A little refresher/background. First we have Chase the Wonder Beagle. You can click on his name to get his whole backstory. And recently we added Molly to the mix. Again, click on her name if you want to see how we won her. I love them both the same. But since they are both rescue dogs, they came to us with issues. Both of them have food issues.
Before I go into details, I must emphasize the fact that "issues" are not a good enough reason for us to rehome a rescue dog. Much thought is given before we bring an animal here, pet or otherwise. DH and I both agree to only accept a pet if we are ready to take on a lifelong responsibility for health and love with the same amount of commitment that we would give to a child. We will only rehome a pet if there is a danger to the animal's or our own safety. We also take into consideration the animals we already have. After all, the new pet does not get to choose its pack, so we are careful there as well.
Recently I have been working on those food issues. Rest assured, everyone is getting fed - quite well, but it has been a learning experience!
First there is Chase, who will not eat dry food while standing over a dish. Every single mouthful of kibble is taken (stealthily) back to his bed where he drops it and eats one piece at a time. Remember, most of his teeth are missing. I don't know if that is why he transports his dry food but it is a habit we have been unable to break. He is now 15+/- years old and I'm just happy he still has a good appetite. Until we got Molly I would leave his food out and he would happily nibble on it off and on throughout the day.
Molly, on the other hand, has no trouble eating dry food. All of the dry food.
All. Of. The. Dry. Food.
Remember, she was rescued severely underweight. She is still convinced she might not get enough to eat. She will eat everything that is set down in one setting- practically in one gulp.
The first few days of feeding were an eye opener. There was some growling. Teeth were bared. I wrung my hands and worried. I started out handling this by trying to feed them in 2 different rooms, twice a day. That worked, except Chase (who was used to grazing) would not eat enough in one setting. He started losing weight. Next I tried mixing a tiny bit of canned food into his bowl. That helped him to eat more at one setting but Molly would refuse to eat and would sit outside the room where Chase was- to clean up his leftovers of yummy wet food. Now both dogs are getting a wet/dry mix, still in different rooms. And Molly has learned to finish hers first and to wait patiently for Chase to finish before she gets the leftovers. Progress! Now I can keep track of who is eating how much, which is a great way to keep an eye out for health problems and is one of the first questions the vet will ask.
I love having rescue dogs and the amount of joy they bring into our home is priceless. Along with their issues comes great personalities and immeasurable loyalty!