The Duke is a picky overeater. How, you ask, can you be both picky and an overeater?
Really, it’s simple. You beg for any piece of food in the hand or or on the plate belonging to a human. If you don’t like it, you can drop it on the rug and beg for something you like better.
Note to dog: This doesn’t always work as well as you might expect.
The Duke would not eat just kibble. He would pick at it. It was pathetic. Even though there seemed little likelihood that he was actually starving, we were besieged by guilt. So we gave in and added a scoop of canned dog food. He liked that better than just the kibble. Shortly after we began adding canned food, he cuddled up to us on the sofa. Silent though it was, he emitted a stench that was a biological weapon. Definitely suitable for any war we are already in or in which we are intending to be.
This was no normal dog fart. This was paralyzing, lung stopping. I thought my pacemaker was going to quit. Ground troops could be paralyzed by this smell. Properly used, it could completely end international conflict.
The first time that odor hit us, we thought “OH MY GOD WHAT DID WE FEED HIM?” Maybe he’d eaten some weird thing outside?
The next night, he first hit Owen downstairs, then trotted up here and whacked us.
It had to be his food. What was in that food? Eventually, eliminating all the things I knew were essentially harmless, I zeroed in on the “soy protein.” When they tell you how much protein is in the food you are giving your dog, a lot of it is actually soy. Now, soy isn’t a bad protein. It just isn’t particularly digestible. By dogs. But it’s cheap and they pack a lot of it into dog food.
There’s a lot less regulation about declaring what’s in animal feed, so whatever cans of food you are feeding your dog, the odds are very high that there’s stuff in there you would not willingly feed anything, much less your dog. Just saying.
This happened at about the same time when they raised the price of a 12-pack of dog food from $10 to $25. Overnight. This was more money than I spend on food for one of us to eat and it wasn’t even high-quality food. Meanwhile, the Duke’s output was killing us. One more night of that stink and someone would be unable to continue living. It was that bad.
This was when Owen pointed out that the price of chopped beef — not the highest grade, but the cheaper stuff we used to buy in the old days before we got religion about animal fat — only cost $2 a pound if you bought the big package. It turns out that a package of 73% ground beef (2 to 3 pounds) mixed with a can of plain (no spices, onion, or garlic) tomato sauce (the Duke really likes tomatoes)(also squash) and maybe some plain white rice quickly fried with the fat poured off is enough to feed him for two to three weeks.
I do not feed him raw food because it does not keep. When it’s fresh from the grocery, I may give him one serving fresh, but after that, it’s cooked so it will keep.
He eats what we eat, just without the onions, garlic, spice, salt, sugar, and additives. Maybe he eats better than we do. He eats all his food. You have to mix the kibble in very well or he’ll eat the meat and leave the kibble. I have to check with the vet and see if he still needs the kibble.
It takes me half an hour to cook his food. When it’s cooked all the way through (not rare), I pack it into 1 quart containers. One goes in the fridge, the other two or three go in the freezer. Each quart feeds him for three or four days. And he’s happy. We are happy. He doesn’t beg much anymore. I guess he’s eating well.
He does not fart.
Or at least, whatever he emits is within the normal range of odors that humans can tolerate as opposed to that lethal stench he emitted earlier. We still have a case of dog food in the basement. I’m not sure why we still have it.