Feeding & Training Issue & Questions - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Feeding & Training Issue & Questions

I am putting this in general discussion because it covers both feeding and training. So first for some backstory:

We have a 9 month old puppy. He has been on 5 different dog foods and lots of chicken/rice/pumpkin or beef/rice/pumpkin combinations. He has been on 3 doses of antibiotics as well. We think we now have it undercontrol as a chicken/poultry allergy. So we are in the process of moving him from beef/pumpkin (the most recent bland diet after 2 rounds of antibiotics) to Nature's Variety Limited Ingredient Lamb kibble plus Synacore. He is doing really well health wise and all seems to be back to normal (whatever that is for him.)

So here are my questions:
1. Because of the problems with his allergies and finding a food he can tolerate, we have resorted to some bad feeding habits (like he will only eat if we sit with him and put small amounts in front of him). How do we retrain him to eat like a dog, from his own plate or bowl without us present?

2. How often does a 9 month old eat? We are so off with eating because of his problems that we were feeding him 4 times a day (small meals). Now he isn't interested in eating in the morning, but yesterday seemed to eat a lot after 3 until bed. I just get worried because it has been so up and down that I don't want to be doing anything to contribute to another down. If the later in the day eating is normal than I will just go with that. But there was concern in the past that he vomits on an empty stomach.

3. Should I leave dry kibble out for him to eat if he wants throughout the day? Again, his feeding cues are all off and we aren't sure what the right thing is to do. (He is our first. )

Thank you for any help and guidance you can offer.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 02:01 PM
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I think you retrain him by putting the food where you want it to be and leave it there. He will not starve himself and will go to it when he is hungry. The reason I use kibble and freeze dried raw food is because my dog would never eat when I wanted her to and I was throwing away a lot of food. This works well for me because if she doesn't eat her meal right away I don't worry about spoilage. Sometimes she is hungry as soon as she wakes up and other times she will eat around midday. I give most of her food as one meal and offer her a lighter meal at dinnertime. She always has a little kibble available throughout the day too. This set up does not work for every dog, especially those who eat everything you put in front of them. I say find what works for you and your dog and don't worry about it. As long as you are keeping track of the proper amount of food he needs per day then all is good.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 08:04 PM
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Feeding behaviour is not just to do with food. Where dogs are not eating, once the food is palatable to the individual, there may be behavioural effects in place. Palatable food, the best quality diet is no good if the dog wonít eat it! There are things that can be done to help boost palatability. Negative associations with food Ė dogs who have been ill may associate certain smells, tastes, ingredients etc. with the feeling of illness e.g. nausea, and avoid those in the future. This is very common and often behind dogs who are reluctant to eat in the mornings as they may be or have experienced nausea in the mornings, or may be experiencing acid or bile type problems or similar and this is often worse in the mornings. We also may cause dogs to associate negative things with feeding e.g. we give the dog food and then leave or give food when we are not there. We sometimes give them a lot of attention and put a lot of pressure on them around food and food related activities.
If restricted to a kibble type food only, putting the food in the oven or under the grill for a few minutes can help to
increase palatability by making the oils smellier. I think what will help is to increase your dogís enrichment Ė not using bowls as much. Not only will this help to make food more interesting, it also increases its value as itís harder to get. Dogs generally prefer to earn their food so this will help there too. But also making feeding time more interesting will provide your dog with more appropriate outlets for behaviour as well as opportunity for stress busting, all of which will help all round health. Continue to feed little and often and also from your hand but in less formal ways Ė donít think meal times. Think instead of rewarding behaviour that you like and having games with food. I definitly donít recommend free feeding in any way as that will further reduce the value of food.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 05:13 AM
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As to Dave's comment about dog's liking to earn their food, I feed Loki exclusively from puzzle balls and kongs. He eats a combination of kibble and wet food. He gets his kibble from puzzle balls. His favorite is the Orbed-Tuff Mazee ball, but I have a couple others I found on Amazon that he likes too. I mix them up. I always put his wet food in Kong. It takes a while for him to eat. I usually put a prize at the bottom. A tiny peanut butter or sweet potato bone, or some frozen peas, carrots, or green beans, or a piece of baby raw carrot - all of which he loves. I also put frozen veggies in the puzzle balls for a treat occasionally. He like to eat first thing in the morning...so it gives me time to have a cup of coffee - while he eats. Then I am ready to play!

Also, I let him push the ball around the hard wood floors in the family room/kitchen but he gets the kong in his ex-pen. When he sees me with a kong (even if I am just emptying the dish washer) he runs to the ex-pen and sits down to wait. Then I feel bad and have to give him a treat. LOL!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 11:43 AM
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good stuff Barbara.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jill1034 View Post

So here are my questions:
1. Because of the problems with his allergies and finding a food he can tolerate, we have resorted to some bad feeding habits (like he will only eat if we sit with him and put small amounts in front of him). How do we retrain him to eat like a dog, from his own plate or bowl without us present?

2. How often does a 9 month old eat? We are so off with eating because of his problems that we were feeding him 4 times a day (small meals). Now he isn't interested in eating in the morning, but yesterday seemed to eat a lot after 3 until bed. I just get worried because it has been so up and down that I don't want to be doing anything to contribute to another down. If the later in the day eating is normal than I will just go with that. But there was concern in the past that he vomits on an empty stomach.

3. Should I leave dry kibble out for him to eat if he wants throughout the day? Again, his feeding cues are all off and we aren't sure what the right thing is to do. (He is our first. )

Thank you for any help and guidance you can offer.
I see many great suggestions already posted, but I'll add my experience with Mochi who is almost 12 months old.

We've always avoided chicken since the breeder suggested they could be allergic to chicken. We don't free feed. We used kibble as a training treat when she's was younger but stopped once she got older and when we started to soak the kibble in water (to give more moisture). We feed 3 times a day, about every 5 hours. Mochi would vomit bile on an empty stomach too so we often give her a snack if she's up late at night. We did have problems with Mochi not liking her kibble, so we had to mix it with something like a dehydrated raw mixer. But now that we are on adult food Orijen Regional Red/Six Fish, she just loves it.

We used to give 10-15 min for her to finish her food, before taking it away for good. This was supposed to encourage her to eat it right away. But I think it was easier to find something that the dog loves eating.

Good luck.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 05:30 AM
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good stuff Barbara.
Thanks, Dave. i also leave small Kongs for the dog walker to give him when she leaves. I usually leave them frozen .... sometimes just wet food and a carrot, other times I get more creative...unsweetened applesauce and tiny pieces of cheddar cheese, or plain yogurt and apple pieces, yogurt and peanut butter mixed together, or peanut butter and dried banana pieces, chicken broth with vegetables. The walker loves that she has something fun to give him when she leaves. And I, probably, for my sake, believe he has something to look forward to during the day.


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