Dear Dr. Lisa,

A friend found a stray dog about 2 years ago. She took her in and has given her good care.

She’s spoiled, especially since our friend lost her husband about a year ago.

Now ‘Cocoa’ will not eat dog food. My friend has tried dry and can foods – all brands – but, of course, Cocoa wants human food!!

How should she break this bad habit now or it too late?

Cocoa is about 2 years old.

Thanks for your help,



Dear Pat,

First and foremost, I want to thank your friend for taking in a stray. Cocoa got a nice home, a nice name, and now home cooked food! That is a true rags to riches story!

Secondly, I would ask your friend if she enjoys cooking for Cocoa. If she doesn’t mind cooking for Cocoa there certainly is nothing better than a human grade food. However, many homemade diets are not balanced and this is very important to ensure Cocoa’s health as she ages. Have you friend speak with her vet to help balance Cocoa’s food. Many times the food will need calcium added, a multivitamin mineral tablet, and a source of fatty acids.

If you friend does not like cooking for her pampered pooch then she will have to pick a good quality pet food, wet or dry, mix homemade food into it and slowly over a few weeks feed less and less of the homemade food with the regular dog food. Cocoa may go on a 2-3 day hunger strike at some point but persistence will pay off!

Let me know how the transition goes!


Thanks and have a good week.

Lisa Aumiller DVM

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