I decided to give the girls a treat and add some canned food to their kibble. I knew I should have given them less, but I thought they could handle it since they don't normally have a sensitive digestive system. I was wrong.
I'm going to be babysitting a little boy sheepie, 8 months old, starting in a couple of weeks, for a month, while his owner goes to Sri Lanka to help out after the tsunami. He is on a fixed feeding schedule, twice a day, so I thought it would be best if I now try to get my girls on a schedule as it would be hard to make free feeding work with a dog who is used to twice a day.
I figured adding a little canned food to their kibble would help them eat it all. I put 2 cups of kibble in each bowl, and about 1/3 of a large can of food in each. The girls loved it and did eat it all, but Dancer now has a poopy butt. Eeeeewww. Sky seemed to handle it better, her stool was a little softer, but not runny and not sticking to her butt. LOL
I will have to either try a different kind of canned food (I used a cheap brand so that may have been part of the problem as well) or find something else to put on their food that will encourage them to eat it all. Sky will eat anything, but Dancer is picky. She doesn't like cottage cheese, shredded cheddar she will pick out and leave the kibble. I don't want something that is low fat or low calorie since Dancer is a tiny dog anyway and a few pounds would be good for her. I'm thinking gravy, or a better quality canned food. The high quality canned foods seem to be kind of dry and don't mix well with kibble. So I guess I need something in between.
|I've used gravy, they like that and it's cheaper than the stuff at the pet store. You could also try yogurt, my guys love it and will lick it right from the spoon. I use canned food sparingly but when I give it I use Nutro.|
I've been feeding Blue Star canned food with her kibble since I brought her home at eight weeks. She is on a twice daily schedule and when I started the canned food I only put in maybe a spoonful or two. I also switched her food from Ukanuba to Eagle holistic. (gradually of course.) I use Iams puppy formula that is easy to digest. She had some bouts with diahreaha(sp?) but her stools are always firm now as a rule. I think when you introduce the canned it is important to only put in a little. Then stir is up with the kibble to flavor it all. I wouldn't give up on the canned food. Also changing a habit is hard so give it some time to settle in.
I also trim around the rear area and blend it in to the hind quarters regularly. It keeps the hair well away as well as it being more sanitary.
I don't know if this would effect the show coat look though.
|The canned food, or any messy thing in their food, is a bit of a problem because it makes their beards messy, so I need to find something that won't do that either. As far as trimming their butts, Sky's is done, but Dancer's is not. I won't do it myself because I don't want to ruin it for show. I'll have to see if someone can do it for me... I was told to grow it, not cut it. LOL Until I know how.|
|Stupid comment here, but why do you think it is necessadry to encourage them to eat it all? Won't they eat it all if they are hungry, ie after the first day or so?
I ask this in all sincerity, as I've never switched a dog over, and all mine have always eaten every morsel presented.
|Well Sky will eat anything anytime, but Dancer has always been a picky eater. As a puppy I had a hard time getting her to eat anything at all. I'm not really switching their food, just trying to switch their schedule so they eat twice a day instead of nibbling all day.
Dancer just doesn't have an appetite, she's not food motivated at all for training either, she enjoys the occasional treat, but if I put two treats on the floor she may or may not eat them, or she might eat one and leave the other, she just doesn't care much about food.
On any given day she will eat about 2-3 cups of food, sometimes more but not often. She's not thin, according to the vet, but I still think she is too light. Her ribs and back don't stick out or anything, but she's not as heavy as I'd like her to be. A slightly thinner dog is a healthier though, so she may just be the way she is meant to be. So, adding something to her food to encourage her to eat may accomplish two things, for one, she may gain a little weight, and for two, I may be able to get her on a schedule. Hopefully!
|Our first sheepdog was a fussy eater.
We found mixing in a small amount of cooked hamburger
helped. He would polish off the meal, and the stools
would be regular and firm.
Every time we tried can food, we had the yucky butt problem.
A small amount of romano or parmasan cheese mixed in
with his kibble helped if we were not using meat
|Wiilowsprite-Do you only show in Canada? I live in Michigan and we have some good shows. I know there are some differences in points and stuff, just wondered. I have seen some really beautiful Canadian sheepies at shows, I think from Aphrodite.|
|try stirring in some plain yogurt into the kibble - Maggie love it and i have been doing that to encourage her eating since her surgery and it seems to be working.|
Wiilowsprite-Do you only show in Canada? I live in Michigan and we have some good shows. I know there are some differences in points and stuff, just wondered. I have seen some really beautiful Canadian sheepies at shows, I think from Aphrodite.
I haven't shown these girls yet, but when I do I will begin in Canada and go from there. I used to live in Leamington, right near the MI border, so for me going that way is like going home.
try stirring in some plain yogurt into the kibble - Maggie love it and i have been doing that to encourage her eating since her surgery and it seems to be working.
Yes yogurt is always good for them, helps restore the natural gut flora to prevent and aid in treating infections, and also gives a little calcium. It's relatively low calorie though, so I would like to find something that gives a bit of a calorie boost. I may try it anyway, if she likes the yogurt and will eat more kibble because of it she won't need extra calories anyway.
|Like another member I use iams gravey in my boys food,and they love it.Jagger my collie is a picky eater and will thin down when he gets stressed,so i was worried aobut him and the vet said add gravey to his kibble,and it worked,he has put on alot of weight and he eats everything in his bowl.However I guess this wont help if you dont want their beards to get all brown.Mickey certainly gets all brown,but im not showing him.hehe!!Makes me laugh thinking about showing Mickey!!LOL!!|
|Tanya what kind of gravy do you use? You mentioned iams gravy, is that iams food with gravy or does iams make a gravy for dogs?
I was thinking of trying that instant bistro gravy. It's a power in a re sealable can, you can mix up as little or as much at a time as you want and only have to add boiling water and stir. Sounds perfect to me!
|Here you go.
http://www.iams.com/en_US/jhtmls/home/s ... stagecode=
|Is that ever cool!!! I had no idea they made that stuff!
I've never seen it in any pet food store, maybe I'll have to ask them to order it .... thanks guys
|Where in Michigan are you at, bestdogs?|
We have found that any new form of meat or gravy in a significant amount tends to upset our boys stomachs. When we do give canned meat as a special treat it is never more than a large tablespoon each which means a standard can lasts all 4 boys at least 2 meals.
What we have found to be irresistable for them though is Kraft Dinner, actually any mararoni and cheese dinner, you don't need the expensive legitimate KD. We started to use this a few months ago when I was talking to our breeer about getting a bit more weight on Virgil Tiberius. I had tried just about everything I could think of to get him to put on those last 8-10 pounds to finish filling out. She suggested KD and it has worked wonderfully. A box of KD should last the two of your girls for two meals and if they like it anything like our boys love it they'll eat everything in the bowl to make sure they get the last piece of KD. The other great thing about this is that it doesn't upset their stomachs nor does it give bad breath as some wet meals and gravy's might.
Just a suggestion to consider.
|ButtersScotch- I live in Shelby Twp near Rochester-right by Lakeside Mall. Right now I'm in Elk Rapids near Traverse City. Do you do any shows?|
|That's an excellent idea Carl.... and they do love KD!
I'll try it tomorrow, macaroni is always suggested to help dogs digestive systems recover from upsets as well... so I'm sure it can't hurt. I'll try a little at first though.... thanks
|Well, the "yucky butt" seems to be over with *knock on wood*
Now comes the task of bathing her and cleaning her up. I think I will try to trim at least some of her butt, but nothing too visible, and then have someone else trim it appropriately before she is shown.
The only good thing to come of this is that Dancer never before would do anything to let me know she needed to go out, but after this mess I don't think she likes the smell of herself and doesn't want to make it any worse, so yesterday she began a different kind of bark than I've ever heard, and it seemed to say "I need to go, NOW" So I have been praising her profusely, and this morning even with no diarreah she seemed to get a kick out of just being praised for communicating something to me and was very proud of herself and eager for a treat when she came in after doing her business.
|YES!! Max thanks that is the stuff I use for my boys.Here in Wi. Iams just came out w/ there brand of gravey,I was using a differnt brand,but Iams is like 2bucks cheaper,and they have better flavors.|
|Lately Pooh only eats about half of his bowl....so after 30 minutes I pick it up. Eventually, he is hungry and will scarf his bowl. For instance, yesterday morning, he barely touched it, last night for dinner, it was gone in a hurry.
Try chicken broth, or lately, we've had luck with egg drop soup. He LOVES egg drop soup!
|My parents put down a heaping bowl of kibble, along with about 8 or 9 milkbone treats, every morning for Blackie. Blackie doesn't touch it all day, except the milkbones sometimes. He'll leave it until supper time is over with, and will eat it only after he knows there are no leftovers to mow down on, or once the leftovers have been dumped in his bowl. LOL Blackie will also not touch his food if he knows it is the last out of a bag of kibble. When he sees another bag of kibble in the cupboard then he will go eat. Too smart.|
|bestdogsx4: that's exactly where I used to live! Too bad, we could've introduced the dogs. No, I don't do shows. They're a lot of work so I revel in other people's accomplishments with their kids. Mine are just my buddies!|
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