Thursday, August 24, 2006

A revolutionary way to feed your dog

Dogs are meant to hunt all day in complicated packs for their food. They are highly intelligent, driven animals. Some of them are especially smart, bred to retrieve or herd animals all day, or to do both, as in the case of my catahoula.

We turn them into domesticated housepets, and offer them large bowls of instantly nutritious food, which they consume in 5 minutes or less. Then we get mad when they chew up the couch. (totally true story at my house)

When this was explained to me at obedience class, the sound was more like my hand hitting my forehead (Doh!) than a lightbulb going off. The solution is to make your dog work for her food. Hence, the food ball:

We put about a third of Francesca's twice daily ration in the food ball, and she must roll it around in order for little kibbles to fall out and be consumed. Occasionally, she works herself into a corner, or gets to those last few stubborn kibbles, and she must pick it up and drop it down to get more out.

We fill the ball again when its empty. Chow time takes her an hour now! I still have to exercise her, practice obedience daily, and give her a rawhide every night, just to keep her little canine brain somewhat occupied, but this ball has definitely improved the quality of her life!


EdamameMommy said...

Looks like she's having a ball.

Thought of Francesca when I saw a bumper sticker up in MA that said "My Catahoula is smarter than your honor student"


What a great idea, Jenn. Francesca is very smart....I think you should consider getting that bumper sticker Steph mentioned! *HAHA*


P.S. How bad is your couch chewed up?

Daisy said...

That's great - our heeleer would have loved that! The lab, however, might starve before she could be bothered.

Emily said...

I watched her doing this, and she really seemed to enjoy it! She's very serious and focused.

paula said...

What a clever idea.