An Ode to Sojos!

Hallelujah! My picky eater likes Sojos Beef formula. Like is not the right word. He LOVES IT!!!!

Monty is almost 2 years old and we've always had at least 4 open bags of different dog food since he is such a picky eater. Treat? Yes, anytime. Regular food? Not unless there is a topping on it. He is 79 pounds, heavy as a log, but not overweight. He eats 3 cups of kibble a day at most. There are days he would eat less. I know it was said that a dog won't let itself starve, but doodle moms, be honest here. Doesn't it just keep you concerned if your fur baby leaves the bowl half full every day?

We went through Solid Gold, Blue Buffalo, Wellness, TOTW, several other brands that I can't remember. There were bags that we started, never finished, and "donated" to his BFF from a dog park (by the way, she is 20 pounds lighter than Monty and eats 6 cups!!! a day). We recently discovered Acana. Monty liked Acana. In fact, he liked every new food introduced, but Acana seems to resonate longer with him. Of course, there have to be toppings. Anything from cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, organic goat milk.... Then I started buying little raw Natural Balance patties and mushing one into his kibble at mealtime. He loved it. Another victory!

Then I read about Honest Kitchen and how it helped some doods here with loose stool. Monty gets diarrhea at least once a month. Out of a blue. So we got a box. It was the first food he was not excited about when I mixed it in with his Acana. Must have looked like horse feed to him, LOL. But he got used to it (after I added salmon oil and some toppings to the bowl).

A couple of weeks ago I got a sample of Sojos Beef.  He literally licked the bowl clean. To me, it smelled and looked like a soup that I could eat. :-)  Excited about what I witnessed, I ordered a bag. It came in the mail on Monday and ever since then, Monty's bowl is shining clean after each mealtime. Yay! I just mix a couple of spoon-fulls with a regular serving of his Acana kibble and it's all gone in a matter of seconds. No hesitation at all! And by the way, his poop is perfect!It makes me so happy to see him being excited about his food, and in addition, the food is also good for his health! What more can a doodle mom want?

Ahhh, perhaps the search for the perfect food for my picky eater is FINALLY over! I should be more careful here so that I don't jinx it, but here goes: Yay Sojos!

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  • I'm glad that Monty likes his new food. I'm not sure that it's a good idea to mix it with kibble, but if it works for him, and he continues to do well with it, I guess it's fine. Keep in mind that it is raw, so it cannot sit in the bowl like kibble if the day comes when he stops eating it so enthusiastically.

    I really believe that offering a dog too many choices leads to picky eating, just like with kids. It's the same with toys. When they have 20 things lying around, they don't play with any of them. When they have just one or two choices, they seem to be more interested.

    A dog quickly learns that if he holds out long enough, he might get something better, and that's how you create a picky eater.

    "We recently discovered Acana. Monty liked Acana. In fact, he liked every new food introduced, but Acana seems to resonate longer with him. Of course, there have to be toppings. Anything from cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, organic goat milk.... Then I started buying little raw Natural Balance patties and mushing one into his kibble at mealtime. He loved it. Another victory!

    Then I read about Honest Kitchen ... But he got used to it (after I added salmon oil and some toppings to the bowl).

    A couple of weeks ago I got a sample of Sojos Beef."

    I may not be understanding this correctly, but from the above, it looks like even when Monty seems to like a food, you have continued to look for and introduce others anyway. I guess that's the part that I'm not getting. If he was doing okay with the Acana, why introduce Natural Balance? And when he loved the Natural Balance, why try the Honest Kitchen?

    Introducing so many new things so often, and then with all the toppings, etc. besides, may have been what caused the bouts of diarrhea.

    I don't mean to be lecturing here. I'm glad the Sojos and Acana is working, and I hope that continues. But in my professional life, I was a personal trainer and life style/weight management counselor, so I think about food and feeding  a little differently than most people. Food isn't love to me, and I don't get any particular satisfaction from a dog (or even a child) enjoying his food, lol. I was honestly not concerned at  when my kids, my grandkids, or my dogs left food in their bowls or plates every day, as long as they were in good health, physically active, and at a healthy weight. It is always, always better for a human or a dog to be a little underweight and not too interested in food than it is for them to be overweight or in love with food.

    All I'm saying is, relax and don't be so concerned about whether Monty loves his food or not. He'll be fine. I hope he continues to do well with his current diet. 



    • Thanks Karen, you are the guru here so I don't mind you lecturing. The problem with Monty was that although he would enjoy his dry kibble for a couple of days, he would then just come, sniff, and walk away later on. I know, I should have just ignored that and keep feeding him the same thing. I'm a pushover and I know that. :-)  If I say that Monty likes a certain food, all I mean is that he eats it with an interest for a few days and then he just nibbles. I would not change his diet every other week. He would go through 2 big bags of TOTW and then he would stop eating it. So I would say 3-4 times a year I would experiment with something different for him. Also, I don't keep food available for him all day long. I know better than that, learned it here at DK. :-) If it did not get eaten, it got pitched after the mealtime. And if he did not eat his dinner, there were no treats either. He is my first dog, so I'm still learning. And let me tell you, this dog food business is still a big mystery to me. I do read the labels thanks to what I learned here at DK, and know what foods to stay away from. It just breaks my heart if he does not seem to like the food I give him. That's all. In my eyes, it's like me eating the same thing over and over every day. It gets old.  I know, I should not humanize him....but he is my first baby. I promise I'll do better once we get a second dog. I just got really excited when I saw him licking his bowl clean. Again, thanks for all your help and insights you give to all of us. Sometimes I wish I was eating as healthy as my dog is. I love food and recently discovered that I'm gluten intolerant so I have to stay away from all the bread and pizza that I used to love. Darn!

      • Monty may just not be food motivated. I hope you won't let it break your heart if he stops being interested in his current food. Trust me, it isn't breaking his heart when the food isn't so interesting. He just may be the type of individual who doesn't love food, any food. Some of us are just like that, and we still go on to lead healthy, happy, productive lives, lol!

        It's a mistake to compare your dog to yourself in terms of things like eating the same food day after day getting old. Dogs aren't like that. They don't know there are all kinds of different foods out there, and they don't think about it. They're hungry, there's food, whatever it is is fine. People really would be better off if they looked at food that way, too!

        Take comfort from the fact that the greatest contributing factor to health problems in dogs as they age is obesity. It has become as widespread in dogs as in people, and it is the number one issue being discussed in veterinary articles. The picky eaters are the ones who will hopefully be spared the joint problems, diabetes, liver and kidney problems, etc. This is my wish for your picky guy!



        • Karen - Similar situation for us but Riley is older. Curious to get your thoughts. Riley has always been good about waiting for us to release her to eat. Food stays out for maybe 10 minutes then it is taken away until the next meal time (morning and night). As a puppy, Riley would devour food. We always fed her a Blue Buffalo puppy mix then moved to Blue Buffalo adult around a year old.

          Now she is almost 2.5. Frequently we will release her to eat and she just stares at it. Sometimes, I put a piece in my hand just over the plate as if leading her to the food. After two pieces she will start eating on her own. Sometimes she will take what is in my hand and drop it on the floor and step back. If she doesn't eat, it gets put away. Sometimes I think she is so excited to see us (we work during the day) that she would rather play than eat. My husband thinks she just isn't hungry and tells me not to worry because the vet didn't say anything about her being malnourished (although she looks that way when wet). The concerning thing is that I know she would eat a treat if I gave it so she must be hungry. (Then again I often eat treats when I'm not really hungry either. LOL)  

          I know she won't starve herself but (after constant prompting from my Mom) I started feeling bad that she eats the same thing day in and day out. So, I switched to Wellness around a year ago and now I sometimes switch flavors within the Wellness line when she starts refusing her food. It helps but I'm concerned I'm just making it worse in the long run. I assume you would say stop switching food?

          (On a related note, my Mom also doesn't think we give Riley enough treats. Feeling guilty about that too.)

          • The first thing you need to do is ignore your mother when she gives advice about food and feeding, lol. There's no such thing as "not enough treats". Feeding dogs is about nutrition and health, not about love and pleasure, as we've mentioned in this discussion. 

            A rotation diet, where you rotate foods with similar nutritional profiles but different proteins, usually in the same line within a brand, is an excellent way to add variety to a dog's diet and keep them from getting bored with their food. If you rotate formulas with each new bag or two, that should not make things worse in the long run. It's not the same as constantly switching in an attempt to find something the dog loves.Just don't offer more than one food at a time, lol. Use one bag at a time and then you can switch with the next bag. (No bag of dog food should last more then a month. If it does, you need to either buy smaller bags or freeze some of it.)

            Stick to one Wellness line, whether it's Core or Simple Solutions. I'm not crazy about the Complete Health line, but if your dog does well with it, that's fine too. I'd guess most dogs would "like" the Core line best. 

            • Thanks for the info and the moral support! :-) I can't tell you how many times I have heard "How would you feel if you had to eat the same thing every day???"

              We were using Core but when she started to lose interest I moved to the Simple Solutions line. At first I thought maybe there was something in Core she didn't like. SS seems to be working as long as I rotate. When we switch proteins, my husband will mix a little from the old and new bag to help her transition. But I doubt he really needs to do this as she never seems to have digestive issues when we change it up. 

              Maybe she is turning her nose up because the food is too old. It is in a plastic sealed container that is cleaned between bags. However, I've never paid attention to how long it takes to get through the bag. I'm guessing maybe 6 weeks. I'll have to go look at my Chewy history to see how often I buy. Thanks again!

              • There are three different Core formulas, and I doubt there was something about all three that she didn't like, lol. 

                It's definitely not necessary to "transition" from one Simple Solutions formula to another.

                And yes, most dogs are more interested in their food when it's from a newly opened bag and is fresher. 

                • I kept grinning the whole day today. So glad that my silliness is still helping people. And just an update: Monty got up to 89 lbs pretty much shortly I posted this discussion....thanks to all the treats and toppings I put on his kibble. Happy to report that after we got our second doodle in 2013, they have both been on the same food (Acana) and ate great even without rotating. By the end of 2014 Monty was down to about 85 lbs. After his TPLO surgery in January 2015, I switched him to a lower calorie Solid Gold and got rid of all high calorie treats. Before his second TPLO surgery he was at 79.8 lbs. 

                  And since I said that I will be feeding the boys the SAME food, Auggie get exactly the same food and treats. While Auggie has never been a picky eater, quite the opposite, he got up to 85 lbs as well and our vet said he should not gain any more weight. I'll be curious to see how much he weights when we go in for his shots at the end of September.

                  • I'm so glad you chimed in here, Jarka. Your discussion has helped a lot of people, and it's good to have an update on Monty, too! 

      • I'm with Karen on this.  It might be that Monty is just not a big eater by nature but that new really amazing food forces him to be interested...for a little while.  Like if I started feeding my non-food-loving child Brownies for breakfast...she'd devour them the first few breakfasts, but after a while even Brownies get old and are just...brownies.  NOT that the food you're giving him is devoid of nutrients like brownies often are, but the novelty wears off and his true non-food-a-holic tendencies kick in again. It doesn't mean he NEEDS something else, it just means he eats more like a 'poodle' than a retriever. 

        I just happen to always have gotten the retriever-like chow-hounds so I have no experience with picky eaters on the doggy front. 

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