Dogs are pretty basic animals. A warm and clean place to live, a good relationship with a human to look after, and a bowl or two of good food every day. My two dogs eat a pretty balanced dry food with the occasional goody mixed in. Well, ok, in theory anyway.
Clover and Cosmo are very different in the way they approach their meals. Clover, is the typical always hungry Labrador Retriever – she will eat whatever I give her whenever I give it to her. Cosmo is the finicky one – he eats when he wants and only if he is hungry. You could fill a bowl of food up in the morning and he would only eat what he felt he needed to fuel his day. I cannot, however, do this, because the minute Cosmo relinquishes ownership of the bowl by walking away from it … Clover is all over it.
Clover is always fed first. She gets her bowl on the floor when she stops fussing and sits still for a couple of seconds. Cosmo runs to his spot and sits at attention waiting to inspect his food bowl. He sniffs, he goes in tentatively and takes a mouthful of food out of the bowl and backs up into the dining room where he deposits the food on the floor. He then inspects the food again, sniffs it some more, and at that point makes up his mind if he is hungry enough to go to the bowl for the rest. Clover has finished her bowl by now and circled around through the living room to sneak up behind him and hoover up any loose kibble. If I stop her before she can eat it, she will pace and whine until she can see if he’s a clean-plater or not.
Have you ever noticed that a finicky dog like Cosmo, who prefers low-fat cottage cheese mixed in his morning food, and spits out cooked spinach like he’s being poisoned, will eat grass like he’s a cow? Early this Spring after our morning walk, I was unlocking the front door and looked over and thought how pretty the first little daffodils looked … in the time it took me to unlock the front door and get the dogs back in the house … I looked back at the daffodils to see they were all gone. The culprit? Cosmo. How did I know? The yellow petals were sticking out of his mouth as he smacked his lips.
Everyone knows that chocolate, raisins and onions are very bad for a dog to eat. There are loads of experts out there than can give you a list of stuff to not feed your dog and the reasons why, so I’ll leave you to that on your own. What I do know from experience is that onions are really bad and can cause some serious gastro problems. Ask Clover. I also know that while some dogs cannot tolerate dairy, my two don’t seem to have a problem with it in small quantities. Ask Cosmo – he loves cottage cheese and yogurt mixed with fresh blueberries, but would prefer a rare steak with all of the trimmings. Hmmm. Wouldn’t we all.