fussy eater or just easily destracted??? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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fussy eater or just easily destracted???

Hi Everyone!
I have only posted a few times here...but i *think* I am having an eating issue with my 8 month old pup Sam. Currently, he is on wellness, when we got him he was on purina which we quickly changed to science diet and then to wellness.
The issue we are having is that he doesnt seem very interested in eating. Hell go over and take a few bites but does not seem to be "enjoying" his food the way I would like to enjoy my food.

I know that Havanese in general arent big eaters, but I still want him to eat food he likes.

My questions for all you experts are: 1) is this normal 2) should i try to switch his food, and if so what do you recommend?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 03:59 PM
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Lots and lots of Havs can become picky eaters IF YOU LET THEM. The fastest way to make a picky eater is to cater to them or try to tempt them with different flavors, adding things to their diet, etc. Don't start something you don't want to keep up indefinitely!

With picky eaters, the best thing to do is decide on a good quality food. (Wellness is fine!) Put it down for him, and pick it up after 20-30 minutes WHETHER HE HAS EATEN OR NOT. Do not feed him again until his next regular meal time. (probably twice a day at his age?) He may skip a meal or two or three, but DON'T WORRY... a healthy dog will NOT starve himself. He'll just learn what the meal time rules are.

The other things you want to think about is how MUCH you are feeding him... From my experience, it seems like the amounts "suggested" by manufacturers are WAY on the high side. (probably in an attempt to get you to buy more) If you are over feeding him, that might cause him not to be hungry at his next meal. At 8 months, his growth may be slowing down, and he might not need quite as much food. Better a lean dog than a chubby one, from a health standpoint!

Also, make sure that you aren't sabotaging meal time with too many treats during the day. You will need training treats, but make sure they are good quality food, and factor that into what he's getting on a daily basis. Other than training treats, don't give him ANY "snacks" or you will only make meal time pickiness worse.

If you can arrange it, I have found with Kodi that the very best way to get him eating well is competition. When I go away, he stays with a friend who has several large dogs. They are all separated at meal time, so no one can actually take his food, but just knowing that there are other dogs around who are happily (and quickly) munching away who MIGHT take his food makes him gobble his up in no time flat. This effect lasts for a LONG time after he comes back home and has single dog status again.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your advice. He doesn't get that many treats now a days...so im not so worried about that. I guess we should try taking his food away, which I feel bad about doing, but hopefully that will get him in a more steady routine. Currently we feed his half a cup in the AM and half a cup in PM. Does that seem too much? That was the recommended amt. but to your point they may be wanting us to buy more.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 04:13 PM
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Havas are notorious for being fussy eater,and as you say they do not have the biggest of appetite,but it is not always a good idea to chop and change their diet too frequently as it can give rise to a upset tummy.My Dizzie was a grazer for a long time but now he more or less eats first thing and then again early evening and maybe a mouth full or two before bed.I can't advise you on which foods to try as in England the brands have different names,but I do spice up Dizzie's food every now and again with the odd egg or tuna maybe chicken or some veg and he always yumms it up!and it seems to get his appetite going,though don't fall for the starvation trick they will always eat if really hungry.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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your lil guy is super cute! I have never switched him over without doing it gradually and his lil tummy has seemed ok. I guess I just need to stick with it. As far as I have read wellness is a good food, but Im just worried he doesnt like it.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 04:49 PM
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It's tough to know whether the dog's eating is just part of their personality or whether they really don't like the food. (If only they could talk!)

I agree with Karen's strategy above. A dog will eat just about anything if it is truly hungry, so you don't have to feel bad about picking it up - if he skips one meal, it will just help to enforce the lesson when the food goes back down later.

Wellness is a good food. That said, all dogs have their own set of preferences, so it is possible there is another one out there that your little guy would prefer. However, unless you are willing to try a whole slew of foods, I suggest you pick the one you want to feed, and the dog will adjust.

That's the logical, rational response...
Just to trip you up a bit, I will tell you that Sydney was exactly like what you describe for the first several months. I ended up leaving her food down all day and even then it was rarely finished. But, she was growing and healthy so I didn't worry too much.
However, following some digestive trouble I decided to try another food, and all of a sudden I had a voracious eater on my hands... so in my case it really does seem that the first two foods she was on she just wasn't enthusiastic about. Now I put down her meal and it is gone in 2 minutes flat! (She is now eating Acana Grasslands.)
She gets 1/4 cup 2x daily (a cup a day seems like a lot to me, but I have not fed Wellness so I don't really know for sure).

So, after all that, I think the rational advice is still sound, because the liklihood of you stumbling upon a food he loves might be low, and you don't want to have to try a million of them. However, if you do decide to try, go for a food with a strong smell, as that seems to really help. (I hate it, but she seems to love it.)

All the best!

Allison & Sydney
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 05:09 PM
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If he is eating 1/2 a cup of food twice a day I wouldnt worry about it!
You didnt say how big he is, but I am dog-sitting for a Hav that weighs 17 lbs and he eats 1/2 a cup twice a day.
If he isn't too skinny (meaning you can't easlily feel his ribs/spine) then I would say he is fine-


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 05:39 PM
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LOL Mine was on Purina and I switched to Wellness Puppy. Yes, he is fussy

I wonder if it is his bowl? His mood? Is the height off?

Haha... He eventually eats
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 05:59 PM
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Rosie does the one bite at a time thing. Takes a bite comes to where we are and eats it, then goes for another one. Drives me crazy. Yet if Josie is anywhere near, she will gobble all of it up immediately. It's just a havanese thing. I also think that a half cup at a time is a lot of food for a little dog. Rosie eats about a quarter cup twice a day, maybe a little more. I don't measure anymore.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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He is a little under 12 pounds. I hope he starts growing out of this! Thanks everyone
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