dog won't eat

Discussion dedicated to promoting the well-being of your dog through diet, exercise and general health tips.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
lulu4422
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:39 am
Location: Oklahoma

dog won't eat

Post by lulu4422 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:21 am

Hi everybody,
I've decided to follow suggestions on this board to feed my dog on a schedule. She was used to free feeding, but I've learned that this is not healthy. She is 12 and eats Iams for old dogs (Sorry, I didn't know it tested on animals... just bought it b/c my vet said it was good and I can't afford Science Diet) Anyway, now that I've put her on a schedule, she won't eat. She was eating before... true, I don't know how much each day but I know how much each week and no other animal could have been stealing her food. When I put out her food for her in a bowl, she just looks at it and then walks off. She'll only eat it if I cut up a hot dog and heat it up and mix it in with the food. I just went to the vet today and forgot to ask about this :oops: so do any of you know what the problem could be... just that she's not used to scheduled feedings and doesn't want to bother with it? Maybe she thinks Iams tastes bad? She ate her wet food with a vengeance today, so I know she's still got an appetite. Thanks to anyone who replies!

emmabeth
Posts: 8894
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands
Contact:

Post by emmabeth » Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:09 pm

My first guess is simply, she doesnt like Iams... cant say i blame her tbh, my saluki girl who is 12 would look at you as if you had tried to poison her if you gave her that!

Theres three basic options for you.

Do whatever it is to her food that means she eats it, and do it 'as standard' rather than seeing if she will eat then adding something to it.

Change to a more palatable dry food.

Change to raw food.

Is it a huge issue adding something tastier, is it a big deal if she only eats wet food? There are things you can give her to help clean her teeth.

Personally if she was mine and i didnt want to start an old dog on a totally new diet, id give her a suitable senior wet food, (try Naturediet!!!), and id give her the odd raw bone to clean her teeth on.

Hth

Em

lulu4422
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:39 am
Location: Oklahoma

Post by lulu4422 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:43 pm

Thanks for your quick reply Em!

"Do whatever it is to her food that means she eats it, and do it 'as standard' rather than seeing if she will eat then adding something to it." ---I think that may have been where I was going wrong, because I'd been waiting and then adding the treat. Maybe I accidentally trained her that if she holds off, she will get a treat!

She wasn't eating just wet food because the vet said the dry food was best for helping to keep her teeth and gums healthy... plus, this is gross, but if she eats more than one can of wet food a day, her poo gets really soft... not like diarrhea, just blobby. So sorry for that description. hehe.

I don't mind adding something tasty to her food, but you're right, there's probably a tastier food on the market. I looked into Naturediet and couldn't find it around here, not even on amazon.com! So I'm going to go to a natural foods market this weekend to see what they have.

Thanks again! :)

On a side note, I looked up salukis to see what they were, and what a cool looking dog you have! They're certainly not too common around where I'm from.

emmabeth
Posts: 8894
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands
Contact:

Post by emmabeth » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:48 pm

Hiya

Mmmm salukis are very special :D If you ever see one, go and say hi to it, they are truly awesome dogs.

Going back to the topic rather than waffling on about how lovely salukis are....

Yes, if you put down food, she ignores it, you give something nicer she has trained you to give her nicer things.

Its a tricky balance here because i do fully believe some dog foods really are not at ALL nice for dogs to eat. Certainly im not surprised a lot of dogs baulk at eating the same meal day in day out for life.... i would.

Imagine if you hated beans, but loved pie. Every time you didnt eat your beans i gave you pie.....

Youd never eat beans again!

Dogs are pretty simple in some ways, and this is one of them - they do what works. If it works, they do it more.

So whilst you should be quite firm that what goes down in the bowl is what there is to eat and nothing else, you should also ask yourself IS what is in that bowl that nice?

Vets do say that dry biscuits help teeth but im not so sure myself. If i eat even a really hard biscuit, my teeth still end up furry and horrid!

Dogs dont chew kibble that much either, so its not really going to do very much.

You could switch to a totally raw diet, its not very hard but it takes a whole lotta faith and a bit more preparation to do.

That said, you can then offer your dog a range of foods, lots of variety, and lots of things that clean teeth.

I dont actually think you can get NatureDiet in the US - sorry for that, my mistake!

If the dry food really is just for teeth though, you can get dental chews, raw bones etc and add them to the wet food diet.

Hth

Em

lulu4422
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:39 am
Location: Oklahoma

Post by lulu4422 » Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:30 pm

Well, I went to the natural foods store, but all they had was this organic vegetarian dog food. My dog is no vegetarian! So then I went to PetsMart, a large supermarket for pets, and got Purina ProPlan for senior dogs canned food. First on the ingredients list is liver, chicken, wheat gluten, turkey, and meat by-products. I looked on all the brands the store had, including science diet, and they all had "meat by-products." Annie has to eat, so I went ahead and picked the one that looked the best to my untrained eye. Then I went to a bookstore and looked at 3 different books about dog nutrition and now I'm thoroughly confused and frustrated. One book was all about how the commercial dog food industry is pretty much disgusting - they can put dead domestic pets into dog food?! Another was basically a recipe book, but no instructions about how much to give or special instructions for senior dogs, and advised never to give a supplement unless the vet said to. Another said to always give supplements and gave a bunch of herbal remedies for dogs and recommended the BARF diet. Then I looked at some other general books about dogs and two of them said just to make sure to feed premium dog food and never to feed human food. One said never to give a dog chicken bones, raw or cooked, as they will splinter. But the BARF diet says to give the dog raw bones. My vet said Iams was a good brand and to just avoid discount brands.

I am really not confident in my ability to provide a nutritionally complete home-cooked meal for my dog, as I don't even cook for myself that often and don't know much about dog nutrition (obviously). I'd like to be able to cook for her because the book about the pet food industry horrified me.

Help please! :)

lulu4422
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:39 am
Location: Oklahoma

Post by lulu4422 » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:00 pm

Oh, also, I tried to give Annie some raw chicken breast and she spit it out and licked her lips like she'd eaten a lemon or something and walked off. So I think since she's eaten commercial dog food her whole life she doesn't know what to think of raw food.

So any advice about either acceptable canned foods... I think I will follow Emmabeth's suggestion to switch to wet and give bones and things to clean her teeth... or good books for beginners about how to cook a nutritionally complete meal for senior dogs, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time/advice!!! :D

emmabeth
Posts: 8894
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands
Contact:

Post by emmabeth » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:50 pm

Hiya

Ah yes the canine nutrition minefield!

Cooked diets are i think the hardest to get right, so i avoid those.

Now i feed all my guys raw food, even the 12 year old fussy saluki girl and i think its the easiest way to get a balanced diet over time. Pick a basic diet structure (here thats veg, chicken wings, tinned pilchards), and then add in alternatives every few days so you feed a wide range of foods.

An older dog is highly unlikely to go 'oh YES.....' and chow down on raw food straight away, because it is new and strange.

Next time you fancy trying her on something raw, pick a time when she is hungry (even make the previous meal slightly smaller?), get the meat to room temperature or even hotter (not with a microwave please! if htere is bones in it, they MUST be raw).

You can do this by holding say a chicken wing under a hot tap, or flash frying in a hot dry pan for just a few seconds each side.

Meat is more palatable to dogs when its not icy cold from the fridge, you can also cut the skin a little so that the flavour comes out.

If you really want to try raw you have to be 'cruel to be kind' at the start and make it clear, this is whats on offer, like it or leave it. Even my old girl who prior to living with me had only eaten junk discount dog food only took 4 days of eating a tiny mouthful or making faces like i was trying to poison her.

Then she sussed it was nice, it didnt kill her and if she didnt eat it, there was nothing else on offer.... so she ate.

Now she eats lamb, beef, chicken, pilchards, venison, turkey, liver, heart, rabbit, kidney.... raw eggs, cottage cheese... green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, apples, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, spring greens, celery....

Basically, whatever is put in front of her vanishes! And does so in seconds.


If you dont feel confident feeding completely raw, you can always feed one meal complete dog food, and the second meal a raw meal.

If you do that, whilst you are getting her used to the raw, keep the dog food meals smaller than normal so she is hungry enough to consider the raw food.

If after a while you felt confident enough to feed raw (its not hard, keep the variety good and you wont hit any deficiency problems), you could switch her complete wet meal to a dry food, so the option is 'dry,not that nice' or 'raw and yummy'.... bet you shed pick raw over dry!

Some dogs decide for themselves they dont want the complete food and just stop eating it but you cant rely on that to tell you if the food is any good because most dog foods are falsely flavoured with sugars, salts and fats to make normally unpleasant ingredients tasty.

Em

Lis & Addy
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:27 pm

Post by Lis & Addy » Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:55 am

It may be different in the UK, but in the US, vets get very little nutrition education that doesn't come from Hills (Science Diet) and the other major pet food companies. Unless they specialize in veterinary nutrition, your vet is not especially well educated in veterinary nutrition. Your vet will tell you that you can't safely cook for your dog or cat, because that's what they've been taught by the only source of nutrition education that most of them have.

And, as "premium" foods go, Iams and Science Diet aren't.

If you don't want to cook or feed raw, some genuine premium foods that dogs generally like are Canidae, Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance, Nature's Variety, California Natural. Check to see if they're available in your area, or contact the companies and ask for samples.

If Canidae is available and your dog likes it and does well on it, you'll probably find that it's somewhat less expensive than the Iams; that seems to be true in most areas, anyway. And Addy improved visibly when I switched her to Canidae from Eukanuba (Iams) and Nutro Natural Choice.

lulu4422
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:39 am
Location: Oklahoma

Post by lulu4422 » Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:13 pm

Thanks to both of you! I think I'll not go with raw food just because I'm not sure about my ability to do it properly and don't want to make her sick by accidentally feeding her something bad. That stinks about my vet probably not knowing much about nutrition... it makes sense though since she sells science diet. Luckily, today I found Canidae at a local feed store, which I thought was just for horses and cows until today. YAY! Annie got all excited sniffing the bag even! They didn't have the wet, but it's sold online. And you were right; it costs the same as Iams. Thank goodness I found this forum - probably feeding Annie better food will prolong her life and make her happier! :D :D

Post Reply