Saturday, 3 September 2011

Beggars Banquet

First published in Norwegian on 8 April.
It is awfully easy to be an expert on things you have no practical experience of. This includes raising a puppy. Before Edward came, we had thought that there was no way we would allow a dog to beg at the table. Simply never give him anything at the table, that ought to be a cinch. Or so we thought.

YUMMY. Eddie gets his first chicken meatball.
Then reality hits, and you’re worried sick that the puppy isn’t eating enough and that he is getting too thin. The day before yesterday, I was making chicken meatballs and thought that this must be good food for a growing puppy, being rich in protein and all. So I gave Edward one. Then I’d done it. Now I have a black furry shadow following my every move around the kitchen. When we sit down to eat, he sits there watching happily expecting a treat. Hmm, what to do?

PUPPY DOG EYES. Have you got a treat for me?
We really are worried that Edward does not get enough nutrients. So far, he has shown very little interest in dry dog food. He has a bit for breakfast, but the rest of the day he doesn’t eat much, and all in all he probably eats less than half of the recommended daily dose. When it comes to canned food, on the other hand, he has a fierce appetite. It must taste incredibly good, because he almost licks the enamel off his bowl, and always goes back after a few minutes to see if by some miraculous way he actually hadn’t eaten it all up after all. However, the recommendation is that dry food should be his staple diet, and we don’t want a puppy that goes on hunger strike if he doesn’t get his favourite treat for lunch every day.
So now we have decided that he should only get canned food once a day – for his lunch. The rest of the day will be strictly dry food, and hopefully he’ll learn that lunch is the only meal where he can expect something extra.
Maybe we should try to vary the dry food a little? Or is it true what they say that dogs don’t really care about variation?

Could it be that Edward can actually control his food intake himself? Do we really need to worry about this? Ah, all the questions you struggle with as a new dog owner! 

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