The Finicky Eater


How to Entice a Head Bowl Bobber to Work the Bowl!  

This month’s article really isn’t really a “medical” article.  It is more of a “maybe I can help you if you are the frustrated owner of a self-proclaimed, self-induced, love-starved (and I don’t mean human love!) intact male Golden Retriever who decides several times a year, he doesn’t need food to survive and wishes to drive his human caretaker crazy!  I will admit, and my friends will happily attest to the fact that over the last few years, I have bordered on seeking professional help! For myself!  I know they became weary of listening to me moan and groan about my boy turning his nose up at mealtime!  But that didn’t stop me from moaning or groaning!  Plus I really didn’t want to spend my “show money” on counseling when I could rely on them!  That is what friends are for….no? 

Having an occasional non-eating dog was a new occurrence for me.  My other Golden Retrievers have always consumed their meals like there is no tomorrow.  When this first started with the “baby,” I was told it was “adolescence.”  I was told he would “grow out of it.”  I was told to “let him miss a meal or two.” I was told to buy “Old Roy Dog Food” instead of the $2.00 per pound kibble he was accustomed to eating.”  I was told to “put his food down and walk away.”  I was told to “put his food down, walk away, give him 10 minutes alone and then pick it up.”  The first time I did the latter he decided to do what I now call the “head bowl bob.”  Trouble is…along with the “head bowl bob” comes the “nose rubbed raw syndrome!”  It became a vicious cycle and usually manifested itself as soon as I sent in show entry! 

Lucky for me, (or maybe lucky for my friends as it somewhat took them off the hook), I was able to find other “head bowl bobber” owners and we soon formed “packs.”  We would exchange emails and telephone calls comparing notes on different enticing diets, supplements, and methods to get our “bobbers” to eat!  The pack members would drift in and out depending on their latest diet enticing success!  Last November, after a long stretch of my bobber “working the bowl,” I happily told all my friends that it seemed he was totally cured!  He had been eating with gusto for over three months!  Within days of uttering those words, my “bobber” was BACK!! 

Once again I consulted with members of the “pack” and was on a mission to find the perfect diet enticement!  By a pure stroke of luck, I have to say, I think I have found the magic formula.  It is called variety!  As they say, variety is the spice of life and in my “bobbers” world, variety seems to be the spice of his mealtime life!  Below for the first time since his last “bobbing” episode, I am divulging my secret recipe for the entire world to see and use if you ever are faced with an HBB or the NRRS! 

·        Kibble – Any brand.  Doesn’t seem to matter.  Last month I used Pro Plan Turkey Select.  This month I am using Natural Balance (Chicken).  Soak in warm water before feeding – about ½ hour.  74 pound dog gets 1 cup of kibble per meal.

·        Longevity by Springtime, Inc.- THIS is actually what seems to be the main “enticement” and my stroke of good luck. I was given a pound of it free and started my 12 ½ year old on it.  The “bobber” took a sniff of the old guy’s leftovers and gobbled that up so that is when I started adding it to his meal and HE LOVES IT!!  It contains Bee Pollen, Spirulina, Beef or Pork Liver, Yeast Culture, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine HCL, MSM, Ascorbic Acid, Citrus Bioflavonoid Complex, Diatomaceous Earth, Hesperidin, Kelp, Sea Salt and Biotin. 1 scoop per meal mixed in with kibble. 

·        Chicken Livers/White Rice – Every Sunday evening I boil up a pound of chicken livers, set them aside, drop the contents of a 16 ounce box of Minute Rice in the water that I used to boil the livers, and then mash the livers up into the rice to make a rice/chicken liver mixture.  A half cup of this is mixed in with the kibble and Longevity at each meal.

·        Natural Balance Beef Roll (1/2 inch slice of large roll)

·        Hamburger (cooked and drained)  (1/2 cup)

·        Boiled chicken (deboned and shredded) (1/2 cup)

·        Jack Mackerel  (1/2 cup)

·        Canned Tripe (Couple tablespoons)

·        Canned Chicken & Rice Dog Food  (Couple tablespoons)

The last 6 items (Natural Balance Beef Roll through the Canned Chicken) are given on an alternate basis as a “meal topper.”  I usually do not use the same “topper” for breakfast as dinner.  I rotate as much as I can!! 

I boil a “roaster” or “fryer” chicken about once every 2 or three weeks.  I brown a pound of hamburger every couple of weeks.  Those two food items are separated into convenient portions and put in the freezer.  I pull a portion out of the freezer on a random basis the evening before I plan to feed them.  A can of the Mackerel, Tripe or Canned Chicken/Rice Dog Food usually lasts 2 days. 

The “bobber” gets pushy for his meals now and breakfast and dinner time is a joy!  I feel good about adding the variety to my boys’ diets and they love it!  Especially the “baby bobber!”

Anyone who would like to share their mealtime stories, frustrations and cures are more than welcome to email me at:  The “pack” can always use a few more members!

Until next time, may all your meals be Happy Meals!

Return to the Current Medical Article