Managing diets for fussy eaters

Dogs can have phases of a high food drive, hating food or merely not caring about food throughout their lives. This is okay as long as there isn’t an underlying medical issue. Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

For general fussy eaters

  1. Try cooking one part of the meal every 2 days.
    Some dogs can smell stale food from a mile away and refuse it. The most obvious answer to this is to cook food daily, but that can be quite a task. Another option is to cook only organs (or some part of the meal) fresh every day/every other day. Then mix this with the rest of the food. This could help combat the staleness of the food.
  2. Save the cooking liquid
    The water that you cook organs in carries a lot of flavours. Save this liquid to use in a couple of different ways:
    - Top up the bowl when serving
    - When storing in containers, add this liquid before freezing
    - Cook veggies/rice in this water and puree it.
    - Cook meat in the same broth along with veggies, then shred.
  3. For vegetable-haters — Slow cooking
    This method has become our saviour but has come with A LOT of trials and errors. We use an Instant Pot(linked here), but it could easily be achieved with any other utensil as long as you slow cook and don’t let any steam escape.
    Directions:
    Mix all the veggies (finely chopped; do not puree), meat, spices & herbs together in the pot. Add the cooking liquid* and pressure cook with the seal on for 15 mins. Let it sit for another 15 mins (sealed in an instant pot) and then release pressure. Drain the water, portion them and use a fork to shred pieces of meat. Skip this step if you’ve used shredded/minced meat. Add your organs to this, mix well together and store. You can also add any broth or liquid leftover from cooking the organs to these containers.
    *Liquid can be:
    i. Liquid after cooking organs.
    ii. Bone broth
    iii. Water
    It is advisable to throw away water that vegetables are cooked in due to the accumulation of oxalates. If you plan on using the cooked food liquid, make sure you don’t cook veggies in that liquid.
  4. For vegetable-haters —Cutlets
    This is a great way to add texture and variety to your dog’s diet. Use minced meat along with finely chopped veggies and make little cutlets. Add a tiny bit of oil to a pan and shallow fry for a minute on each side. Adjust the frying time depending on the size of the cutlets. Do not overcook. You can also add cooked rice, cheese or egg to this. These will add texture and taste, making it fun to eat!
  5. Maximise use of pastes, broths and anything liquid
    Find what your pooch’s ‘hot favourite liquid’ is. It could be buttermilk, bone broth, fish soup, cooking liquid or just plain curd. If they’re fussy about eating a particular ingredient — veggies, supplements, or a type of meat — cook it separately, puree it and then add this liquid to it.
Keeping your dog’s food fresh, flavourful and enjoyable via textures and favourite ingredients is a great way to keep them lapping it up. Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

About the author:

Shyamoli and Selvi. Photo courtesy Shyamoli Gramopadhye.

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Pressure Kukur

Pressure Kukur

A blog to take the Pressure out of all things Kukur. Taking care of your dog doesn't need to be stressful!