From the day we brought Penny home, she was quite literally a chow hound. She had such a voracious appetite that I'm pretty sure we could have dropped her in a large bag of dog food and she would've just eaten her way out. At the insistence of two vets from two very different practices, we had Penny on Purina ProPlan Large Breed since the end of this past May.
Now, before I go on, I want to reassure everyone that we have been talking to Penny's vet and weigh her every other day to make sure she isn't losing weight. As soon as she does, we'll bring her in to check for underlying causes. We want to do that anyway, if this continues much longer.
Back to the matter at hand. We love the vet we eventually chose after her string of new-puppy-from-a-not-so-clean-background illnesses, and she's given us a lot of great advice. Truth be told, I was willing to blindly follow her advice to feed big brand name food without looking into it much as long as Penny kept eating it, even though the kind folks at Dog Forum have been warning against the supposed "quality".
Penny ate her ProPlan voraciously, to the point where we had to buy an interactive food bowl to slow her down (her doggie cousin's mom died from bloat, so we're extra careful about that over here).
Aikiou Interactive Pet Food Bowl
Suddenly, Penny just stopped eating. There was no gradual slowing down--she just stopped like she switched off a light. We tried adding wet food (also ProPlan) to every meal. Wet food used to be a once in a while treat. Where she once inhaled it, she begrudgingly ate what she needed and left it. Watching your puppy eat about a cup of food a day when she needs almost 4 is just heartbreaking.
I once read an article written by a veterinarian that mentioned how brands like Eukanuba, Pedigree, Iams, Purina, and Science Diet give vet students free supplies for their pets, swag for humans, and sponsorships so the students become extremely loyal and trusting of the brand when they graduate and become full-fledged vets. This article kept nagging at me in the back of my mind, so I talked to a well-respected holistic vet in the area to see if it was true. She said that the article I had read was unfortunately true, and that we should probably start doing some deeper research into food matters.
More confused than ever, John and I headed over to one of our favorite pet supply stores in the area, Whole Pet Central. The owner was there that day and told us his sister had 15 Great Pyrenees, so he sent us home with a few food samples his sister's Pyrs did well with. We were amazed when we tried Canine Caviar Chicken an Pearl Millet--Penny loved it! The reviews for Canine Caviar were absolutely glowing, and what caught my eye was that many of the positive reviewers' dogs had sensitive stomachs or were very fussy eaters.
|Of course she stopped eating it as soon as we invested in a larger bag!|
Sadly, that love was short-lived. After two days on the diet, she grew tired of the food and stopped eating again. This occurred on the day we bought a 12-pound bag of the food, so we had to try to make it exciting. We tried wetting it (ew) with a tiny bit of success, and then adding chopped apples and other fruit to some more success.
Right now, we're adding some of the Canine Caviar wet food to Penny's food and she's eating like she used to. She's been on it for four days now and shows no sign of slowing (the longest so far since this all began) so we're keeping our fingers crossed.
Has anyone experienced anything similar? Is anyone as confused by all the vet advice and conflicting literature out there? We're still not totally sold on one food regimen over another yet, but are hoping Penny will stick to her diet and we will see if we see any other improvements as well. The bonus is that a lot of people with itchy-skinned dogs seem to see big changes with Canine Caviar. Penny can get itchy, so I'm hoping it'll help that little problem out.