View Full Version : Quit spoiling her! (rant/need advice)

01-15-2012, 11:02 PM
Hi guys. Mods feel free to move this if it's not in the right spot.

This is about my dog, or J's (we picked her out, he pays the vet bills) dog Luna. Who's a beagle.

Right now, J is deployed overseas in pirate territory and his mom is now living here to watch her and help pay for groceries.

I love her (j's mom and of course Luna) to pieces, sweetest lady I know. (I like her more than MY mom.) But..

*grits teeth and such to hold back frustration*

Good gravy, holy crap and omg... she spoils Luna with ppl food.

Not big amounts mind you, little pieces of it and usually it's fruit. But this alone deters her from eating her own dogfood. Even going as far as barely touching her food for more than a day. I say more than a day because I try to get her to eat dry food instead of canned. So I have little choice but to add warm water to make her food wet.

While she does eat her food, after I make it wet, give her wet food. She is still thin and I'm worried. I know for certain that it's damn impossible to break her of a bad habit once she's got it.

J is fully aware of his mama spoiling and we both tried to tell her to stop it but...she doesn't listen cuz I still catch her slipping Luna food.

J was like 'well she needs to gain weight' and such but I'm more determined for Luna's health. She's my dog too :(

at the same time I feel like my hands are tied because this is his mom. I respect her and...I don't want it to be unpleasant for the next 6 months while J is away.

old pic but yea that's her.
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/23935_1331302438965_1123111119_30957583_312114_n.j pg

Any advice to break Luna of this habit? Or should I do the wait it out until she's hungry enough to eat dry food.

Sapphire Silk
01-15-2012, 11:29 PM
Maybe you could crate Luna during meals to enforce your rules on MIL?

Once the people food source goes away, Luna will indeed have no choice but to eat her dry food and go hungry. She may make it as long as a week before she eats. It won't hurt her a bit.

The first time I dog sat Goldie, she was so homesick she refused to eat the entire time her family was gone. I don't feed Goldie people food except to give her the bite or two I don't eat, and I didn't do that while she was staying with me. She did drink and would eat her treats (she normally gets one after going out to potty or after a walk, or if she's going to be crated for awhile while Family is out and about), so I didn't make a fuss about her eating.

The next time I dog sat for Goldie, she stuck it out for a day before she gave in and started eating.

The last time . . . ate right off the bat. She'd figured out that her visits with me were temporary.

In short, Luna will indeed eat when she gets hungry enough.

01-15-2012, 11:42 PM
Any chance Luna is due for a vet visit*? I'd have J's mom go with you and discuss with the vet the dog's weight issue. Sometime if a vet says something people will actually listen. If a vet tells her that feeding Luna people food is actually doing her harm then it might sink in. Lots of people grew up feeding their dog table scraps and such and that is a really hard habit to break.
My guess (not a vet, nor do I play one on tv) is that Luna's appitite is off because she misses J. Did J just leave? Luna may be in a little bit depressed about that.
Or maybe you can talk to the vet about trying a different food. Have you always given Luna the same food? IME, with cats sometimes you just have to switch it up (ie alternate between two different flavors) and that works wonders.

*if she isn't I'd still schedule one to discuss the weight / appitite issue because a shift in weight should get checked out anyways.

Also, what an adorable dog! (In all honesty, I'd be hard pressed to resist giving her some of my hamburger if those big eyes were looking up at me)

Not to add anymore stress to the situation, but you do realize that how you and J deal with this issue with his mom will set the tone for how well she obeys your rules when/if you guys have kids. (ie "Mom, please don't feed the kids sugar" and they end up coming home from her house after practically freebasing the stuff).

01-15-2012, 11:56 PM
Raw carrots and green beans are recommended dog treats. Maybe J's Mom could feed Luna those instead.
My three dogs are really picky about their food. They refuse to eat any of the brands my vet recommended but will gobble down Kibbles n Bits.

01-16-2012, 12:26 AM
I'm hoping to get her to the vet. She looks fine, I wont deny that, but I don't know if she's getting fat or if she's still thin, her ribs aren't sticking out.

Last year when he went to Vietnam his mom stayed to watch her for 3 months (I wasn't living with him yet) and when he got back, poor luna was a fatty, least that's what he told me. He managed to get her to lose weight but then she was too thin, now I'm wondering if she's gonna get too fat again :(.

I do try and corral her off when it's time for a meal or when she goes to eat at least.

Edit: heh didn't see those other posts :P,

J did recently leave last..week? early Jan. And we know she misses him. But whenever J's mom visits us Luna becomes a little traitor and hangs out with her lol. But this has been an issue whenever she comes. Least when it comes to giving ppl food.

For other food, we do give her a variety of dry food and mix it together. We can't stick her with one kind of food or she doesn't eat it. We've always had an issue with her eating dry food alone since we got her as an itty bitty puppy. Runt and was given to us for FREE at a too young age (five weeks! yikes! got pics galore of her then!)

01-16-2012, 12:51 AM
Dog condition scoring chart (http://vet.osu.edu/vmc/body-condition-scoring-chart)

That will help you (and your MIL) determine whether she's fat or thin. Have your vet give you a copy of it, if they have one. If not, your vet may confirm that a printout of this one is correct (or not!).

You're after body condition 3.

As for Luna's behaviour: she's behaving like a dog. A preferable food is available, therefore she will hold out for it. It's your MIL who is going to have to change.

Rover, Don't Roll Over (http://www.amazon.com/Rover-Dont-Roll-Over-Compassionate/dp/1580085644) is one good animal training book. You could get a copy of it, and start training your MIL to train Luna.

Start by having her train Luna with some basic things: sit, stay, lie down. Things which have nothing to do with food, until you've trained the MIL that Luna is more fun when she's a Good Girl.

Then prep the vet with the news that MIL is feeding Luna bad things, and both of you go to the vet. Vet will probably help you advise MIL of Good Treats for Luna, and how to feed her properly. :)

01-16-2012, 01:19 AM
First I want to say fruit isn't bad so don't worry, if you are. Just make sure that it is no grapes, ever. Those can make her very sick and shut down her system, sometimes very fast.

You can always encourage his mom that if she wants to feed her those treats, to wait until it's Luna's meal time then she can mix in the saved yummy things into her food. Tell her if Luna sees her do that it makes her happy.

If you want to help her gain weight putting any unseasoned meat and veggies in her food are a great way to attract her and get her to eat. Also very healthy for her, as she starts to gain wait cut back in the dry food (meat on sale is perfect, cut it up when you get it, cook and freeze it, then add it to the food each day, cheaper then buying canned food surprisingly and better. Also great if you have little time, takes me about 5 minutes to cook when I'm making my own dinner), not the meat which will give her the right kind of weight, ask the vet what weight she should be at, then you can figure out her daily meals from that. Trust me it is VERY easy.

Another good way to make her feel like a good doggy grandma is encourage toys or having her take Luna for car rides or walks if that is what Luna is into.
My grandfather really loves to give my dog treats, also taught her how to get them out of his pocket. Since she can't eat that many treats and pick pocketing people isn't a good thing, we got him to replace treats with toys. Similar to kids, we have a box that is hidden then rotate toys so there aren't as many out, and her favorites are always out.

01-16-2012, 02:08 PM
Also, what an adorable dog! (In all honesty, I'd be hard pressed to resist giving her some of my hamburger if those big eyes were looking up at me)

I have a beagle too and she can make me feel like a jerk for not feeding her whatever goodie I happen to have. The Beagle Sad Face(tm) is really hard to resist.

But whenever J's mom visits us Luna becomes a little traitor and hangs out with her lol.

Well, yeah. Luna knows Grandma will feed her yummy people food. My dog trainer friend always says it's much harder to train the humans than the dogs. She's totally right. Luna will eat if she's hungry enough (although having a beagle who's a picky eater is kinda rare). But training Grandma to not feed her table scraps is going to be difficult.

02-14-2012, 07:22 AM

After J talking to his mom and a visit to the vet, Grammy now spoils her much less.The doc did say an apple slice on occasion is okay so I do see her with an apple slice once in awhile. Though she has told luna 'down' more often whenever she has food and Luna starts to beg. I myself have cracked more down on much less wet food and more dry food so there would be much less plaque buildup in her teeth.

While she is still stubborn (Luna), she is eating more of her dry food. Doc said she was a little bit overweight.

Yay for progress. :)

Thank you guys for the advice and that weight chart, that really helped me :).

For the car rides, she starts shaking like a leaf. I think the reason for it is she associates car rides with grooming and vet visits.

I want to take her to Mount Trashmore park when it warms up so she doesn't associate a car ride as something unpleasant. For any local VA beachers, is there any place that has a dog run where I can take her off her leash?

02-14-2012, 07:43 AM
One idea I saw recently for getting dogs (and cats) accustomed to car rides is just to take them on short rides, even just around the block, once a week or so. Lots of love and praise and telling them how good they are when you get back home, and very shortly they'll start associating car rides with pleasant stuff.

02-14-2012, 08:12 AM
ooh that is a good idea :3

02-14-2012, 07:25 PM
I always preferred Seashore State Park when I was in Tidewater. I like the trees and the long trails =)

02-14-2012, 07:40 PM
The more you take her for rides, the more she will come to love it. Take her to the store, the gas station, even if you just go out for a quick cup of coffee. Take treats (you can even use dry dog food) to be given occasionally and give her lots of praise. Even if you can't find an off leash park, take her places for walks on leash. Also, please be very cautious with off leash parks where there are lots of other dogs. Watch her closely and make sure that before you let her off leash, she will come to you when called no matter what else is happening.

Sebastian loves to go for car rides. He sees a car with an open door and thinks it is an invitation to go for a ride. He was trained to stay in the back seat or the very back of the jeep when he is in the car. There is an airbag in the front seat so he is not allowed to ride there.

02-14-2012, 11:22 PM
Find a good website stating things that are bad for the dog, and show Mom - or, as some have said, get a vet to talk to her. I'm sure she doesn't want to harm the dog, so hopefully it will get through to her. She may not be aware of some things being harmful, I know over the years I've fed dogs things that I later found I shouldn't have (luckily, no ill effects). Also, enlist your boyfriend to email her that she needs to listen to you on what to feed the dog - set limits now, or you'll be fighting the same battles thru the years, be it with pets or with kids. As sweetly as possible, let her know that you set the rules for your pets (and future kids) and expect her to abide by it, end of story.

To make it easier for her, get some very special dog treats that she, and only she, can give the dog - she'll still be the special gramma giving treats, and have all the fun without causing harm.

It may take a while, but doggie will eat when she's hungry, if denied the specials for a while - just remember, beagles are known for being stubborn (I had one once, I know how true this is :lol:). And you have to resist those sad beagle eyes.

Dogs learn quick when it comes to food. I do admit to spoiling our Yorkie, but she was always very well-behaved, didn't beg, and would still eat her own food. However, she didn't miss a trick. My mom (normally totally indifferent to all animals, she didn't dislike them, just didn't particularly like them either) for some reason fell in love with her. It took the dog a whole day when we visited to know whose chair to position herself quietly by when we had dinner :lol:

I used to buy those tins of popcorn that have 3 compartments - regular, cheesy & carmel. We would give the dog the occasional piece of popcorn. however, once she found out that cheesy popcorn was in the tin, she would simply turn up her nose and wait if offered the plain kind - she was holding out for the good stuff :roll:

Oh, and as for over-the-top Moms & pets - My mom, who as I said normally had no interest at all in animals, once saw that our Yorkie had not immediately eaten everything in her dish when fed, and asked me if she should go fry her an egg or something to get her to eat :eek:

Oh, forgot one good example of pet spoiling without thought - we had a friend who would spoil the Yorkie as well. Since she wasn't at the house often, and we did give our dog the odd treat ourselves, I usually put up with it. But once we had a game night (board games & casual food) and I caught the friend as she looked like she was going to let the dog have a bit of food left in her dish. My exact words, I belive, were " (friend's name), if you give that dog chili & beans, she's going home with you for 24 hours" LOL.

02-14-2012, 11:48 PM
For any local VA beachers, is there any place that has a dog run where I can take her off her leash?
Red Wing Park and Woodstock both have off leash areas but I think you have to pay for an annual registration.