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Old 05-16-2011, 11:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Making the decision to stick with a bad food

As much as I hate this decision... it's one I have to make. When Sherlock came to me, he'd been eating purina one something or other. (smart blend chicken and rice I believe, but I might need to confirm that once and for all.) He'd been eating it since he was bought from a pet store as a baby-ish. And in the *counts* 6 and a half months since I've had him, I have been trying every which way to get him to eat something better.

I have tried samples of several blue buffalo foods, holistic select, wellness, chicken soup, newman's own, and several varieties of the "naturals" grain free purina one. I have tried 4 kinds of baby food, two kinds of canned cat food, lots of different veggies, chicken, eggs, cottage cheese... I have tried all the tricks in the book - keeping the new food in with the old food to get the smells to mingle, crushing up the old food and coating the new food with it, etc... but the bottom line is he WILL.NOT.EAT. any of them.

So if it comes down to him starving (he has lost weight from not eating the new foods that I try to introduce, and he's a small guy anyway) or him eating a food that might not be ideal... I feel like a good enough mom letting him eat the food he likes. Do I wish it wasn't so corn heavy and the ingredients were a bit higher quality? Yes. But was I utterly thrilled to fill his bowl tonight and watching him chowing down like a champ? Absolutely.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

Snarf is a smaller lil dude too and if I had a voice between him eating a lot of lousy food or a little bit of great food the decision would be easy: the lousy food so he at least gets some basic nutrition and calories. Not to mention he'd prolly be a whole lot happier.

I would keep trying with the veggies and occasional canned something (just freeze it in teaspoon dollops) cuz you never know.

Good decision, IMHO.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

I have lots of baby food stored frozen, and as I try to introduce Watson to new things (he doesn't seem nearly as picky) I'll keep trying with Sherlock too. I don't have much hope, but we'll see.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

It was weird with Snarf...for the longest time, he ignored everything except the tried and true kibble. Then, when I started to add more and more stuff, it's like a lightbulb went off and he likes change and trying new things. He always has at least a bite of the fruit and veggies and, in spite of me changing his mix every day or two, he has never turned up his nose to anything, I have seen no green poop and he always eats at least 2/3 of the mix (cat/babyfood; veggies; cooked meat; kibble).

He seemd to make the connection that trying something new and different might taste good...or something... I dunno but I had tried for three months to get him to eat banana, for example, and once he decided to try new stuff, he looks for banana every night.

dunno...
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

Definitely don't starve him, but I would keep up adding a good food in the mix too because you never know.

Have you ever given flax seed oil? They seem to really like it and it makes them eat more kibble. They shouldn't have it every day, only one capsule once per week, broken over the food, but it may entice him to try new food?
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

I'm sure you have probably already tried but, have you mixed some of the old food, in with some of the new in a small container so the smell and taste will mingle? Often that works or helps.

Sometimes it is shape that is the issue more than taste. Some hedgehogs will only eat certain shapes so getting a new food in the same shape sometimes works.

Some are super stubborn and will starve before trying anything new. I suggest keep trying but make sure he always has enough of his old.

Purina One, although certainly not ideal, could be worse.

Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

Just something from personal experience...As I have mentioned before, I make a blended mix for Zoey. Partly the moistened kibble, some chicken & veggies. Anyway, after I put Zoey away & got Cholla, I still had the bowl of her food in my lap. Cholla (who I have tried to get to eat different things) wanders over to it & starts to chow down! I was thrilled & now he gets that as a snack during cuddle time. It's a great way to use up some of the kibble they refuse to eat.
So- do what you have to do, but don't stop trying new things. If nothing else, maybe Watson will eat it.



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Old 05-17-2011, 12:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

Have you tried "Go!" or "Now!" cat food? They're a higher fat content, so I'm guessing a bit yummier. I also have a stubborn hedgie but was able to get her to eat both of those. My pet store has them as sample bags, which I used during the switch incase she didn't like it.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

Yeah, I have tried all of the things everyone has mentioned - mixing kibble together, mixing with wet food, moistened kibble, etc. He just won't do it. If I put things in his bowl other than the purina one, he just won't eat, period. Like if he smells other food that is not the purina, he ignores the whole bowl. I am not exaggerating when I say he won't eat them - he WILL NOT eat. I've tried a few higher fat foods as well with no success (not worried about fat levels for him, he's a little guy) but I really cannot afford to keep buying random new foods without knowing if he'll eat them. I've spent tons of money on different foods because my pet store hardly ever has samples.

If anyone here wants to volunteer to send me little samples of food they've had success in, that's great, but otherwise I really cannot afford to keep buying new foods.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the decision to stick with a bad food

Well since I work at petcetera NoDivision, If there are any samples that are small and cheap (I get a discount anyways) I will send you some if you like Posting a list of the stuff you have tried would be a good place to start, then the rest of us can send foods you haven't tried? pm me with your mailing address and i'll check on thursday when I work for some samples We also have a royal canin representative that comes by and has loads of coupons so maybe I can find some free sample coupons to send too
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