So anyway... then I tried giving him just the wet food, but waiting until we got to work. He didn't seem all that interested in food first thing in the morning. Like his mom, he is a night owl! This plan didn't work out all that well. I would put some wet food in his bowl when we got to work, but then I would often get busy with phone calls or whatever, and if he didn't eat all of his food right away, which was often the case, it would sit there too long and I was afraid it was spoiled and have to throw it away. I also would end up with lots of empty cans sitting in the sink at home waiting to be washed out for recycling. Gross! True confession, Homemaker of the Year I am not. On top of it all, he was starting to get picky about the canned food, too, and I briefly fell into the trap of trying different flavors. He loved the liver for a few days, than lost interest and I would try the beef, etc etc.
Then the clincher. He became violently ill, the vet and I both thinking probably from some tree berries that he must have eaten on one of our walks. This was in September, and it seemed like there were a hundred varieties of trees around, half of which were dropping some kind of berries off of them. I watched him like a hawk when we were walking, but he always walks with his nose to the ground sniffing, and sometimes he would scarf something up before I could stop him. Anyway, I was horrified when he starting spewing bloody diahrea (sp?) out his butt, and for a couple of nights I hardly slept at all. Poor little guy. The vet told me to give him boiled chicken breast and rice, along with antibiotics and probiotics, which I did. (He also explained why it made sense to do both the anti and pro biotics, but I'm not sure I get that). Anyway... I only had brown basmatti rice, and I figured that was mild and better for him anyway. After he started feeling better, he seemed to have decided that he quite liked that chicken, and was certainly not going to eat any canned dog food any more, thank you very much. Aargh, buddy, you scared the cr*p out of me and I took good care of you, and this is the thanks I get? He was also having problems with intermittent runny stools, and it was a bit of a struggle to get it stabilized.
Honestly, I don't even remember exactly how we got from there to here, but this is what we are doing now. For the past month I have been feeding him the same thing, he loves it, and there have been no loose stools. In the morning at work I put some kibble in both of his "kibble balls", and he has to work a little to get his food. Once a week I cook up a batch of ground turkey mixed with chopped carrots and various other veggies, with about 2/3 turkey to 1/3 veggies, and freeze single servings of it in snack sized bags. I saute the turkey and simmer the finely chopped veggies, then mix them together. When we get home I defrost one in the microwave, mix in some kibble, and feed it to him. I also give him a little winter squash or sweet potato on the side several times a week, whenever I am having it, and he loves that, too. I believe he is getting a balanced diet, trusting that the good quality kibble i am giving him has the needed nutrients. I am open to tweaking it later, but for now I think I should leave well enough alone. I have also discovered that the subject of what to feed your dog is at least as controversial as politics or religion, and have several doggie friends who are convinced that raw is the only way to go, but I am not on board with it, for various reasons. I will continue to read and learn and think about it, but for now, all I know is that he loves his food, his poop looks wonderful -- you know what i mean! -- and it's working for us.
Sorry this is so long, I should have been posting all along, but all I want to say to any new puppy people who are struggling with this -- just keep at it, you will figure it out! Thanks for reading.
Last edited by emichel; 12-13-2012 at 01:29 AM.