Recently, Flash (our Beagle) has been on antibiotics. It's a three-week, twice-a-day regimen of big, chalky pills that must be taken with food. Never a fan of regular ol' dog food, Flash is already a tough customer when it comes to selling him on finishing his meals. So in order to be sure he'd take the pill and then finish his food, we have developed a complex choreography of song-and-dance most often reserved for picky toddlers.
At first, we would wrap the pill in a small piece of bread and feed it to him. To get him to eat the dog food in his dish right after that, we'd pour warm water over his kibble to form a gravy. That worked for a day or two, but then he started eating the bread and spitting out the now-mushy pill. So I started melting a little chicken fat and dipping the bread in the resulting liquid to give it a bit of flavor and enticing aroma. Then I would mix the remaining fat with warm water and pour it over the kibble to warm it up and give it some flavor. That worked for a couple more days. Then Flash figured out how to get the pill out of the wet bread and starting spitting it out again.
So then I decided to try wrapping a thinly sliced piece of roast beef around the pill. I figured if he didn't take my fingers off with it, he'd snarf the whole thing down so fast, he wouldn't even realize there was a pill inside. I was right. To get him to eat his kibble afterward, I would pour warm water over it, and bury a few little pieces of the roast beef in the pile so he'd eat his way down to it.
Not to be outsmarted, Flash used his infamous nose to sniff out the pieces of beef, digging through the kibble and dropping it on the tray around his dish. Why fill up on that garbage when you can have real beef? Eventually he would find all the beef and then go back and eat the kibble because he was still hungry. But today, he decided he only wanted the meat. When he finished eating, his food tray looked like the underside of a toddler's high chair. I'm running out of options.
I laugh because when we first got Flash, Ben commented on how he would just wolf down his food, unlike Bailey, who would 'savor it.' Clearly, raising the bar of what goes in his dish has gone to Flash's head. The worst part is that he is going to be sorely disappointed when he finishes his medicine this week and goes back to being served dry kibble. But he's obviously a smart dog; eventually he'll realize there's nothing else coming. Maybe then he'll go back to clearing his plate.