I appear to now have an audience as I’m studying this Eukanuba bag. It didn’t take long for ears to perk up at the sound of crinkling coming from the kitchen. Jersey the hound mix is sniffing and hopping and wagging her tail, obviously already decided that anything coming into the house in a bag this large must be for her. Deep long sniffs followed by excited scampering. Ok, Jersey Girl, I get it… you approve already. Clover, the Doberman has taken the opposite approach. She did a quick mad dash to the bag, sized it up, and now has become statuesque with eyes fixed on my every move. She is alert; every muscle is tense and absolutely still. She is focused and couldn’t be bothered to act like a fool like her sister but make no mistake about her excitement; I see a little drool coming out of her mouth.

Ok the anticipation is killing me too. Let’s open this up and get this party started! First, big score for Eukanuba over the competition because for once I don’t have to deal with that horrid white string! You know that insurmountable white string that is intended to open the bag but all it does is make a red indent in your finger?! I consider myself a somewhat intelligent human being yet with every new bag of “white string opener” dog food I am left feeling incapable and defeated. That stupid white string never works right so I pull inappropriately hard every time determined to make it work. The “white string” callus on the side of my pointer finger may actually recede now do to Euk’s easy zipper seal. Maybe not as cool as the “yellow and blue makes green” appeal of a Ziploc bag but I am amazed at the ease of opening & reclosing the bag. Brilliant.
So let’s simulate a real taste test. I put both dogs out into the yard so they can’t witness the scientific preparations that are about to occur in my kitchen. Both my dogs eat out of raised food stands that have two side-by-side bowls. Perfect. “White string, no corn dog food” in one bowl and “Pure” right next to it. Which will the dogs eat first? Will they stick with their tried and true food or will they be enticed by the scent of something new?
Now truth be told, my dogs eat anything. They are exuberant about eating and by far it takes me more time to pour food into their dish then it takes for them to gobble up each and every last kibble. My dogs would throw the bell curve on any palatability study because “First Bite” means nothing to them. Over the years I have tried many different brands and formulas and have never had them turn their nose up at anything. Notice I say “I have tried many different brands” because I have turned my nose up at them. The dogs have been perfectly happy chomping away when I come home and present them with take-out from their new “dog food restaurant”. Ok their take out bag is 30lbs and doesn’t reheat as well as my leftover Citrus Crusted Atlantic Salmon would but the point I’m making is that they were happy with their usual food and I, the consumer, chose to reselect. 

Watching all of this has been my two-year old daughter Bridget. She is mildly intrigued by the commotion but as I walk near the door to let the dogs back inside, Bridget try’s to get my attention. “Mom, food cat. Mom food cat,” she repeats. As I look where she is pointing, sure enough, our cat Bug has silently crept through the kitchen and is eating out of Jersey’s Pure bowl. You’ve got to be kidding me! The first bite doesn’t even go to the dogs, it goes to the cat!

Now Bug is a dog in a cat body and it’s not the first time he has tried to eat dog food. When this happens, I let the two racing canines into the house and the cat goes scampering away to the safety of a hiding spot.
“Watch out cat here comes the dogs,” I think as I open the back door. Both dogs race to their usual spots and start devouring the food. Surprisingly though, Bug has not run away and is now stretching his neck as far as possible to keep stealing some Pure. Jersey is giving a low growl to her feline housemate but never stops gulping. But which food have the dogs chosen? Clover is gulping down her usual diet and Jersey and Bug chow down on the Pure. As if a magical school bell rang, both dogs pick up their heads and swap bowls. Now Clover is voraciously eating the Euk and Jersey is chasing pieces of her usual food around the sides of the bowl. In 15 seconds, both dogs have eaten both bowls of food and are looking at each other to see if there is any food to steal from the other. Split decision? Tie? Hmmm. What conclusions can I draw from that slobber fest?
Stay tuned in the next couple days for more on the challenge!