What your dog may not be able to tell you is that you are feeding her wrong. They can't speak, and they don't always use the best judgment. I have seen dogs eat chocolate, I have seen them eat cookies, I have even seen a dog who swallowed a glove. That doesn't mean it's good for them. Eating things that are not food may be a sign of youth and curiosity. I suggest for a puppy you keep bad things out of their reach. With my first dog, when I caught her making off with shoes in her mouth I would carefully remove them from her mouth and immediately give her a rawhide to eat instead. Keiko learned almost immediately what was alright to eat and what was not.

My friend with her dog Jake, had less luck. If he had the chance that dog would make off with a full plate of chocolate chip cookies. Of course they made him sick. Chocolate is dangerous for dogs, can even kill a small dog. Determined to train him out of that habit she and her husband set up a trap. Rigging some dishes to clatter when he nosed a plate they set out the bait. Luckily Jake attacked the food when no humans were home, teaching him his own consequences. He was quite frightened by the sudden and immediate noise. You can use other electronic devices to train animals off of couches or away from countertops by stunning them a little.

One of my friends, an elderly widow thought of her two large dogs as her "family." Seated beside her every evening as she watched TV the dogs enjoyed her company. She fed each one from her box of See's candy, "treats." Because they were large dogs they seemed able to eat one or two chocolates each. It still wasn't good for them. Another friend of mine was quite proud of the fact that his dog would eat grapes. He was lucky the little terrier digested them. For many a dog grapes cause immediate and fatal renal failure.

In the beginning I think it is best to stick with dog food. While you may think it is cute or fun to feed your dog "people" food, commercial dog food is made with the correct balance of fiber and nutrients dogs need. Cheaper dog food sometimes has odd indigestible things as "filler." Look for food where meat is the first ingredient. Even if you are vegan, don't try to make your dog a vegetarian. Their bodies are not designed to operate on a non-meat diet. My former husband enjoyed feeding his little dogs anything and everything he ate and after he left the vet told me the animals were grossly overweight. This created problems with their knees and backs the same as with overweight people. It is the responsibility of the owner to care for an animal properly. Please be responsible and do not over feed your pets.

My friend's father worked in the pet food industry. As a champion dog breeder himself the corporation (who shall remain nameless) asked him to come up with a better formula for dog food. Let me preface this by saying, this happened over twenty years ago. My friend's father pointed out that there was no need to add sawdust to dog food. The corporation defended their operations because it was both a way to add "fiber" to the food, and also to "up-cycle" a byproduct that otherwise would have to be disposed of. Disposal has expenses, so they were cleverly solving two problems by adding it their dog food. These days you can find several all natural brands of dog food. Mother Hubbard even makes all natural dog biscuits for dogs.

My own dog reached a point in her life when she could no longer stomach commercial dog food. I came home one Sunday and was playing with her and noticed she had a bald spot on her stomach. I was concerned, but as it was evening, and a Sunday I knew the vet was already closed. By Monday morning, she had pulled all her hair out from her underside. I was scared. I called the vet and the earliest she could see me was Thursday afternoon.

By the time I came home on Monday evening, the dog was so bad off she didn't greet me at the door. Her joints were swollen and she was obviously in a great deal of pain. Her skin was hot. I suspected the situation had something to do with her food, so on Sunday I had taken her off of dog food and started her on a plain diet of cottage cheese and white rice. I called a second vet who was willing to see us sooner. On Tuesday I wondered how I could get my 60 pound dog into the back of my SUV by myself. She yelped in pain when I tried to lift her. The change in diet though, gave her enough strength to crawl in by herself.

I got her to the vet and the vet confirmed my dog was having food issues. They have me something for her pain and an anti-biotic for her raw skin. I explained I had recently changed her food to something with glucosamine in it, for older dogs. I speculated maybe that was the problem. "You may never know what one ingredient is causing the problem," the vet explained. "It has nothing to do with the expense of the dog food either, it's just something the dog is allergic to." I went home and gave away the dog's food that had glucosamine in it. I went to our local pet food / feed store because the owner is on premise and more knowledgeable than the average person working at a franchise.

Brenda kindly recommended an all natural dog food. I kept my dog on her plain food diet of rice and cottage cheese until she physically reverted to normal. Then I tried not one, not two, but a total of four separate all natural dog foods to no avail. Until her passing, she was on a homemade dogfood diet from a recipe I got from a former dog breeder. The vet was right, I never could find out what one ingredient messed up my dog.