Frequently, I hear the comments from customers that their dog has aggressively eaten our (raw meat) diets for a few weeks and then for some reason they decide not to eat it. The customers immediate concern is that there is something wrong with the food. To further complicate the concern they may have ordered our variety pack that offers 4 different protein choices. The dog has refused to eat any of the 4 choices. Now the customer is really concerned because FIDO is going to starve!
I have been selling raw diets for 32 years and I must report that I have never seen a dog starve that has been on our food. So why does he/she decide not to eat the food?
Could it be that maybe the dog has been nutritionally satisfied?
Can we relate this situation to our own feelings of satisfaction. Many times I’m not hungry because I have been previously satisfied and it is no different with our pets. The bottom line is that they will eat when they are ready and when they want to eat. If there is nothing wrong with the food then it is a degree of satisfaction that explains the concern.
In my early years in this business I was involved with selling raw meat diets to the zoological parks all over the world. Part of my responsibilities involved working with the exotic animal vets. This experience was an invaluable experience and through this learning process I became aware of the need for a fasting day. The body requires time to detoxify and cleanse itself of possible pathagens and toxins. This fast period is an important bodily process and this animal instinct is a natural process that a human, that never misses a meal, is hard pressed to understand. If you have a pet that all of a sudden goes off its food, don’t take immediate alarm. It may be his/her natural ability to detoxify and say-“I’m totally and nutritionally satisfied.” I have observed that most pets that have been converted to a raw food diet will eat their food aggressively and most consumers will be pleased to see how satisfied their pets are with the meal change from eating their dry diets. However, once they become nutritionally satisfied, they will have a tendency to back off from their food. Have no fear, they will eat when they are hungry! If you know this in advance, then you won’t be as concerned when you see this happen. This is not a common occurance but it does happen occasionally. Here are some tips that may help you when experiencing this situation:
- First determine that the food you are using is not spoiled ( smell test ).
- Check for visible signs of thawing ( patty may look deformed ).
- Sometimes it may be a matter of temperature- where the dog is used to kibble and a colder meal variation is not desired.
- In really difficult feeding scenarios I may suggest that the patty be heated slightly in the microwave, and then each day heat it less and less until it is back to room temperature.
- An additional trick is to add a little warm water to a thawed patty and make a slurry out of it. Many times they like this better.
- Lastly, you might try adding some powdered garlic to the patty. This trick many times gives them the added incentive to eat the food. If you have purchased our very palatable E-omega coat oil then this product may also be used to coax them to eat the meat patties.
After 2 or 3 days, if they haven’t decided to eat then you might become concerned to the point of taking them to your vet. At this point they may be experiencing other digestive complications and need the vets assistance. You need to observe and be looking for any signs of distress or discomfort in order to make this decision.
posted by Rob Mueller