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gfgypsyqueen

Behavior Question

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I have a very active toddler who literally seems incapable of listening to directions at times. "No" is a word she uses, but she does not stop when you tell her "No". Telling her No is more like a personal challenge. That being said, my problem is that I have dogs and I live in a hot climate. The dogs live and eat inside. It is not an option for the dogs to be outside dogs or to eat outside. If for some strange reason the dogs decide not to eat their entire meal, the toddler is right their to play with the dog food. The dog food contains gluten and the toddler is gluten-free. I can't afford gluten-free dog food. Not sure I can really even afford both dogs at the moment, but that is another issue.

So any ideas on ways to keep a high strung child from playing with the dog food? Locking the dogs or the kids in separate rooms during meal time is not a very realistic option.

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Iams and Eukenuba (dry dog food) are gluten free. I don't know if those are the ones you were talking about. They are more expensive than say Ol' Roy, but you can get them at Wal-Mart and Target as oppose to the vets office or a pet store. We have been on Iams since we went through our first bag of "cheap" dog food and complained to the vet about how much "fertilizer" our dog was producing. He said to switch to Iams or Eukenuba because there was less filler, they don't have to eat as much, therefore they are not leaving as many land mines :o in the yard.

You might want to take a look at how much your current dog food says to feed and how much Iams/Eukenuba says to feed. You might have to pay more for a bag but your bag may last longer.

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I know this seems harsh, but the dogs do not need food available to them all day. If they eat twice a day, then put their full dishes down for them at the same specific times every day. When they are done (whether the bowl is empty or not) put the dishes up. Keep the water down where they can get it, of course.

I used to keep my dog's dish down, with food available, all day. I had to stop when she started to become aggressive/possessive over her food. That's a whole, unrelated story I won't go into, it took some strict training, but now she's over that.

Give the dogs specific breakfast and dinner times, and then put the food up! It may take a day or two for the dogs to get used to it, but they'll learn fast that they need to finish their food while it's down. This isn't being mean to the dogs, I promise. They'll still get plenty to eat!

-Sarah

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I have a very active toddler who literally seems incapable of listening to directions at times. "No" is a word she uses, but she does not stop when you tell her "No". Telling her No is more like a personal challenge. That being said, my problem is that I have dogs and I live in a hot climate. The dogs live and eat inside. It is not an option for the dogs to be outside dogs or to eat outside. If for some strange reason the dogs decide not to eat their entire meal, the toddler is right their to play with the dog food. The dog food contains gluten and the toddler is gluten-free. I can't afford gluten-free dog food. Not sure I can really even afford both dogs at the moment, but that is another issue.

So any ideas on ways to keep a high strung child from playing with the dog food? Locking the dogs or the kids in separate rooms during meal time is not a very realistic option.

This is not a celiac response but more of a behavioral one - she should not be playing with dog food for reasons far beyond gluten cc. Remember the pet food scare of just a few months ago? Anything that can kill animals has the potential to infest humans.

I am a cat person and my cat eats dry only, which means the food and water bowl are out 24/7. My kids, both almost 3 and 1 year, have each "experiemented" with getting their hands and mouths on the contents. The youngest I physically redirect when she accidently gets into it but the oldest has learned not to even go near that area of the kitchen. She is very active and NO is a word she loves to say a million times, but she won't go near that food.

The reason why is I determined a while ago a toy she loved to play with at that stage. If she messed with the cat's food and water supply,she watched me bag that toy up in a plastic bag and put it on a high shelf right there in the kitchen. . . where it remained until the next morning (no matter what time of day this occured). It took about 2 weeks but it FINALLY sunk in that if she messed with Cat's food, she lost her toy.

Identify one item or thing (play activity, video, special book) that your toddler would hate to be without and then start eliminating this dog food problem by using it to modify her behavior. You may have to do it for a LONG time depending on how stubborn your toddler is, but I guarantee that if you stick to it - never deviate - and always always apply it when you see her messing with the dog food - you will come out the victory and your child and you will have no more dog food worries. One slight change or giving in and you can kiss it all goodbye. These children are smart and will manipulate until the death.

The flip side also is if you find that this is unacceptable, and you've indicated that the dogs cannot go outside, then you have to decide which is more valuable to you - the dogs or your daughter and her gluten free diet.

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If you allow your child to watch television, can you set her TV time to be when the dogs eat? That (or something else that will definitely keep your child's attention for at least 20 minutes) would give the dogs time to eat (presumably in a different room than the TV). When the dogs are done, remove the bowls and allow the child to finish the show or activity. We did that with my daughter, not because of gluten, but to prevent the dog from feeling like he had to "protect" his food.

I have found that the less I use the word "no", the more effective it is when I have to use it. If there is a way to convince her that she does not want to do a certain thing, or provide a more interesting alternative, it is more effective than me telling her not to do it.

That said, all kids are different. Good luck with yours :)

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Maybe you could let someone else keep your little girl during the day whole you pamper the animals

Ouch. :ph34r:

It's totally possible for gluten-eating dogs to live with gluten-free kids. Precautions just need to be taken, the same way as if there are gluten-eating people in the house. And of course, like mykidsmommy said, we don't really want the kids eating dog food anyway...

There are some really excellent suggestions about keeping the child out of the dog food.

To me the simplest thing is to just put the dog dish away when he's done eating...

-Sarah

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Thanks for all the ideas. I knew this group would have good thoughts and ideas, well at least all but one <_<

Anyway, the dogs are actually only fed once a day and the bowls are only down long enough for them to scarf the food down. When I wrote this post originally it was becasue the dogs had new food and were not eating as quickly as normal. She was coloring, I was cooking, and the dogs were eating and all of a sudden she is playing with the dog food like it is a sand box! These dogs are so mellow she could probably reach into their mouths to remove the food and they would let her...gotta love Labs! The problem child is just young, very smart, and I would swear ADD is going on. Redirecting only works sometimes. She is constantly redirecting her own self...hmmm. Taking a favorite toy away wouldn't phase her she doesn't really have a strong attachment to a single toy. Time out helps. I was just hoping others have delt with this issue and could shorten the learning curve. I had no idea IAMs and Eukanuba were gluten-free! That is great news, probably the best news of all.

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