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Old 12-09-2011, 12:22 PM
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Shai Shai is offline
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I don't offer unsolicited advice either. Doesn't get anyone anywhere. But, for instance my parents went from years of feeding Ol' Roy to feeding TOTW...which started with a comment on how gassy their dog was lol. I just said, yeah I used to have that problem too, but switching around food til I found one that worked really made a difference.

Course it also helps that their current dog is about 1/5 the size of the ones we had years ago, so feeding her is a lot cheaper due to greatly reduced quantity...probably helped them keep an open mind when they first saw relative price tags. And they are in to human nutrition to some degree so taking the leap to pet nutrition had a head-start

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Old 12-09-2011, 12:28 PM
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Try to target something that you know is important to them. If I talk with someone about breeders I know they won't care about making sure the breeders competes with their dogs. If I try to explain why that's important I'll likely get tuned out pretty fast. So I choose to highlight health testing, nobody wants a dog who is crippled or sick. So if I tell them going to certain breeders can reduce the chances of that, they're gonna take that into consideration. Case examples are also very convincing for gullible folks (most people are I think). Say you know someone who wants a Yorkie and are thinking about going to one of those breeders who shows their puppies in tea cup with a feather boa around their neck. Bring up the aggressive Yorkie that lives down the street and tell them that if they go a breeder who does TDI/TT/Obedience/CGC, etc. that they'll know their puppies have friendly parents and won't have "aggressive genes".

For food I find it most helpful not to target the person and their dog, but to target another dog on a crappy food. I've basically taught my mom all about good food by insulting Phoebe (on Pedigree). Phoebe smells awful, like dead things. Every time mom mentioned her odor I mention that that's what happens when a dog's on bad food. Mom will never feed Tucker a bad food because she's terrified he'll smell like Phoebe lol. Same could be done for allergies/hot spots/yeasty paws and ears. Anything people really don't want to happen because they see it happening to another dog on bad food. This technique hasn't really worked on Phoebe owner because when I mention it he feels insulted. So using another dog to point out the drawbacks to bad food works better, you're not insulting them or telling them what to do, they just hear you attribute something on a dog to it's food and want to know more (because their dog has it too or they are afraid of their dog getting it).

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Old 12-09-2011, 12:47 PM
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maxfox426 maxfox426 is offline
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Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
I don't know, at the end of the day I'm fine with people doing what they want to do. I make suggestions when people ask for them, or if they make a comment like "wow, her coat is so shiny!" then that can spark a food conversation.
This is basically my way of doing things, too. If it is someone I know REALLY well I may offer a "have you tried this?" sort of suggestion. But I have to KNOW it's a person that won't immediately offended.

That said, most of my issues with other people's dogs have to do with bewildering lack of training, rather than what they are feeding.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:53 PM
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I've honestly given up. Adam is allergic to cats, and he has absolutely no symptoms when they're fed decent food. My mom has seen this first-hand, but she doesn't seem to care. One of the cats also seems to have either an allergy or sensitivity to chicken, and all symptoms were eliminated when he was switched to a higher quality food, without chicken. We have bought her an entire new supply of food, and she still continues to feed them junk. I've explained it to her, I've explained what to look for and why, and she responds as if she understands... But she keeps buying grocery store junk. I don't understand.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:21 PM
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I'll sometimes offer advice, but usually I'll say... well the truth.. not that THIS IS BETTER 100% FOR SURE, YOUR DOG IS GOING TO SUFFER UNLESS YOU DO IT MY WAY, but more like "hey, you might want to try doing this, this should work better" or "funny enough, from what I've read the food the vet recommends is actually not the best, dogs are carnivores and most of what you're paying for in the vet's food is rabbit food lol grains etc. From what I've read it's better for dogs to eat primarily meat, and it makes sense if you think about it..."

And instead of trying to get them to go all out and buy the best food there is, give them a cheaper alternative like Kirkland or something, that a decent compromise between price and quality, say something like "the food with the most meat is Acana, it's pretty pricey but it's got more nutrients and calories per cup, so you can feed less. If you don't want to spend that much there's always Kirkland, it's a good in-between" (it's good if you can say something simple but factual here, like Acana's primary ingredient is meat, Benefuls primary ingredient is corn husks, you get the picture)

Maybe somethign like "I tried it and it worked well for me, I saw xyz improvements. You might want to give it a shot for your dog, I mean, you can always switch back if you don't notice any improvements after a few bags, right?"

My thoughts are if you come off like it's duh common knowledge, they're going to wonder why they're only hearing it from you and get BS inklings. But if you present it as something that's not totally obvious, but that makes logical sense (eg dogs eat meat) or that you've simply observed work, then they may be more open to it.

Don't sound like you know it all unless you actually do KNOW it, and you should be able to give them some awesome fact to back up what you say. If you have an opinion based on conjecture and personal experience, then just explain it like all the dog people you talk to recommend this because of anecdote x, y z lol. Instead of telling them what to do, share the info you've gathered from you dog experience with them (succinctly, in condensed form).

Well, that's how I do it, but I'm no known for great people skills so take what I say with a grain of salt
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