Picky eater...suggestion? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Picky eater...suggestion?

Abby is 8 months old and refuses to eat unless out of my hand. We have tried excellent kibble, mixed in lamb stew and other enticements. She will eat a total of 3/4 of a cup a day, not the recommended one cup. She poops A LOT, so that's not a problem. Sit with her, hand feed fine; put the bowl on the floor and she walks away. Suggestion?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 12:33 PM
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Hi,
I can't believe there's another one! I have the "Queen of Picky"! But sometimes she seems to really go for the food. I will look for answers here as well as I haven't found a tried and true way to have her eat consistently. And yes, I waste a lot!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 12:42 PM
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Tough love. She won't eat her food the way you want her to within 10-20 minutes, it goes up on the counter until the next meal. She may miss a meal or two, but she isn't going to starve herself as long as you don't give in. Since she has no problem with the food itself, just with how it's fed, you shouldn't have to doctor it up. She prefers being hand fed and knows you will give in to doing it, so she's stubborn. Just stick to your guns and eventually she will get it.

I hand fed Nino for his first few days, but stopped after our breeder told us that would lead to a dog that wouldn't eat any other way.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 01:57 PM
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Sounds like Abby may be telling you that she needs only 3/4 cup a day of food instead of 1 cup. As she ages, the amount she requires may decrease. It's important that you determine the amount to feed by her body condition (e.g. Ribs palpable with minimal fat covering; Waist easily noted, viewed from above; Abdominal tuck evident) and not by what the dog food manufacturer recommends. Recommendations for how much to feed a puppy/dog on the packaging may not be appropriate for your pet as the dog food company is in the business of selling dog food so will tend to suggest more food than necessary.

I concur that you should not feed her out of your hand; instead, put the food down for 10-15 minutes and if it's not eaten by then pick it up and see if she'll eat at the next meal. She may hold out for 1-2 days but be strong and do not give in.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 02:02 PM
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I have never hand fed Loki but I try to make meal time fun. He gets kibble in one of two balls - either the OurPets Smarter Interactive IQ treat ball or the Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Mazee ball. I always put his wet food in a kong. Sometimes I put the kibble in the Kong and then block it with peanut butter.
You could try and see if making it a game for Abby would entice her to eat it.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 02:35 PM
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It sounds to me that you mau be expecting her to eat too much. A full cup of most kibbles is a LOT of calories for a Havanese


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 05:14 PM
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WOW, one cup a day for an 8 m.o.? I think that is too much. Ricky eats 3/4 cup a day (1/2 cup in the morning and 1/4 cup in the late afternoon) and he is a highly active 15 pound adult and at a perfect weight. We feed him Honest Kitchen and he licks his bowl clean every time in less than two minutes (but honestly, I think he would eat asphalt if we put it in his bowl! ) My daughter's 55 pound Aussie eats 2 cups of kibble a day and she is on the slightly chubby side in my opinion.

Put the food in a bowl. Pick up the bowl after 10 minutes with whatever is left in it. Abby will quickly learn to eat out of the bowl when she gets hungry enough. You will quickly learn how much she requires on a daily basis to keep her full.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 05:30 PM
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I agree that 1 cup might be too much, especially if she is only eating 3/4 cup a day. Once the puppy gets out of the super fast growth stage, letting them regulate how much they eat is recommended. Remember, the amount on the bag is merely a suggestion. Every dog is different. At almost 11 months old, Nino has a crazy appetite. He's also in agility classes, he gets about 30 minutes of romp time on his long line a day, multiple walks a day, and he is high energy even at home, so it makes sense that he needs to eat more than an average dog his age. He will eat about a cup's worth of calories (between kibble, raw, and wet) a day ravenously, but I cut it off there, and he gets less if it's a training day. He isn't getting sick, and he's still bony as can be, otherwise I would cut it back.

Regardless, I recommend you stop hand feeding her immediately. She's a big girl and can handle herself If you go on much longer, the habit will be even more difficult to break for both of you.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for great advice. It is time for tough love... it's our fault she is spoiled.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 10:56 AM
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Pooping a lot would signal a lot of fibre. Dog food companies are profit oriented and use filler (empty calories). It may be that your dog senses that whatever is in the kibble is not what he needs. If you put a bite of lightly seared steak on the floor and your dog grabbed it up, that would be a good test to see if it is the hand feeding or the nutritional content at issue. Go online and look up Primal Foods (no filler) and their content and amounts they say are required for age and weight of your dog. Tux is growing and thriving on .85 cups per day (.21 lbs) and with very tiny little poops once or at the most twice a day.
Feeding, Transition and Safety for Raw Dog Food Diets
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