My 4 month old Australian labradoodle is bored with his Orijen puppy & only wants my other dogs adult food.

What do you recommend?

What about the grain free issue?

What about enhancements (tiny amount of cheese, cooked chicken or beef)?

Thank you, Diane


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  • First, there is no "grain-free issue". That's finally been concluded, and we have a link here to the info on the research. Nice try on the part of Big Dog Food & their veterinary supporters, but no cigar.
    Next, dogs don't really get "bored" with their food, because they don't know that there is any other kind of food...until we show them that there is. Dogs are always going to want what the other one has...even when it's the same thing, lol. We've all seen that in multiple dog households where you give everyone an identical bone or chew, and they all want the other dog's bone or chew. 
    Adding "enhancements" and/or switching foods because you believe your dog is bored with his food is the surefire way to create a picky eater, and you will forever be going down the path of finding something new and "different" that your dog "likes"...until he doesn't, and the search begins again.
    So, you have some options. 
    First, if you are free-feeding, stop right this minute. Nobody should be free-feeding any dog, for many reasons. 
    All dogs get fed at the same time, twice a day. You are present nearby at mealtime. Nobody is allowed to go to anyone else's bowl. Distractions are kept at a minimum. Dogs are given 5 minutes to eat their food, and then the bowls are picked up and no food is offered again until the next scheduled mealtime. A normal healthy dog (or puppy) will not starve himself, and he will soon learn that his menu options consist of take it or leave it. He will quickly learn that if he wants to eat at all, he needs to do it when the food is given to him.
    Another option would be switching the puppy to whatever the adult dog is eating, depending of course on what that is. Puppies don't have to eat puppy-specific food, ever. Mine never have. All Life Stages foods are fine for all aged dogs, and many of them can be rotated from one formula to another with each new bag, so you can prevent "boredom". What is your adult dog eating?
    If you must add toppers, I recommend Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixer nuggets. It's freeze-dried raw that comes in little tater tot sized nuggets that you can easily crush into his kibble. I crush three of them over my dog's kibble at each meal, and he licks his bowl clean. I like the S & C nuggets over things like cheese, cooked chicken, etc because they are convenient, keep well without refrigeration, and relatively inexpensive. If you ever board your dog or leave him with a sitter, it's much easier than cheese, chicken, beef, etc. The Meal Mixer nuggets also come in many different "flavors", again to prevent boredom and add variety to the diet. 


  •  Here's the link to the info on the "grain free" NON issue:

    Grain-free diet not linked to DCM in dogs, Research Review Finds
    I'm putting this here so I can find it again when I need it. And you know I just have to say....I told you so, lol. From the very beginning. ;) While…
  • Karen speaks the truth.  HUngry dogs will eat anything. Feed twice a day on a schedule.  Pick it up when they walk away.  At four months, depending on the size of your dog, you might also be overfeeding the puppy.  What the puppy eats before he walks away or lays down and guards his bowl or anything other than eating means he is full.  Pick up the food.  Do not start switching food with a four monthe old, if he is healthy and eating at all he is fine.  Watch treats for training.  Use very small treats but very smelly ones.  If you are going to a training class (I hope)  do not feed meal before class, let him get his meal as nutrious treats during class.  We are not asking you to be mean to your dog, just the opposite.  Dogs like to know they can depend on us for food, at a certain time and that is when he eats.



  • I would like to add that while trying to satisfy a "bored" eater I managed to cause stomach problems. Too many types of toppers and too many kibble changes created repeated diarrhea. I finally found and stick to a kibble (Wellness Simple Salmon and Potato) with very limited additions to his diet. His stools have been stable now for months. 
    Karen told me that food is not love. 😉

    • Thanks for commenting, Paula. The Wellness Simple Salmon & Potato formula is the one I would also recommend to Diane as well. But at this point, I think a food change would complicate issues. After a couple of weeks off meds and on the probiotics, hopefully the stool will have greatly improved, and then a switch to the Wellness food would a good idea. 

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