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My dog won\'t Eat

Richard AtchesonRichard Atcheson Northern USAPosts: 3,570Member
edited 6 August, 2010 in Food & Nutrition
There are many questions on dogs that won't eat. Very few answers address the more common causes of not eating, the dog is sick or over fed. I am going to paste in some material I prepared for a sticky on another site. You need to know your dog. If a dog that normally has a good appetite suddenly quits eating, it needs to see a vet. Something is wrong, and the vet can tell what it is and prescribe an effective remedy. Even an older dog may have something that will respond to treatment. At 12 years old, when my Lab, Aster, failed to eat one morning, I took her to the vet. It was pneumonia, which quickly yielded to antibiotics and she was soon her old self. If the dog never did eat very well, and has seen the vet since the problem existed, you may be over feeding it. A vet check still won't hurt. Many dogs will snarf down more than is good for them and look for more. Others refuse to eat more than than they need. Evaluate the dog as illustrated in this link, http://www.longliveyourdog.com/twoplus/RateYourDog.aspx You may want the vet to confirm your judgment. Adjust the dogs food and exercise as needed to reach its ideal body condition. Some German Shepherds and other breeds may refuse to eat enough to completely hid their ribs. As long as you are feeding a concentrated, meat based chow, the best thing is to accept it. The worst thing you can do is to bribe a dog with rich foods into eating more than it needs. Instead, Put down the dish with what the dog should eat, and give it 15 minutes to eat. Then take it up. Do not give it anything to eat until its next scheduled meal. In a few days, it should be eating what it needs. Continue to check its ribs and adjust the food as needed. This is not easy. I had a Shepherd go 3 days on a few nibbles. I was a wreck, but she was fine. It is almost unknown for a healthy dog not to eat what it needs. Unfortunately, in too many cases, it is less than the package says, and less than the owner thinks the dog should have. Many dogs are quite good at holding out for tastier chow. Like kids, sometimes it calls for tough love. There are exceptions to the above. A dog in a new home may refuse to eat even if offered what it was fed before. Unless it is already too thin, the best thing is to give it a few days to adjust and plenty of attention. If it still isn't eating after a few days and only after a vet check, it is time to open up the refrigerator and tempt it with something better, cheese, cooked chicken, cat food, cut up hot dogs, etc. This may also be necessary for a dog that has been sick and lost weight. You will still need to get it back on its normal diet as soon as possible. There are dogs that are too thin as determined by the method in the above link. Usually they need to see a vet for a medical problem. If a healthy dog will eat more, go ahead and give it whatever it takes, even if it is more than what some chart says. They are only starting points. If a dog is having trouble keeping anything down or continuing diarrhea try this out of the manual I have from a large, knowledgeable dog guide school. Bland recovery diet for dogs. 3 parts cooked rice, one part boiled hamburger or chicken, or cottage cheese. I think you can substitute boiled potatoes for the rice. Once in an emergency, we bought a plain baked potato from Wendy's. This is meant for short time settling a dog's digestive tract. It is not the complete and balanced diet they need long term. I have seen it work. There was an extensive discussion of weight in a recent newsletter from a service dog school. ''Obesity is the number one nutritional disease affecting dogs. It's estimated that 25-45% of dogs in the US are obese. Studies have shown that joint and locomotive problems increase by 57%, circulatory problems by 74%, respiratory problems by 52%, skin problems by 40% and cancer by 50% in animals that are overweight. Large breed dogs that are overweight also are more prone to developing hip dysplasia. Obesity is especially dangerous for young puppies, as their underdeveloped frame cannot support the extra poundage that it must carry.'' So please, before tempting your non eater with rich food, see the vet and evaluate it as in the link above.
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Comments

  • Rebecca LandonRebecca Landon Posts: 5,368Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    And if the vet says all is okay, then consider that maybe the food tastes like garbage. Dogs have taste buds too. Ironic how crummy food companies have to put sugar and salt and other flavorings in their food to make dogs want to eat it. And yet you lecture us on "bribing our dogs with rich foods." As oppose to the dog food company already doing that with crummy foods? Sometimes dogs just don't like their food. :-$
  • Kevin JonesKevin Jones Middle of Nowhere!Posts: 3,210Member
    edited 13 April, 2010
    Samson doesn't seem to like fish-based kibble. I've heard the same from other dog owners. He will eat it, but it doesn't seem like he enjoys it compared to other meats. Perhaps it tastes bland/boring/bad to some dogs? I definitely think they have taste buds, and make judgements with them!
  • Jennifer SzucsJennifer Szucs Posts: 3,765Member
    edited 13 April, 2010
    Informative but there are exceptions to everything. Boston is or was rather a terrible eater. He is glycemic basically when he doesnt eat enough he starts to shake and its very scary to me. There were days hed eat nothing and we had lots of scares. I now mix in canned with his kibble and he eats everything and wants more now! He has gained much needed weight and since the canned food being added he has had no more scary spells either! So sometimes its a health issue that requires you to get your dog eating no matter what. Plus canned food is really good and healthy anyways as it is less processed so bonus there I guess.
  • Megan TugelMegan Tugel Posts: 1,209Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    Oh yeah, because upgrading foods would be horrible! ::o Fine, if your dog won't eat take it to the vet. But if everything is fine it's most likely the food. Bad dog food companies spray on fat, sugar, salt, and other bad stuff. If it tastes bad enough that dogs won't eat it without additives I cannot imagine that with the additives it tastes much better. Why is it so apparently bad to feed a "rich"/good dog food?
  • Tierra ParkerTierra Parker Posts: 326Member
    edited 13 April, 2010
    Bol Samson, Nabi doesn't like fish based food either! Back to topic... There is nothing wrong with feeding your pet healthier food. I'm sorry but if Nabi stopped eating blue, I'd go everywhere and get all of the other great foods out there before I went to commercial bad foods. I'd rather switch to homecooked or raw (which would drain me because of my schedule) before I gave her that horrible stuff.
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 13 April, 2010
    Thanks for posting this. The title caught my eye as Tyler hasn't been eating properly for over a week now. He's just grazing here and there and leaving the vast majority in the bowl. Haven't noticed him losing weight though and he is otherwise acting fine. I may mention it to the vet though when i next go on the 23rd :-k
  • Tierra ParkerTierra Parker Posts: 326Member
    edited 13 April, 2010
    Aww, Tyler you stop giving your mom/dad a hard time! Sweet licks to you, you are adorable! |:|
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 13 April, 2010
    Why, thank you Nabi :r :D
  • Richard AtchesonRichard Atcheson Northern USAPosts: 3,570Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    If you want to know what a vet with a Phd in nutrition who is on the staff of the FDA has to say on the subject, see http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2009/07/pet-food-nutrition-myths/
  • Rebecca LandonRebecca Landon Posts: 5,368Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    Unscientific? LOOK AT THE BAG OF FOOD! "chicken flavor" "salt" "beef liver flavor" "sugar" ALL added because the food tastes like crap by itself. And why should food companies be worried about how it tastes, since most dogs are pretty opportunistic and will eat any old junk? Does it really taste that bad ? Why not feed a quality food that tastes good by itself, rather than a crummy food that "entices dogs to eat" by adding flavorings (flavorings that are not good for your dog, like salt and sugar) to food.
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    Furthermore, how could you support brands who regularly get their ingredients from places like China, who do not have even the minimum quality regulations regarding their ingredients? Don't forget the pet food recalls of 2007-2008. All those dogs/cats that died of renal failure from contaminated wheat and corn gluten (ingredients often found in very low quality, "Walmart" type foods)? I certainly haven't forgotten. 2 of my cats suffered kidney damage from that mess. You honestly think I'd ever go back to feeding that garbage? HECK no.
  • Mike BrownellMike Brownell Ann ArborPosts: 202Member
    edited 16 April, 2010
    I personally don't see anything terribly "scientific" on the website that Aster referenced. Just because someone with a PhD says something at a conference doesn't make it a scientific fact. Science comes from carefully controlled research that is then subjected to a peer review. I'm not seeing that...
  • BROOKE LOWRYBROOKE LOWRY TampaPosts: 6,037Member
    edited 16 April, 2010
    :? So just because they\'re dogs it doesn\'t matter what they eat, if they like it, or even if it\'s full of sugar, salt, artificial colors and flavors, harmful preservatives and is actually dangerous to their health? My dogs\' body condition is something I look at and am concerned with, but far more important to me is what they are eating, where it comes from, whether it\'s species appropriate, and also whether they like it. This doesn\'t mean I will feed them something they like just because they like it - but it does mean that I enjoy seeing them enjoy their food.
  • Kaila HobKaila Hob Virginia BeachPosts: 443Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    http://www.iams.com/iams/pet-health/protein-in-dog-foods.jsp From this study: Compared with dogs fed a diet with 100% chicken protein, dogs fed diets with decreasing levels of chicken and increasing levels of corn gluten meal had * decreased lean tissue * increased body fat * decreased levels of blood proteins routinely used as markers of superior nutritional status Because of this (and because of common sense) we always buy foods with a high percentage of meat protein. Iams and Purina have relatively low levels of meat protein, which is a part of the reason I feed meaty kibbles instead. Dogs don''t tend to enjoy the taste of corn and other grains (do you need a study for that, too?) so to make the food more tasty, they add other things. Common sense tells me that "artificial flavors" are not essential nutrients. Now, if the food was meatier, they wouldn't have to add these flavors to get dogs to eat them. Plus, they'd be healthier.
  • Christine L-Christine L- Posts: 212Member
    edited 16 April, 2010
    In addition to the research that has been done regarding proper dog nutrition, sometimes all it takes is common sense and first hand experience to see that raw, home cooked, and high quality kibble are superior to the typical "grocery store" foods. It wasn't very long ago that my boyfriend and I thought the Beneful we were feeding Stormy was just fine and dandy. It was cheap and Stormy didn't have any horrible health issues as a result of eating it. It wasn't until I joined Dogster, that I learned about the horrors of low quality food. The more I read, the more I began to notice that Stormy was indeed having negative side effects from eating Beneful. She had awful smelling, frequent gas, her coat was dull and a bit rough, and my boyfriend and I found ourselves wiping goo from the corners of her eyes several times a day. Sedona's famous post about proper dog nutrition led me to take a look at just what exactly was in Beneful and I was floored. That stuff is jammed packed with corn. I'm sorry, but when was the last time you saw a dog or wolf raiding a farmer's corn field? A dog's digestive system isn't built to properly digest corn. They don't need it in their diet, period. Not only was the Beneful full of corn, but other nasty ingredients like by-products, dyes, and menadione. Unfortunately, the same is true for the vast majority of dog foods that you can get at your local grocery store. After learning about just how awful Beneful really is, we quickly decided to switch Stormy to a high quality kibble. With the help of many fellow Dogsters, we switched her to Blue Buffalo and just last night, we purchased our first bag of grain free Blue Wilderness. Since switching to Blue, Stormy's gas has almost completely disappeared. Her coat is soft and shiny and the amount of eye goo has decreased quite a bit (we're hoping the switch to grain free eliminates it completely). I've seen first hand what switching to a high quality food can do for a dog. Never again will Stormy eat anything full of corn, grains, dyes, by-products, and other harmful ingredients. I don't need a vet who's nutritional training was probably paid for in part by a dog food company to tell me that Beneful, Science Diet or Purina One is just as good for my dog as something like Blue, Wellness, or Orijen. In the end, my boyfriend and I are perfectly content with spending a little extra on dog food to avoid even more expensive health issues in the future.
  • Jordan SpivaJordan Spiva Los AngelesPosts: 1,367Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    Aster tends to be very close minded and his views are set in stone so theres no use arguing other than to defend yourself. :?
  • Tiffany CarsonTiffany Carson St. MarysPosts: 15,800Member
    edited 17 April, 2010
    Guys, guys, guys, I disagree with Aster as much as you do, but if he wants to believe that dogs were meant to get optimum nutrition from corn/soy/wheat based commercial foods, let him. I've been frustrated by him myself as you know (sorry to say I've even gone so far as to say some very rude things to him), but all of the non-nutrition related comments you are aiming at him are probably getting on his nerves and making him even more set in his beliefs. I know he's done the exact same thing to us, but you won't accomplish anything by stooping down to those tactics. Just counter what he has to say with the facts you have... Anyway, I'm done. "The popular suspicion of wheat is likely related, to some extent, to the incident in which a Chinese firm supplying many American pet food manufacturers with wheat gluten adulterated their product with melamine, leading to kidney failure, sometimes fatal, in pets who consumed the tainted food. While this is a tragic and infuriating example of venality and inadequate regulation in China, it has nothing to do with the appropriateness of wheat as a pet food ingredient. And while a few breeds, such as the Irish Setter, have genetic gluten sensitivity, in general wheat is a healthy and nutritious ingredient perfectly appropriate as an energy and protein source in pet food." I'm against wheat because it's not as digestible as a dog's natural diet. Their digestive systems have not changed. One, I'm not a believer in evolution, so I don't believe that macro evolution exists. Two, even if evolution were true (meaning if macro evolution does exist), it takes longer than a century for it to change. (Kibbles have only been around for about that long.) Aster, I found the article you shared to be full of allegations in general that were in no way backed up. Plus, they didn't say a thing about digestibility, the main reason (to me, at least) why I believe in feeding "premium foods" and homeprepared diets. Maybe I missed it? Oh, and the term premium can be confusing, because often foods like Science Diet are referred to by many vets as "premium foods". You may want to change your wording to avoid confusing people. Just a friendly suggestion.
  • Tiffany CarsonTiffany Carson St. MarysPosts: 15,800Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    "It is rather unfortunate certain members had to bring in unscientific blather about the quality of food into a discussion of body condition." Hey, you've riled them up, bud. The way you always bring them down and treat them like they are part of the conspiracy you apparently resent due to alleged dishonesty, the way you refuse to answer all their questions, etc has them suspicious about you. They are just as passionate as you are about this subject, maybe more. They feel that you are 100% wrong, they truly believe in what they say and don't want people to make the wrong decission (sp) because of someone they consider to be twisting facts around. How do I know? Well, I felt the same way a few months ago, constantly letting you get on my nerves. Point being, what goes around comes around. Don't mean to seem all rude and "I told you so", and as much as I disagree with fighting fire with fire, you did earn it, bud.
  • Christine L-Christine L- Posts: 212Member
    edited 17 April, 2010
    Sorry if my post came off as argumentative. :-# I just know that many of us have seen first hand the benefits of switching to a high quality kibble (or home cooked or raw, for that matter).
  • Tiffany CarsonTiffany Carson St. MarysPosts: 15,800Member
    edited 17 April, 2010
    *nods* I have as well. Cookie doesn't look or act her age, and Treader...well, the vet was very impressed with his health on his last yearly visit.
  • Mike BrownellMike Brownell Ann ArborPosts: 202Member
    edited 17 April, 2010
    Stormy, I don't think your post was argumentative at all. In fact, I think it perfectly illustrates the point that when it comes right down to it, we're basing our decision to feed higher quality food on what we can actually see and observe in our OWN dogs. I'm glad to hear that Stormy is doing so much better with the new food and that you, like many of us, can see the difference with your own eyes.
  • Christine L-Christine L- Posts: 212Member
    edited 17 April, 2010
    I\'m just thankful that feeding her Beneful didn\'t result in some of the more serious side effects I\'ve seen mentioned on these forums like hot spots, loose stool, itching, hair loss, etc. I\'m always glad to see when someone on these forums is able to improve their dog\'s health just by switching to a better food.
  • DeaDea NHPosts: 7,176Member ✭✭✭
    edited 17 April, 2010
    I'm sure Aster's link was only meant to be a loose guideline for those who are unsure when their dogs won't eat and it's out of the ordinary for that dog.
  • Rebecca LandonRebecca Landon Posts: 5,368Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    haha... then you clearly don't know Aster or follow posts made by Aster :)):)):))
  • Tiffany CarsonTiffany Carson St. MarysPosts: 15,800Member
    edited 18 April, 2010
    I can totally understand why it came up and all, but it really didn't have much to do with this thread. Gosh, am I on a roll for stating the obvious or something lately? *ducks out*
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulPosts: 3,652Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    I have seriously seen a HUGE difference in Georgie's attitude since switching him to a higher quality diet, he is a lot more friendly and excited about life, has more energy, his eye boogers are going away and his gas isn't clearing rooms like it was and he was on Nature's Recipe before. I can't even imagine how bad it would have been on a nastier diet. The so called 'good' diets have KILLED dogs of mine before due to the harmful preservatives the company put in them. That was enough for me to high tail it away from that CRAP! I was feeding a kitten at work today some Iams that his owners brought in with him and you can SEE the bits of corn that is supposedly 'ground' up so it's easier to digest in the food and in the kittens litter box....dogs and cats, just like humans have a hard time digesting corn, the 'big-box' companies use it because they want to make more money on their products by putting in cheaper ingredients than meat that the animals actually need. I am just glad I have learned better and my animals all are eating great foods, I have definitely seen a difference in Shellie since getting her off the Royal Canin, it's like every new 'premium' food I feed her I notice a difference somehow. She's not as itchy, not as hyper, not as attention deficit, and I love the fact she doesn't poop 5x a day and she doesn't have to poop the hard 2x4's that dogs eating Science Diet have to suffer through....no wonder we see so many of them with consitapation at the vet clinic I work at.
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulPosts: 3,652Member
    edited 18 April, 2010
    Mom wanted to add since switching me to a yummy/better diet I have NO problems eating, I snarf my food right up. I love my Wellness Core, and get so excited during dinner time, mommy thinks I've gone nuts! Before I would begrudgingly eat my dinner, sometimes just licking the canned food off of it and only eating a few kibbles, now my meal is completely finished in a matter of minutes. My Body Condition Score is almost perfect now! I was a little skinny before.
  • Liz HardersenLiz Hardersen GranbyPosts: 5,862Member
    edited 19 April, 2010
    Currently the soap box I\'m standing on - thanks for bringing this up... Link to article about what\'s in pet food: http://www.freedogfoodrecipes.com/free-dog-food-recipes/free-dog-food-recipe-af16.php Ingredient lists....are they kidding! Take a look at these links: http://www.beneful.com/Dog-Food/Healthy-Harvest/Default.aspx#shown http://www.eukanuba.com/EukGlobal/US/en/jsp/product/productDetail/Boxer Formula.jsp?id=1024 http://www.kibblesnbits.com/varieties/wholesomemedley.aspx This one\'s tricky. While Lamb is the #1 ing. They did what they call \"splitting\". You devide the corn into two separate additives. With rice and 2 corn sources this is closer to cereal than it should be. http://www.purinaone.com/Products/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=2F90783D-40D5-4E7C-BCA5-8BBB36943F30 Needless to say we are using a high quality kibble combined with home cooked and raw. The raw meaty bones are doing a great job keeping Snickers teeth clean as he has never been a chewer and had yucky brown teeth.
  • Richard AtchesonRichard Atcheson Northern USAPosts: 3,570Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    Exactly the sort of unscientific blather that doesn't belong here. I really get tired of people bringing their ingredient agenda into every thread.
  • Tiffany CarsonTiffany Carson St. MarysPosts: 15,800Member
    edited 28 June, 2010
    Science is determined by facts, not by what scientists say. --whatever side you're on, you'll agree that both sides have scientists that are claiming to have the truth and that furthermore, they can't both be right. Plus, scientists from centuries past held different theories than the scientists of today, but you wouldn't say that they were correct just because they were scientists. Point is, I'm not going to believe something just because most, or even all scientists, agree on it. Which, I'm not sure how many scientists actually agree that dogs can and do get optimum nutrition from corn-based foods, but that's beside the point. P.S. Regarding your article in the OP, I'd say it's excellently done. I'm just not sure how much I agree with it yet--yet another area I haven't research very thoroughly. And I apologize for my part of bringing The Debate into your thread--while I do feel strongly that my side has some very valid points, this wasn't the place for it.
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