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Our Doxie, Ruby, 12 year old has hearing loss and is going blind. She has her two "sisters", another doxie and golden retriever that she uses to guide her. Ruby is a quiet dog, all of our dogs are actually.

Would anyone have suggestions on how to help change a recent behavior that has become a bit of an issue for our sleeping family?

Ruby - between 4-5 am - will start crying and barking to wake us in order to eat.

Our routine has always been to let our dogs out between 10 - 11 pm and they would come in and just settle in to sleep for the night until 6 - 7 am. In the morning, the dogs go outside and then have breakfast.
Since this behavior started, we tried ignoring it for a few mornings to not give in to her behavior. That didn't work ... so, we tried feeding three times a day instead of two (no extra food just dividing their portions) with the last feeding after their last outside time. This isn't working either.

Do you have suggestions?
 

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Might it be the start of canine cognitive dysfunction (doggy dementia) which can cause disorientation in time - wanting to do things at the ”wrong” hours?

There are medications that can help, so a vet visit is a good idea.

It might also be worth having her in your room so you can reassure her or hush her.

Is it definitely for food?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Might it be the start of canine cognitive dysfunction (doggy dementia) which can cause disorientation in time - wanting to do things at the ”wrong” hours?

There are medications that can help, so a vet visit is a good idea.

It might also be worth having her in your room so you can reassure her or hush her.

Is it definitely for food?
Good question, yes it is. We let her out initially and she literally ran in and outside without going to the bathroom. She was racing in to eat.
We will reach out to our vet.
Thank you
 

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Another thought. As mammals age, they are less efficient at drawing nutrients from their food. A plant based enzyme can help.
 
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