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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

My boy (Bernese / Amstaff mix) has been unmotivated to eat his dry dog food for awhile now. He'll still get really excited about his treats, table scraps, ect and eat those right away, however with his dry food that I feed him twice a day, he no longer shows much interest.

I have got him to sometimes eat it by starting the routine of giving him a favorite treat every time he finishes his bowl, however recently he's also started licking his bum a lot and it's become red and irritated, so now I'm thinking he's maybe allergic to the dry foods?

He was eating Iams Large Breed puppy food growing up, and he'd gobble that stuff up instantly. However once he became large enough to be off puppy food several months ago, we started giving him Old Roy dog food which I know is cheap crap, but we gave him their "premium" line of stuff that was more expensive than other popular dog foods. That's when he started not being motivated to eat his food.

So we switched him to another more expensive line of Old Roy, the lamb and rice kind. He still doesn't seem to want to eat it. So now I tried him on Pedigree and he ate his food for the first 2 days with no hesitation, however now he's again not showing interest in eating and is pretty much refusing to eat again.

I know a raw food diet would ultimately be the best thing, however I'd like to try some other options first if at all possible. My cats still do and previous dog did ate dry food and lived well beyond most dogs do, though I'm not dumb I do know "real" food is better.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Do you think it's allergies or is he just a picky eater?

I know many of you will probably suggest a vet visit, however that's not in the budget right now and no (good) vets around here will accept payment plans.

Thanks for reading! :)
 

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Hello!


Does anyone have any suggestions? Do you think it's allergies or is he just a picky eater?

I know many of you will probably suggest a vet visit, however that's not in the budget right now and no (good) vets around here will accept payment plans.

Thanks for reading! :)
All of the food you mentioned is junk and it is no wonder the dog wont eat it. There is barely any real meat in those brands. If you want a dog to be healthy you need to feed a food with meat in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
All of the food you mentioned is junk and it is no wonder the dog wont eat it. There is barely any real meat in those brands. If you want a dog to be healthy you need to feed a food with meat in it.
Do you have any dry food suggestions that are better without spending $80 on a 5lb bag?
 

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If he's refusing to eat anything for more than a few days, he's sick, and needs to see a vet.

If you are a SAMS club member or know someone who is, try Kirkland brand. It's a fairly good food that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Really, Kirkland? That's the brand I most hear recalls about and it's also the cheapest dog food on the market here in Canada.

It has a much worse reputation here than Old Roy... Maybe the US stuff is better made...?
 

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Reputations are mostly generated by consumers who are notoriously prone to believe everything they read on the internet. I'm not a big fan of the dogfoodadvisor but for what it's worth, Kirkland is a 4 star food so a person could do a lot worse.

I've never been a dog food snob. I encourage people to feed the best kibble they can afford. Not everyone can pay the outrageous prices some of the so called better brands cost. The dog food industry is driven by consumers and consumers want to believe they're getting better food if they pay an outrageous price. A lot of the marketing claims these expensive brands make are deceptive. I feed a grain free food that isn't cheap but if I couldn't afford it, I'd be buying Purina or Kirkland.


To the OP. Kirkland is a Costco store brand, not SAMS club.
 

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Personally I would never feed Ol'Roy. Most of their ingredients are sourced in China, and the ones that aren't are very low quality run offs.

Also I don't know where you're looking, but I can find a lot of quality foods that are less then $80 for a 5 lb bag. Some of these include:

Acana (depending on flavour) ranges from $20 for a 5lb bag to $90 for 29lb bag
Wellness ranges from $20 (5lb) to $75 (30 lb)
Taste of the Wild $17 (5 lb) to $60 (25 lb)
Kirkland/Nature's Domain $40-$50 for a 30 lb bag
Now Fresh $20-80
Go! $25-$90

Do I have to keep typing?

Heck I would even feed Royal Canin over Ol'Roy, at least their food is stringently tested before leaving the factories.

I will also add, what ingredients seems more appealing?
Ol'Roy:
Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), corn gluten meal, natural flavor, brewers rice, salt, potassium chloride, color added (titanium dioxide, yellow #5, yellow #6, red #40, blue #2), choline chloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, niacin, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, manganous oxide, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride,menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate

*Ingredients sourced from ?*

Or Kirkland:
Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, egg product, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, potatoes, fish meal, flaxseed, natural flavor, brewers dried yeast, salmon oil (a source of DHA), millet, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, carrots, peas, dried kelp, apples, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
*ingredients sourced from USA, Germany, and Belgium*

Or even better Acana:
Chicken meal, deboned chicken, whole potato, steel-cut oats, peas, whole egg, deboned flounder, sun-cured alfalfa, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherals), oat flakes, chicken liver, chicken liver oil, herring oil, pea fiber, whole apples, whole pears, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, rosemary, Vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation.

*Ingredients sourced from Canada*

I've compared all grain inclusive/chicken based to be fair.
 
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Honestly I know of no foods that cost over $80 for a 5 lb bag. I feed my boy the grain free line of Fromm it's a 4 star food and is around $67 for a 26lb bag

I'd feed Iams over Ole' Roy any day of the week. I'd not feed Ole' Roy if it was given to me for free and I say that as a person who fed Pedigree to her dogs for 15 years. Pedigree is usually only rated 2 stars on dogfoodadvisery. If you don't have a lot of money to spend on dog food and you don't have a Sam's Club near you do you have a Tractor Supply store by you? They have a store brand named 4Health that is a decent food. If you have a WalMart by you then try Pure Balance. If you can't get those or Kirkland then switch back to Iams, Pedigree, Purina, Eukanuba.
 

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Hmm. It might be an allergy and if he's licked himself red, it's time to go to a vet, he may also now have a skin infection or yeasty problems from licking too much. They'll be able to give him some things that'll take down the inflammation and irritation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE:

Ok so I spoke to a vet who said based on what I'm describing it does sound like a food allergy, and she said most dogs with this problem are allergic to beef and chicken proteins, so she recommended he eats a salmon protein based food, and also to switch him slowly and give him raw, cold pressed coconut oil/butter to help his hurting digestive system.

I asked for a food recommendation, she said any Salmon based food with absolutely no chicken/beef in it should work. I brought up the Kirkland Nature's Domain Salmon (blue bag) and she said she wasn't allowed to recommend brands they don't carry there in-house, however she hinted that it was a great choice.

So I bought Nature's Domain Salmon and tried feeding him, yet he still won't eat it. It looks just about the same as all generic dark brown dog kibble, do you think he's learned that eating dog kibble hurts his stomach so he's not willing to eat any dry kibble at all for fear of it causing pain yet again?

He still eats anything else, we've tried feeding him a variety of dog-safe human food, and he gobbles it down. Today I tried letting him get hungry to see if he'd finally eat his dog food, and he's not. He's now gone a total of 19 hours without eating food, just drinking. And he still won't eat his dry kibble.

That means I've tried a total of 11 dry dog food brands, including the one you all recommended, do you have any further ideas here? How can I "trick" him into eating dry dog food again? It seems like he's scarred for life now.
 

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@Ddelz, I never had much luck with the Kirkland dog food. Costco has a fabulous return policy, I would return it and try a different salmon or fish based food. There are many fabulous fish based foods on the maket: Natural Balance, Orijen, Acana, Fromm - all make fished based foods. The Natural Balance is very limited ingredient and may fit the bill for your bubba with allergies.
 

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My dogs hated the fish and duck I could not get them to eat it. Honest kitchen is like home made that might be a good choice. It is dehydrated you just add hot water and you have a fresh hot meal for your dog.
The Honest Kitchen
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok so yeah, it's been like 5 days now and he's only ate a total of maybe 2 cups of dry dog food and that was only because I mixed it in with warm water and wet canned food to make a gravy. But even that only worked the first two times, he won't even eat that now either.

As I mentioned before, I'm confident he's learned that eating dry kibble hurts his stomach so he's not willing to eat any dry kibble at all for fear of it causing stomach pain again.

So now I'm stuck trying to convince him to eat dry kibble, but nothing works...
 

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Ok so yeah, it's been like 5 days now and he's only ate a total of maybe 2 cups of dry dog food and that was only because I mixed it in with warm water and wet canned food to make a gravy. But even that only worked the first two times, he won't even eat that now either.

As I mentioned before, I'm confident he's learned that eating dry kibble hurts his stomach so he's not willing to eat any dry kibble at all for fear of it causing stomach pain again.

So now I'm stuck trying to convince him to eat dry kibble, but nothing works...

Yes, it is possible that he is associating eating kibble with feeling sick. Do you pick up the food after it being down for fifteen minutes or do you leave his bowl full all day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, it is possible that he is associating eating kibble with feeling sick. Do you pick up the food after it being down for fifteen minutes or do you leave his bowl full all day?
I've tried both leaving the food down for him to eat, and also swapping it out for new fresh dry food too if he still hasn't ate breakfast by supper time for example.

Do you think I should try taking it away if he doesn't eat it so that he knows he only has that small window to eat his food or go without?

And Dawnben, the Honest Kitchen stuff sounds good however I can't seem to find anyone who carries it in Canada. :/
 

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I've tried both leaving the food down for him to eat, and also swapping it out for new fresh dry food too if he still hasn't ate breakfast by supper time for example.

Do you think I should try taking it away if he doesn't eat it so that he knows he only has that small window to eat his food or go without?

And Dawnben, the Honest Kitchen stuff sounds good however I can't seem to find anyone who carries it in Canada. :/
Yes, leave it down for 15 minutes. If he doesn't eat, pick it up. Try the same thing at dinner. Leaving food out all day causes "grazing". The dog won't eat it's full meal and picks at its food because it knows the food will be there all day.

I have a feeling this is why your dog is being picky.
 
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