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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! I am brand new to the forum, and I joined to maybe get some advice.

My wife and I bought a Norwegian Elkhound puppy. He is about 9 months old now. He ate really well for about 5 months. Then he just lost his appetite. We thought it might have been his food. We were feeding raw at the time. We tried cooking the food different ways, feeding him eggs, blending it all, everything. We've tried some dry food brands like Victor and Purina. He just refuses to eat.

He is still very energetic and loves to play and go outside. Other than not eating he shows no signs of anything being wrong. To describe what he does when we try to give him food: We usually tie him up near his food because if we don't he walks away, when he is tied up he will lay down as far as possible from the food, even to the point of strangling himself to stay away.

I tried to make these special meat balls that I found online. All the reviews I saw said their dogs could not resist them. They were made with beef, molasses, corn flakes, and a few other things. Kinda like a raw dog cookie. He wouldn't even look at them.

So, I'm not considering this as an emergency because he seems to be fine. I'm just looking for any advice on good foods to try, techniques, any ideas whatsoever. My wife and I are out of ideas. In the last week he only ate about 2 cups of food, and very begrudgingly.

We have taken him to the vet and had an ultra sound done to see if there was anything in his stomach. Nothing. We had blood tests done. He is perfectly healthy. He is starting to slowly lose weight though so I'm reaching out to try and pick other peoples brains.

Thanks!
 

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If he is otherwise fine, it sounds like he is just being picky. Decide on which food you want to feed, whether it is raw or kibble, but stick with it. Offer it, give ample time to eat then take it up. Offer again at the next meal. A healthy dog will always eat. If it continues to the point that he starts acting like he doesn't feel good, you will need to go to the vet.

Just about all of mine go through the same thing on occasion too. But after a couple of days of not wanting to eat, they start again just fine.
 

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I would choose a high quality dry food you can leave out. Don't try and force him. Its like the old adage you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink. The more you try to force it the worse it gets. Try a good high protein food like Orijen , Zignature is another one. I would put 1 cup of food down and leave it and ignore the dog about food. Later in the day if its gone add another cup if not don't add more just leave it.
 

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If he is otherwise fine, it sounds like he is just being picky. Decide on which food you want to feed, whether it is raw or kibble, but stick with it. Offer it, give ample time to eat then take it up. Offer again at the next meal. A healthy dog will always eat. If it continues to the point that he starts acting like he doesn't feel good, you will need to go to the vet.

Just about all of mine go through the same thing on occasion too. But after a couple of days of not wanting to eat, they start again just fine.
I agree with this, letting the dog have 24/7 access to food will only exacerbate the issue imo. If you have taken the dog to the vet and he received a good bill of health than doing what is outlined in the quoted post above is the best response.
 

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I agree with this, letting the dog have 24/7 access to food will only exacerbate the issue imo. If you have taken the dog to the vet and he received a good bill of health than doing what is outlined in the quoted post above is the best response.
The reason I posted that was I personally think to much pressure has been put on this dog to eat. Given the chance to eat on his own may encourage him to eat regularly again since he has even refused raw and home cooked.
 

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The reason I posted that was I personally think to much pressure has been put on this dog to eat. Given the chance to eat on his own may encourage him to eat regularly again since he has even refused raw and home cooked.
I can see your point. But as long as the dog has been cleared by a vet as being healthy, the only thing that is holding him back is being stubborn/picky.
Just leaving the food out for 10 minutes then picking it up(storing it properly for raw of course) and letting the dogs natural need to eat to take over as was mentioned is still going to be the best way.

Free feeding can cause a whole host of other issues in the future as well. Being able to control when and how much a dog eats is imperative to maintain overall health imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone! I bought a bag of zignature, and the store also gave me 4 samples of other flavors. I put a little pile of each flavor on the floor and then I let him loose to see which one he liked best. He very much favored one flavor. He nibbled a few piles, but then he ate the entire pile of one. So that is the kind I'm going to go with from now on.

I was wondering what your opinions are on automatic feeders? My idea is that we may have been putting to much pressure on him to eat so he doesn't feel comfortable anymore and probably stressed. I thought maybe using an automatic dog feeder he would get used to regular times to eat, and wouldn't feel pressured by us. I wouldn't leave the food out all day, maybe twenty minutes still, but it would still give him the freedom to go eat when the food dropped.
 

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I would take careful notes of what foods he will eat and which ones he totally avoids. There may be underlying food allergies that are bothering him and he's being smart by sticking to a limited food list.

I have a picky eater (doesn't seem to be allergies..just "meh" about food in general) and I do free feed. I was enforcing feeding for a while ("food training" if you will) but honestly why should I dictate when she eats if it really doesn't matter much. Plus, she definitely seems like a grazer and prefers to eat small amounts throughout the day rather then big meals. Heck, so do I, so how can I fault that?
 

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I would feed a cup at a time. When he starts to eat that cup more quickly go to the chart and use a measuring cup to feed the lower end of the feeding chart for his weight. With my grazer sometimes she eats half of her breakfast sometimes more.
At night I add the remainder for her days allotment. I don't have a problem leaving the food down. I do pick it up at night because my other dog will eat it if I don't. I like to know how much my dog is eating so you know if there is a problem.
 

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Wooooo! He ate a cup and a half of food this morning! That is the most he has eaten in forever! Thanks guys for all your comments and suggestions. The vet called me and told me she thinks he as a bacterial infection in his intestines so we've got him on medicine to clean that out and to help his digestion. I've also been taking him on short run/walks in the morning when we wake up to give him a chance to poo. He usually goes twice now and then he's hungry when we get back inside. I hope he continues to get better.
 

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Wooooo! He ate a cup and a half of food this morning! That is the most he has eaten in forever! Thanks guys for all your comments and suggestions. The vet called me and told me she thinks he as a bacterial infection in his intestines so we've got him on medicine to clean that out and to help his digestion. I've also been taking him on short run/walks in the morning when we wake up to give him a chance to poo. He usually goes twice now and then he's hungry when we get back inside. I hope he continues to get better.
YEY I hope it continues. If he is on meds he may stop eating I know mine always do so don't get discouraged. It will help if you give some kefir or yogurt to off set the antibiotics. They kill all the good bacteria off in the stomach. The kefir or yogurt will replace it and keep the stomach from getting messed up.
 
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