One of my biggest worries has been about Patchy’s diminished appetite. She often eats less than a can of wet food a day. Usually nothing, or half a can. Once in a while she’ll have ‘binge’ day and eat a can and a half, maybe 2. But those usually come after a few days of little to nothing eaten.
Out of growing concern, I started cooking pork chops and other ‘human’ foods, to entice her to eat her wet food. Drop some pork chop in, and see if she would eat the food around it too. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. She was obviously hungry and interested in food, just not wanting what was being served. (She would eat treats, and leftover human food when she could get it).
Out of extreme desperation, I went to the pet store yesterday to buy more wet food (having exhausted our supply at home) intent on something new. I usually buy Natural Balance wet food, as its a very healthy variety, but doesn’t break the bank compared to some of the others. Its about $1.70/can, and $1.94/can when I buy some of their more exotic flavors. Instead of buying ~20-28 cans of Natural Balance like usual, I started grabbing one of every flavor and brand in the wet food section. I avoided the outrageous $3/can priced ones, but everything else was fair game.
I ended up with a few of Taste of the Wild, Wellness, Evangers, Merricks, and a couple of Natural Balance flavors that she 80% of the time eats. The new cans ranged from $1.99/can to $2.79/can. My receipt, for 23 mixed variety cans was $60. My receipt last time for 25 cans of Natural Balance was $48. You might say that $12-15 isn’t that big a deal, but if you imagine I do that trip a little over once a month, it adds up.
Most wet food cans list that for a dog Patchy’s size (45-50lbs) she should be eating about 3 cans of wet food/day. That can go down to 1-1.5 if she is supplemented with dry food. My original budget, assumed she ate 1-2 cups of dry with 1 can wet. So I estimated ~30 cans of food/month. Hence, my ~1 trip of ~$50 to buy canned food every month. This used to be accurate to her food intake.
Assuming she switched to that 3 cans per day, my expenses just tripled. And, since she’s eating the more expense food, my costs of avg $1.80/can are now $2.35/can, an increase of 30%. So, my trip of buying 23 cans, might only last a week, $60 a week, instead of $50 a month.
Anyway, I’m a bit twitchy on the sudden jump in costs. (Especially since she is going to a specialist, and on chemo, none of which are cheap). But, its all worth it.
Patchy ate 1.5 cans last night, and 2 cans already this morning. She hasn’t eaten that much or that consistently in… well… probably since we switched to Natural Balance last year. So, maybe she just wanted more variety, and was tired of the taste of Natural Balance. ( I did buy at least 5 of their flavors and mix it up, but, its still the same 5.) Maybe these new cans have some extra oompf that make her want to eat it.
My biggest excitement, coming off my really depressed post last time, is the hope that, with renewed interest in food, she’ll start getting more energy, get some more weight back, and be less depressed. My biggest worry was that she wasn’t enjoying life anymore, but it could be her sloth/lack of energy was due to minimal nutrient intake. This completely renews my hope in her situation. And I can afford to dip into my savings for a while if it mean making things better for her. I mean, savings are meant for emergencies, right? Planning her last few months kinda count as that, right?
Update: She just ate her third can tonight for dinner. 😀