We spent a lot of time researching and choosing just the right dog food for Penny and have been feeding her Artemis “Fresh Mix” for Small Breeds (Puppy and later Adult formula) for about 14 months now with great results. She liked it so much that we could even use it as her treat reward whenever we were training.
Penny has never been a finicky eater and would always gobble down her breakfast and dinner without hesitation. We usually would have to tell her to slow down because she would eat her food so enthusiastically.
Recently though, we’ve noticed that she hasn’t had the same “gusto” when it came to meal time and in fact she would often look at the contents of her bowl and then look back at us, and then look back at the bowl and then either sit down or walk away.
At first I was worried that she wasn’t feeling well so I did all the normal “daddy” things and checked to see if she had a fever or was otherwise lethargic, but everything seemed normal. As a test, I got out a small piece of her doggie biscuit and she woofed it right down.
I think in her own subtle way, Penny has been trying to tell us it’s time for a bit of variety in her diet or at least make meal time a bit more interesting. I’ve read a number of articles online where some people feel that a dog should “work” for it’s food instead of always just having it served up on a silver platter (silver doggie bowl..?). The theory is that by putting your dog’s normal meal portion in their favorite toy it will stimulate them mentally and also make it more of a physical activity.
Sounded good to me, so I went to one of our favorite pet boutiques (Bark Avenue) and picked up an interactive toy called the “Busy Buddy” that I’ve had my eye on for a while now.
It’s a simple toy…2 separate hollow disks with holes on the side that you put your dog’s favorite treat inside and screw back together. You can change the height of the opening to adjust how easy or challenging it is to get the treats out.
It seems that there must be some truth in the theory because Penny had a lot of fun getting her “treats/breakfast” out of the Busy Buddy and she was munching away happily whenever a tasty morsel would pop out. I think next time though I’ll put it in the kitchen so I won’t have to vacuum the living room every time we feed her.