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When I got Charlie she was 8 weeks and a bony 3.5 pounds. She is going to be two on September 15. She has always been lean and never really interested in her food. I had read all the books and knew all the right things to do but I was worried about her weight so I started putting toppers on her food. At first it was just a crunched up dog biscuit - how could that hurt. It is all natural right? Then it progressed to wet dog food, table scraps then on to the hard stuff. I was cooking chicken and eggs for the dog. I finally had to admit I had a problem. I was addicted to toppings. Things might have been find but as all the books warned she became really picky. We hit rock bottom one day when she turned her nose up at some homemade chicken and rice.

With the support of DK I decided to go into topper rehab and quit cold turkey. It was hard. The worrying, the withdrawal, the whining (mine not the dog's). I switched kibble thinking that might start us off on the right track. It didn't work. I tried take the bowl away after 20 minutes but quit after 4 days of her eating nothing. I caved in and left the bowl down. Her ribs had always been prominent but suddenly you could feel every vertebra on her spine and her hip bones were protruding through her wooly doodle coat. The neighbors and people in the park began commenting. In a moment of weakness took out an egg and the frying pan but luckily the kids talked me down. I was battling the topping demons but luckily I had a great support system.

It has been a few weeks and I am proud to say I think we have that topping monkey off our backs. Charlie eats when she is hungry and usually at the end of the day there is nothing left. I've started giving her a large meal replacement cookie before bed and she is beginning to fill back out. I think I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. My dog is not going to starve to death.

So... To all you new dog parents out there. Don't let the topping demon get a hold of you. It seems so harmless in the beginning but before you know it your in too deep and looking to score bones and scraps at the local butcher.

Be strong and just say no to toppings.

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lol

Very cute confession!!!!  I felt like I was reading the confession of a shopaholic!  :)

I too top their food with boiled chicken breast often.  Not a lot of just the right amount that gets them super happy.  Ben won't even eat green bean toppers any more and picks it out of his bowl and Zoe will stare at me if there is nothing on top of her food.  I have created MONSTERS!  But the do eventually eat after the stare down.

Well we too are addicts and LOVE it.  We cook steak, chicken, salmon, turkey - all as toppers and now that dh doesn't work - he is even making chicken jerky!  Yes we are nuts but the boys love it and what can I say - GUILTY as charged!

i had the same problem with my 2 year old Sam. i top his food with frozen green beans

My vet told me its perfectly fine to top off the food with a little cottage cheese,in the morning!!!Or  a little Healthychoice  chicken and rice every so often,,, or Sodium free chicken broth on the dry food!!!Works for me,,,and they still eat when I dont put anything on the top of there food!!!!Just that dry food all the time is a little Boreing!!!!Just saying!!!!

Has anyone tried the reverse?? Giving something..i.e. a "topper" after they finish their meal?

That is how I tried to reward her for eating the kibble. We would give her a treat or piece of chicken or slice of roast beef when she finishes. So far today she has not had any additional treats. Her dinner is still untouched in the bowl. I think right now she does not see the correlation between finishing the kibble and the treats but I think she will eventually get it.

Like I said, we are a work in progress.

I don't think there is a problem giving dogs chicken, cottage cheese, pumpkin, veggies or any other healthy food. There is a possibility the dog will become picky, like mine did. Tons of people don't have this issue. I totally believe that if it working for you then don't try to fix it.

Hello.  My name is Deborah and I'm a topping addict, too.  I just didn't realize it was more common until I read this blog.  My doodle Emmett was raised on a raw diet until he came to live with me.  I always just thought that he thought he was human and should be eating what we humans are eating (only healthy of course).  Kibble?  Even the most expensive, most healthy, most anything will sit in his bowl for ever until a topping is added.  I try, like every other addict, to only do what is healthy and helps his digestion, i.e. yogurt, chicken broth or stock (homemade of course), eggs (after all we have our own chickens and if he doesn't kill them it seems a small reward), cooked veggies, chicken leftovers, liver, etc.  It's gotten to the point where the Kibble is now a "topper" to the homecooked food.  Do I need help????  Emmett's not over weight and I can't leave is bowl with food out because his brother will bulldoze past him to eat it and now I've added an always hungry foster.  What's a Doodle mother to do?  (Don't get me started on the peanut butter filled marrow bones). 

Sigh, I'm hanging my head in shame. . . . I'm an addict and an enabler. 

Lift up your head; there are special rules for fosters. :) 

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