

I didn't think there was such a thing as a reluctant greyhound eater ... until we adopted one! Maeve has been with us since last November, and all her ribs still show and I can still encircle her waist with my hands. She's clean of any parasites and has gotten a clean bill of health from the vet; she's just not very food motivated. I've never seen anything like it, but she seems to literally forget what she's doing in the middle of eating, gets interested in something else and just trots off. She also has a bit of disability with her enormous overbite -- she drops a lot of food crumbs in her attempts to eat it, so even if she were finishing her meals, she'd still be missing a significant portion of it.

 

We already have a chow hound in the house, so she's got a great example -- no excuses there!

 

We've tried at least four different higher-end foods with her; some she prefers more than others, but none has been a magic bullet. I've found that re-introducing her food bowl to her several times a day and adding salmon oil helps, and we've also found that regularly changing food flavors also helps. We've been feeding Merrick -- according to their literature, they use the same "base" for all of their foods, just changing the meat, so changing between flavors doesn't cause much if any digestive problems, and she seems to eat more with the variety.

 

I also have a reluctant eater. What's up with that? Anyway, I now have her on Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon but even still, it takes her all morning to eat it. Sigh. Getting another dog is not feasible so I'm going to try your gruel recipe! My question is: I always add water to her kibble. Assuming you did that, are you still adding water to the kibble?

 

If she's finishing her food before it's time for the next meal and is a healthy weight, I wouldn't worry. Lots of greyhounds in the kennel where I volunteered, especially females, seemed to like to take their time eating. I would only be concerned if she's not eating enough in total to keep weight on.

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Guest Becky__R

We also tried kibble sized for toy breed dogs. We thought that maybe the issue was discomfort while chewing. This may help some of the reluctant eaters with dental issues.

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Guest IrskasMom

OMG ..... finnaly someone with a relactant Eater.My first Grey was a Chowhound and (so it seemed ) always hungry. My Morty is by far the poorest Eater. No matter what I tried it's like pulling Teeth. He just had a Dental , so his Teeth are not the Issue. I tried different Kibbles ....no difference. Today again , I went and bought Blue Wilderness Salmon. He looked at it and walked away. He could not afford to loose any Weight,rather he should gain about 10 lbs.

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Guest Becky__R

It makes me feel better hearing from parents of the other reluctant eaters. Sophie looks frail and even though she is 12+, her emaciated appearance is from lack of eating. We have walked the dangerous line between making her food more enticing and just giving her treats. She gobbles down dog biscuits most times, which made me aware that the problem is not dental pain. The puppy gruel recipe that I posted above really entices her sense of smell and has drastically improved her appetite. Lentils are higher in nutrients, protein and fiber than rice. So I'm hoping that it will help her gain some muscle mass back.

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