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Picky eater alert!

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.

  
Zimmer

1278793
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 25, '12 10:39pm PST 
Hey all, new GSD mom here with a problem. I adopted my boy Zimmer a few weeks back, and his eating habits are starting to worry me. He's atrociously picky about his food - so much so I've had to resort to putting rice, ground turkey, and two tablespoons of chicken broth into his dry food (Kirkland Signature Nature's Domain in Salmon and Sweet Potato) to entice him. Sometimes, however, that doesn't even work. Since I have no previous history on him, who knows what kind of feeding schedule he was on growing up (he's a little under a year old right now), or what his previous owners fed him...

I've tried to get him on a schedule. I started him at twice a day (two cups at 11, and two and a half at 5:30), but he wouldn't even touch his lunchtime food. I started feeding him earlier, around 8:30 in the morning (one and a half cups), followed by another one cup at 1, and a cup and a half at 5:30 - he would eat MAYBE two or three mouthfuls before walking away. He wouldn't even touch his dinner UNTIL around 7:30 or 8 when he would trek into the kitchen and whine at his bowl for me to uncover it. He's not getting enough food. Period. He should be eating 4-5 cups a day at his age, especially because he was a stray and is still underweight. I've scheduled another vet visit for Saturday (first appointment they had available with his usual vet), but I figured I would come on here and see if anyone else has had this issue...? Could it be he genuinely doesn't like his dry food? Are there any other fresh/raw ingredients I could add to it in order to make it more appetizing? I'm just so worried he isn't eating enough and putting on the weight he needs...
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 26, '12 9:05am PST 
Well... if you don't MIND adding fresh stuff to his food... why not just keep doing what you're doing with the turkey/broth?

Ground anything you can get for cheap is an option... any meat that's at a good price, you can throw in raw or lightly cooked if you prefer. Try a few different proteins, see which ones he likes. You can subsistence up to 25% of his regular diet with anything you like, and it shouldn't offset him.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 26, '12 9:31am PST 
*substitute, darn auto correct
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 26, '12 10:10am PST 
Agree, keep up with the fresh food if you think it can be permanent. Might mix it up and mix in just the broth or more or less meat sometimes in case you don't have anything on hand. Dogaware has some suggestions for adding fresh stuff.
http://www.dogaware.com/diet/freshfoods.html

Since you don't know what or how much he ate before you don't know how much he should be eating now. The info on the bag is on the high side for most dogs. My dogs usually ate about 3/4 to the lowest suggested amount for their weight.

He is a young dog that will mature late which means this next year he will be gangly and skinny looking. Growing a pup lean is much better for long term health. Have you seen the Purina longevity study commercial on TV? I suspect he is too thin and does need to gain some weight but do it slowly, he isn't starving and in danger at this point, right?

Dogs new to a household often will have trouble figuring out meal time. Even Sassy, who was quite the glutton, turned down a few meals her first month with us.

I would cut back the food to what he eats willingly and stop trying to fatten him up unless you see him actually losing weight. GSD as a breed can have horrible digestive issues and overfeeding isn't going to help.
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Opheila

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 26, '12 11:17am PST 
Adding crumbled Stella and Chewys dehydrated to kibble makes it tastier and more nutritious too. I would check with your vet to make sure it's okay but I've also found dairy often makes dry food more appealing...cottage cheese, yogurt, shredded cheese...suppose some dogs have lactose issues so I'd check with the dr first
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Member Since
05/23/2011
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 26, '12 1:53pm PST 
It's difficult to know what to do when you don't know if he's just being picky or has a health problem

Since dogs require proteins more than anything else, I'd cook him up some ground beef, poultry, etc .And mix into the kibble with some of the meat juices. Also, add some hardboiled eggs, cottage cheese. Hopefully, that should peak his interest.

Then, carry on until you can consult with your vet.
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Zimmer

1278793
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 26, '12 3:46pm PST 
Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate them. Zimmer was looked at by our vet a few days after we adopted him, and there was nothing wrong with him health-wise, so... I'm still going to take him in, just to make sure it isn't something that sprouted up while he's been with us. Meanwhile, I'll continue to add the "extras" to his food in order to get him to eat. I had no idea you could add eggs to their food! I'll be sure to try that tomorrow.
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Penny Mouse- Fart Ayala

I eat, therefore- I am.....
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 27, '12 8:25pm PST 
Hi Zimmer! dog walk Maybe Mr.Zimmer just doesn't like salmon and sweet potatoe? I'd try another flavor of the food your using, like chicken or beef. Sometimes dogs have preferences for their chow, just like people prefer one flavor over another. To find some chow my pup, Picky Penny would like, I just brought home sample bags of high grade dog food. Whichever ones she liked the best, I bought. That way I didn't blow alot of money on food she didn't like or had digestive issues with. Some stores like Petco allow you to return food, opened, that your dog didn't like for full store credit for another chow. Just some thoughts....Good Luck!! wave
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Ripley

1240817
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 3:08pm PST 
Ripley is not a big eater either. I do add little bits in with her kibble. It really doesn't have to be much. She'll pass up a few meal easily, without the little bits added. At her grandparent's... she even tips the bowl over.
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Member Since
12/02/2012
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 8:38pm PST 
Definitely try to mix and match his food. Eventually you're going to find out which ones he likes and which ones he doesn't. If rice, chicken and broth are what works for Zimmer, then continuing giving him that. However, don't be afraid to explore some other foods. There's just a lot of things you can put together.
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