By Suzanne Stack, D.V.M.
Because of their docile nature, just about every greyhound can be force-fed using the following technique. MUCH easier than cooking up everything under the sun only to have them turn up their fine needlenose.
Buy a firm, rubbery brand of canned food. All Hills and Iams products work well for this (except A/D, too sloppy). The only “store brand” I can do this well with is Pedigree Puppy. Buy the most fat, protein, and calories you can find if there are no dietary restrictions. Hills N/D cancer diet at almost 600 calories per can is a great choice. If not N/D, try to find a puppy formulation. Puppy formulations, on average, contain 1/3 more calories than adult.
Put cans in fridge so that contents become firm. Using a butter knife around the edges, shake the can and work the roll of canned dog food out in one piece. (you can also open both ends of the can and just push it out one end) Put on a plate and slice into 6 slices like you would jellied cranberry sauce. Cut each slice in half.
Back the greyhound into a corner so he can’t leave (if he’s down, just sit next to him). Standing over or beside him, stick each half-slice as far back in throat as possible and down the hatch. Yum, yum. You can stock their throat if necessary to get them to swallow.
It’s important to do it just as described with the refrigerated, sliced food. Canned food “meatballs” become too mushy to feed easily. It only takes a minute or two to feed a can this way.
Just feed one can in each sitting, but feed 3-4 cans daily as needed to maintain weight and keep the poor greyhound from going any further downhill. NEVER force-feed a vomiting dog. This is not a substitute for looking for and solving the problem, but it sure keeps them from going down so fast.
Don’t let anyone talk you into a feeding tube. There is absolutely no need for this in a greyhound as just about every one of them will allow this method (they hate to see you coming after a while, though). It would take you hours of tube feeding gruel to get the contents of 3-4 cans into the dog.
NOTE: It is imperative to keep your ill greyhound from losing weight and becoming weak. Sometimes the strength you give them with food can make a difference in their ability to fight off disease. If you don’t understand these directions, or are having trouble following them, call 602-971-6935 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and someone on the AAGI staff will try to help you.