What do Turkish dogs eat?
May 19, 2021 8:39 PM   Subscribe

If you were a dog that was rescued from the streets of Turkey, what food might you be really used to?

My two rescue pups were found on the streets somewhere in Turkey. They are surprisingly picky eaters! They won't touch peanut butter, pureed pumpkin or other veggies, or any kind of dog biscuits. They only like 100% meat treats, which are of course the most expensive treats out there.

I keep thinking about how peanut butter is a quintessential American food and that people who didn't grow up here often think it's disgusting. Could this be the case with my dogs? What other foods should I try?
posted by rouftop to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Inexpensive cheese. Raw carrots. Cronchy plain tortilla chips. Bread.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:47 PM on May 19, 2021

Not suggesting that your dogs grew up on tortilla chips in Turkey, but it's possible that as former street dogs they're really used to people food.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:51 PM on May 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: And yet they turn their noses up at stuff that falls on the floor from our dinner table...
posted by rouftop at 9:02 PM on May 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Dogs show preference for variation, so put the treats on a rotation.
If he likes freeze-dried liver, get or make it powdered and sprinkle it on stuff.
Bonito is also good; found in bulk in Asian groceries.
Organ meats and tripe if you can stand it.
posted by dum spiro spero at 9:16 PM on May 19, 2021

I don't know and don't really have anything but a guess to base it on, but I'm wondering if they're used to catching vermin as their primary food source?
posted by stormyteal at 9:16 PM on May 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Stinky fish? The pickiest dog I know relents for certain kinds of fish.
posted by praemunire at 9:28 PM on May 19, 2021

Best answer: I lived in Istanbul for three years. Depends on what area they grew up - in some areas dogs are given dog biscuits. Most places, it is stale bread (people go around collecting un-sold bread from bakeries, then leave it at set areas for stray dogs). I never saw a stray dog eating 'wet food' which makes senses as the food is left out for them in the open. Of course dogs could be going off catching animals to eat (actually, I am pretty sure of it).

While they may seem like picky eaters, if they grew up as strays in Turkey, they would have started life having to eat whatever was available. I have no knowledge about dog psychology, but I doubt they developed as 'picky eaters'.
posted by Megami at 10:32 PM on May 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

Leave food on your plate. Let dog lick plate clean (or not). Notice what dog likes. Homeless are used to scraps and will quickly gobble up the things they like and ignore the things they don't.

Yeah, random people food.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:22 PM on May 19, 2021

Agree with Megami, though I'll speculate they might have grown up near the butchers or kebab-adjacent shops perhaps? They might like ocean fish too.
posted by cendawanita at 12:51 AM on May 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I asked my sister in law, who lives in Turkey, and has a dog who used to be a street dog (in Georgia). She says that peanut butter is not really a thing in Turkey, and her dog certainly doesn't eat it. She says you will almost never see a hungry street dog in Turkey. People feed them bread often, and yogurt, among other things. Not vegetables so much. Pumpkin, yes. But she says dogs, like people, are different from one another, some can be picky :)
posted by Zumbador at 12:57 AM on May 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

posted by runincircles at 1:44 AM on May 20, 2021

Lamb. Chicken. Flatbreads.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 6:55 AM on May 20, 2021

Meat and fish, almost certainly. Have you tried feeding them raw hamburger meat? It’s kind of gross but probably cheaper than the meat treats they like.
posted by capricorn at 8:33 AM on May 20, 2021

If you want to try fish treats, all three of my dogs (with varying levels of adventurous palates) go bonkers for these baltic sprat treats.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 8:43 AM on May 20, 2021

And yet they turn their noses up at stuff that falls on the floor from our dinner table...

Did you try putting said food into their bowl?

My own dog is from a First Nations Reserve in northen Quebec. The second day I had her, I accidentally dropped a whole rotisserie chicken on the floor in front of her and she didn't go for it. "My, what a well-behaved dog!" thought I.

It didn't hit me until later that she'd probably spent her entire life as a street dog getting smacked or chased for eating things not specifically given to her.

Truth be, she'll eat almost anything I put in her bowl but it took over a year before she'd eat anything that hit the floor without me telling her it was okay and picking it up and giving it to her.

I've had dogs under my care in Spain, Vanuatu, Australia, the Dominican, Cuba, Canada, and America. In my experience, most dogs will eat most things if given the opportunity. Any particularity to diet I can usually chalk up to the dog, not its country of origin.
posted by dobbs at 5:47 PM on May 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

We'd feed our Turkish street dogs and cats any leftover boiled eggs, bread and sandwich meats from breakfast! Also, mini hot dogs that come in huge packs that we could never finish, they loved those!
posted by travelingthyme at 2:03 PM on May 21, 2021

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