Yesterday was the first day in the past four weeks that Bess ate two regular meals. I am very happy to write that there was nothing medically wrong with her. We had just developed some bad habits that needed to be corrected.
The problems I've had with Baby Bess' eating disorder continued through last weekend. At first the boiled chop meat and rice seemed to coax her appetite but it didn't last. Once again she turned her nose up and wouldn't eat. So either I was doing something wrong or there was a more serious problem. On Tuesday I took Bess back to the Vet's office and had a visit with a different doctor. We discussed how I was feeding her and the Vet suggested a different approach. Bess has learned to beg for handouts at the dinner table when my wife and I were eating. She was no different from the other two Rotts except she seemed to prefer the table food to her dog food bowl.
The Vet suggested that I take her dog food and put it in one of our dinner plates and keep it on the table. When Bess came over to beg for a handout I would place the dish with her food down for her to eat. As soon as we came home from the Vet's office I took a soup bowl and filled it with a half-can of dog food, sprinkled some grated Cheddar cheese on it and warmed it in the microwave. When I sat down for a cup of coffee Bess came over and I took the bowl off the table and laid it in the feeder stand. She gobbled it all up. Tonight at our dinner time I feed Ruff and Axl first and got them out of the kitchen and repeated the breakfast routine. Bess ate the entire meal, this time a whole can of dog food, warmed up with Cheddar cheese.
The Vet told me that Bess was forcing me to give her people food - she said Bess was training me, and because I didn't have the heart to let her go hungry I gave in to her. So now there will be no more biscuits for treats to keep her a bit more hungry when its time to eat. When Bess gets back into a regular eating pattern I will give her more treats for being a good girl.