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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure what to do anymore

Hi All. Well, the feeding saga continues in our home.

As a quick refresher, I was feeding Eli kibble (Orijen) with a little bit of warmed Wellness food mixed in. After he completely stopped eating it I tried adding different wet foods, some that looked a bit more like stew to encourage him to eat. Big failure. I finally started mixing a little chicken breast with his kibble and that worked well for about 3 weeks, then he stopped eating again. In desperation, I decided to try a raw diet. He went nuts for the raw beef (Bravo) and ate that really well, twice a day for 2 weeks. When he started to slow down I tried giving him some variety with Bravo chicken and turkey. He turned his nose up at them and wouldn't even touch them. I'm back to the beef but he's now ignoring breakfast almost entirely and half-heartedly eating some dinner which is 10 hours or so later (at this point, he's eating about 2 oz every 24 hours). I've tried adding kibble to the raw and also tried kibble with canned wet food again but he's not having it. The only thing he gets to chew on during the day is a very small flossy, and not every day at that. I know he's hungry - he's a very food motivated dog and would eat lots of human food if ever given the option, which is very rarely in very tiny samples. I also know I should just leave out his food for 20 minutes and pick it up if he doesn't eat. Raw food is very expensive. If he doesn't eat it I have to throw it away because I fear contamination once it's been out in a warm home for awhile. I know he won't starve and I know I should just buck up but knowing and doing are two different things.

Is his picky eating something I just have to learn to live with? Advice from parents of picky eaters is greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:04 AM
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My heart goes out to you. My dog was fussy too but he loves Instinct canned rabbit (made by Natures Variety). He is also willing to eat their raw rabbit medallions but only if i sprinkle some parmesan cheese on it. Just a suggestion..... Good luck!

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:55 AM
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How old is Eli? Sophie just lost interest in food, but I noticed yesterday she is missing alot of baby teeth. That means teething and I'm sure that's the problem.I put her food out this morning and she wouldn't touch it. I had to throw it away.If she doesn't eat any dinner I'm sure I will worry, but I think it will pass.I know with children, when you start trying to find things they like, you create picky eaters.I did that with two of mine, but not the third.They do eventually get hungry, but we do worry!
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:56 AM
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Gucci was SOO SOO picky, I could've written your post when she was a puppy, but I eventually got used to the fact that she won't eat everyday and her eating is quite sporadic and unpredictable, sometimes she'll eat 1 meal for 3 days in a row, and then nothing for 1.5-2 days and then 2 meals the next day and so on (you get my drift)

I've sort of now quit putting food out unless i Know she's hungry, she has this look she give me or she whines near the place where her food dish goes, I don't do this all the time but usually after she wastes something I put out.

You'll get better with being 'in tune' or psychic to their appetite, and they will not starve themselves, unless they are acting sick, or not drinking water..I wouldn't worry about it too much. Changing the foods up might be encouraging the picky behavior because he may be holding out for something better and that can waste alot a dough on expensive dog food and chicken. Gucci eats chicken most of the time, If I mix it up, she'll usually eat whatever is new, but I don't really do it to get her to eat (if that makes sense!)

You are being a great mommy! But don't spoil too much or you'll end up with a guy version of my Diva..... and boy does it get tiring catering..

Kara
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 12:04 PM
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We can relate! Pixie will eat just about anything, with gusto, but Rascal is our picky eater. We have tried Orijen kibble (great for about 2 weeks), then Akana (ditto), then mixed with stuff like sweet potato (more popular for awhile). Now we are trying Natural Balance canned (lamb and rice) which he seems to really enjoy (for now). We are also trying the raw diet and have obtained some samples of beef, turkey and salmon mixtures. He's not too keen on them, but I would like to get him to enjoy it as it is less expensive than the canned and seems very high quality (Healthy Paws, based on the Dr. Ian Billinghurst diet).

We don't want to leave the food out for 20 minutes for him to take or leave it as then we have to stand around to make sure Pixie doesn't eat it (she's a real mooch!).

So I have no real answers at this point, but I feel your pain! I also don't agree that a dog won't starve itself - Rascal got so skinny and bony at one point - he really wasn't eating enough. I don't like a fat dog, but I don't think I should be able to feel every backbone sticking out.

Dorothy (Rascal and Pixie)
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellie NY View Post
I know he won't starve and I know I should just buck up but knowing and doing are two different things.

Is his picky eating something I just have to learn to live with? Advice from parents of picky eaters is greatly appreciated!
I think you already KNOW the answer. THe answer is NOT more or different foods. It is being consistent and NOT GIVING IN EVEN ONCE!!!! I guarantee, that if you can REALLY make yourself give him NOTHING but whatever food you choose, at specific times, and pick it up after 20 minutes, he WILL start eating what you feed it, and eating it quickly. It USUALLY doesn't take more than a few days, I haven't heard of ANYONE where it takes more than a week or two unless THEY are cheating and giving the dog goodies. I wouldn't even give him the flossies for now. It's meals or nothing.

That little pooch has you wrapped around his little paw!

BTW, people with picky eaters are those who have ALLOWED their dogs to BE picky eaters. So they are not necessarily a good support group if you really want to change the situation. Kodi went through a "picky puppy" stage too, but, with the moral support of people on this forum plus my near-by doggy friends, I was hard hearted and stuck with the program. As a result, I have a dog who eats what I give him, as soon as it's put in front of him... In fact, if it gets past his 6:00 supper time, there will be muttering and mumbling that dinner is late.


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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 01:26 PM
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I had a hav just like yours, I tried everything I could think of for 2 1/2 years. Drove me crazy!!! I finally waited until around 7-8 at night, to make sure he was good and hungry. Guess what..it worked. I couldn't imagine a dog that wouldn't eat, dogs will eat anything when they are hungry. I did the late feeding for a month, then moved the time up a hour at a time. If he quit eating again, I moved the time back again. Now he will eat no matter what time I feed him, and he gobbles in down before leaving his bowl.

Peace, Love & Havanese
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 01:35 PM
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Everyone is giving such good advice, i have the same kind of picky eater, i would hand feed him and do whatever i could to get him to eat because i felt bad. But the reality is, he is training you, mine got smart and would hold out for the things he wanted. You have to stay strong and just give him the same food everyday if he doesnt eat it pick it up and try again next time, he WILL get the drift, mine did and now he eats his whole bowl almost every day. Also you can sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on the kibble and he will love that!

~Brooke, Nick, Bailey, and Enzo
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOPHIES-MOM View Post
How old is Eli? Sophie just lost interest in food, but I noticed yesterday she is missing alot of baby teeth. That means teething and I'm sure that's the problem.I put her food out this morning and she wouldn't touch it. I had to throw it away.If she doesn't eat any dinner I'm sure I will worry, but I think it will pass.I know with children, when you start trying to find things they like, you create picky eaters.I did that with two of mine, but not the third.They do eventually get hungry, but we do worry!

Eli is 7.5 months old so I think most of his baby teeth are gone, at least it appears that way. Interestingly, my kids (particularly my youngest) are both very picky eaters. I guess it was only a matter of time before I created a picky puppy too.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 02:34 PM
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Sammy also can be picky. For instance this morning he chose not to eat so his bowl was taken off the floor and the food put in the fridge. I will warm up the same food this evening for dinner. He will likely eat it, but if not he will be darn good and hungry tomorrow morning. At that point I would give him fresh and discard today's stuff, but he will get the same menu. It's really hard when they don't eat. I know I called the vet before xmas freaking out because he wasn't eating and they said to offer food for 20 minutes then remove and give again at the next meal time, as others have stated here too. They also assured me that a dog won't starve itself, which I also questioned since Sammy was pretty scrawny when he came into foster care in the first place, apparently because he didn't like his food, but I think there was a whole lot more going on than simply not liking the food. I think, like people, dogs can get into a funk and not want to eat or do stuff, but then, like I said, there's more going on, psychological stuff that needs to be addressed. Any chance that 'sometimes' when our dogs don't eat for a while that it may be because they are blue? Maybe not getting out as much as usual due to weather/cold, human illness or busier schedule that disrupts the dogs' routine or even picking up on human winter blues? I'd be curious to see if there is a pattern to the whole picky eating thing or if it can be directly tied into some other factor besides the food itself. Just a thought, maybe ???
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