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My dog won't Eat

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

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Aster

Let's go for a- swim
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 12, '10 7:07pm PST 
There are many questions on dogs that won't eat. Very few answers address the more common causes of not eating, the dog is sick or over fed. I am going to paste in some material I prepared for a sticky on another site.

You need to know your dog. If a dog that normally has a good appetite suddenly quits eating, it needs to see a vet. Something is wrong, and the vet can tell what it is and prescribe an effective remedy. Even an older dog may have something that will respond to treatment. At 12 years old, when my Lab, Aster, failed to eat one morning, I took her to the vet. It was pneumonia, which quickly yielded to antibiotics and she was soon her old self.

If the dog never did eat very well, and has seen the vet since the problem existed, you may be over feeding it. A vet check still won't hurt. Many dogs will snarf down more than is good for them and look for more. Others refuse to eat more than than they need. Evaluate the dog as illustrated in this link, http://www.longliveyourdog.com/twoplus/RateYourDog.aspx You may want the vet to confirm your judgment. Adjust the dogs food and exercise as needed to reach its ideal body condition. Some German Shepherds and other breeds may refuse to eat enough to completely hid their ribs. As long as you are feeding a concentrated, meat based chow, the best thing is to accept it.

The worst thing you can do is to bribe a dog with rich foods into eating more than it needs. Instead, Put down the dish with what the dog should eat, and give it 15 minutes to eat. Then take it up. Do not give it anything to eat until its next scheduled meal. In a few days, it should be eating what it needs. Continue to check its ribs and adjust the food as needed. This is not easy. I had a Shepherd go 3 days on a few nibbles. I was a wreck, but she was fine. It is almost unknown for a healthy dog not to eat what it needs. Unfortunately, in too many cases, it is less than the package says, and less than the owner thinks the dog should have. Many dogs are quite good at holding out for tastier chow. Like kids, sometimes it calls for tough love.

There are exceptions to the above. A dog in a new home may refuse to eat even if offered what it was fed before. Unless it is already too thin, the best thing is to give it a few days to adjust and plenty of attention. If it still isn't eating after a few days and only after a vet check, it is time to open up the refrigerator and tempt it with something better, cheese, cooked chicken, cat food, cut up hot dogs, etc. This may also be necessary for a dog that has been sick and lost weight. You will still need to get it back on its normal diet as soon as possible.

There are dogs that are too thin as determined by the method in the above link. Usually they need to see a vet for a medical problem. If a healthy dog will eat more, go ahead and give it whatever it takes, even if it is more than what some chart says. They are only starting points.

If a dog is having trouble keeping anything down or continuing diarrhea try this out of the manual I have from a large, knowledgeable dog guide school.

Bland recovery diet for dogs.

3 parts cooked rice, one part boiled hamburger or chicken, or cottage cheese. I think you can substitute boiled potatoes for the rice. Once in an emergency, we bought a plain baked potato from Wendy's.

This is meant for short time settling a dog's digestive tract. It is not the complete and balanced diet they need long term. I have seen it work.

There was an extensive discussion of weight in a recent newsletter from a service dog school.

''Obesity is the number one nutritional disease affecting dogs. It's estimated that 25-45% of dogs in the US are obese. Studies have shown that joint and locomotive problems increase by 57%, circulatory problems by 74%, respiratory problems by 52%, skin problems by 40% and cancer by 50% in animals that are overweight.

Large breed dogs that are overweight also are more prone to developing hip dysplasia. Obesity is especially dangerous for young puppies, as their underdeveloped frame cannot support the extra poundage that it must carry.''

So please, before tempting your non eater with rich food, see the vet and evaluate it as in the link above.
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Samson

Work? What's- that?
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 13, '10 9:56am PST 
Samson doesn't seem to like fish-based kibble. I've heard the same from other dog owners. He will eat it, but it doesn't seem like he enjoys it compared to other meats. Perhaps it tastes bland/boring/bad to some dogs? I definitely think they have taste buds, and make judgements with them!
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Boston

King of- everything
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 13, '10 11:37am PST 
Informative but there are exceptions to everything. Boston is or was rather a terrible eater. He is glycemic basically when he doesnt eat enough he starts to shake and its very scary to me. There were days hed eat nothing and we had lots of scares. I now mix in canned with his kibble and he eats everything and wants more now! He has gained much needed weight and since the canned food being added he has had no more scary spells either! So sometimes its a health issue that requires you to get your dog eating no matter what. Plus canned food is really good and healthy anyways as it is less processed so bonus there I guess.
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Sierra

Sun Worshipper
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 13, '10 2:08pm PST 
Oh yeah, because upgrading foods would be horrible! eek

Fine, if your dog won't eat take it to the vet. But if everything is fine it's most likely the food. Bad dog food companies spray on fat, sugar, salt, and other bad stuff. If it tastes bad enough that dogs won't eat it without additives I cannot imagine that with the additives it tastes much better.

Why is it so apparently bad to feed a "rich"/good dog food?

Edited by moderator Mon Jun 28, '10 8:15pm PST

Edited by forums moderator
Nabi

~~~Like a- butterfly in the- wind~~~
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 13, '10 2:55pm PST 
Bol Samson, Nabi doesn't like fish based food either!

Back to topic...

There is nothing wrong with feeding your pet healthier food. I'm sorry but if Nabi stopped eating blue, I'd go everywhere and get all of the other great foods out there before I went to commercial bad foods. I'd rather switch to homecooked or raw (which would drain me because of my schedule) before I gave her that horrible stuff.
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 13, '10 3:04pm PST 
Thanks for posting this. The title caught my eye as Tyler hasn't been eating properly for over a week now. He's just grazing here and there and leaving the vast majority in the bowl. Haven't noticed him losing weight though and he is otherwise acting fine. I may mention it to the vet though when i next go on the 23rd thinking
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Nabi

~~~Like a- butterfly in the- wind~~~
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 13, '10 3:17pm PST 
Aww, Tyler you stop giving your mom/dad a hard time! Sweet licks to you, you are adorable! hug
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 13, '10 4:50pm PST 
Why, thank you Nabi red face big grin
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Aster

Let's go for a- swim
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 16, '10 4:20am PST 
If you want to know what a vet with a Phd in nutrition who is on the staff of the FDA has to say on the subject, see http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2009/07/pet-food-nutrition-myths/

Edited by moderator Mon Jun 28, '10 8:14pm PST

Edited by forums moderator
Bam-Bam, CGC

Lil' Rubble
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 16, '10 5:50am PST 
Unscientific? LOOK AT THE BAG OF FOOD! "chicken flavor" "salt" "beef liver flavor" "sugar" ALL added because the food tastes like crap by itself. And why should food companies be worried about how it tastes, since most dogs are pretty opportunistic and will eat any old junk? Does it really taste that bad ? Why not feed a quality food that tastes good by itself, rather than a crummy food that "entices dogs to eat" by adding flavorings (flavorings that are not good for your dog, like salt and sugar) to food.

Edited by moderator Mon Jun 28, '10 8:12pm PST

Edited by forums moderator
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