Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dahlia's food adventures

My parents fed our childhood dog Come 'n' Get It her entire life. I'm pretty sure there was never a change from day one until the day she passed on back in 1998. They feed their new dog Beneful and they have since the day they got her (this is coupled with boiled hamburger or chicken because Teri has a "sensitive stomach" -- she might be better off if she ate better kibble, but such is life!). They're pretty consistent with what they feed.

Dahlia has gone through quite an adventure in food and we're switching yet again. To date:

1. She was fed Nutro lamb and rice at the foster home. The foster mom was supposed to bring the remainder of the bag of food with her when she met up with us, but she ran out without it. We ended up with a new dog and no food and it was 9pm at night. We had to get her something.

2. It was late, so the only place we could find on the way home that was open was K-Mart. The best thing we could find there was Kibbles 'n Bits Wholesome Medley (which, considering the first ingredient is "whole grain corn" is not exactly wholesome). I'm still not sure it had any real meat in it. But Dahlia ate it for a week or two.

3. We briefly tried a food called Harmony Farms that we picked up at Wegmans. It was organic, looked pretty good (the first two ingredients were chicken and chicken meal), and was pretty inexpensive for a food like that. She liked it, but it really didn't agree with her stomach.

4. We talked to the vet, who recommended Iams or Science Diet. So we switched her to Iams. We went with the lamb and rice because she had been eating lamb and rice before. It was certainly a step up and she seemed to like it at first. At least the first ingredient was meat (lamb meal, too, which meant it was indeed the first ingredient). But it still had a lot of corn in it and while Dahlia seemed to be thriving, she wasn't that interested in the food and I felt we could do better.

5. I ran out and bought several bags of food. We decided to try some variety, maybe see if she preferred one to the other. I got two formulas of Blue Buffalo (lamb and fish), Chicken soup for the Dog Lover's Soul and Authority beef (I think, it's been awhile). We rotated the foods, let her sample them all. She didn't care for the Authority stuff, the Chicken soup for the soul seemed to upset her stomach a bit. She enjoyed both of the Blue Buffalo ones, but really scarfed down the fish.

6. So we ultimately ended up feeding her Blue Buffalo Fish and sweet potato. She wasn't excited about the food, but she would eat it down pretty good.

7. Then one day we picked up a can of food at our local Co-op and mixed some of it in with her food. Well, boy did she go nuts for that stuff. We started buying cans of food to mix in with her food and gave her variety that way. 1 cup of the dry and half a can of something (Merrick, Evangers, and Wellness were the usual suspects, but we have fed her many other things).

Her coat has been awesome since switching to the Blue Buffalo fish and adding the cans. It was good to start with, but now it's just so soft and shiny. She gets complimented on it all the time!

8. Well, now we're going grain free. After much research, both on price and value, I've opted for Taste of the Wild. It's actually cheaper than the Blue Buffalo we currently feed (why didn't I know this before?) and it's grain- free. We're going to give her the Pacific Stream formula as its fish based and she seems to really love her fish. Last night I brought home a 5 pound bag to start with, just to make sure she's ok on it. And I offered her a couple pieces of it like it was a treat. And she took them! She never takes dog food like it's a treat so this was huge. I guess she'll be a fan! I just hope it agrees with her.

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