Dog Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I wonder if anyone else has this problem.

Aayla is a terrible eater and makes me want to pull my hair out. This is making raw feeding very hard and wasteful. I'm throwing away 30% of the food because she decides randomly that she won't eat. I'm halfway considering switching off raw because I can't keep a balanced diet with her being so picky and hard to feed. She is getting too boney (I like a little ribby but she is getting too ribby now) She should be around 43lbs and has gone from 44lbs to 39 lbs.

She has always been weird about her meals from the time she was an 8 week old puppy. I have always made her sit/wait for food, I would release her and she was spend 5 minutes just staring at me, before even sniffing the food, walking away from it and then coming back to eat it.

Organs were very hard to get her onto, but we managed. For a good 5 months she was solidly eating all of her meals, four rotating meat sources, fish oil, and rotating organs. We just upped her exercise and her amount of food to 18oz. Then we had some big life changes and the stress made her stop drinking she got dehydrated and very nauseous. She went days without eating so I took her into the vet. She was on medication as well as cooked chicken, pumpkin and rice. She hated it, so I took out the rice and left the pumpkin and chicken, which she picked at and somewhat ate.

This was about a month ago. I don't think she has eaten a full meal since. Right now she will not touch her liver (seared, minced, frozen....nothing) or kidney. She will eat some of the chicken, but not the hearts or gizzards, and stopped eating the pork. She will eat the beef shoulder and some of the beef heart.

I offer her food for 20 minutes once a day, she avoids her bowl at the edge of the kitchen, then after 10 minutes will walk up, lick some of the food, drag the pieces out on the floor, then leave it and lays down at my feet. Then once the 20 minutes are up I bag everything back up and put it away, and she gets the same meal offered the next day. I worry a bit about the sanitation of this.

Right now we are on day 3 of her not touching her meal.

Vet says teeth and mouth look good. She will eat the kibble in her puzzle feeders (she gets 1/4 cup for while I'm at work) and will eat the lamb lung/kibble I have for treats with enthusiasm. So I don't think its a health problem.

She does this with any meals; commercial raw, freeze dried (but rehydrated) raw, kibble, cooked meal and anything that I give in a big amount in a bowl to feed her. Though overall she does eat the freeze dried raw and kibble better than anything else.

Anyone have other advice or have similar problems?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,827 Posts
Maybe she is feeling some pressure over the eating...? If you are stressed by it, she might be pickin up on it. I know it's good to train dogs to do some things, but

Honestly, I don't understand the sit and wait for 5 minutes before allowing a dog to eat. The dog might have got some mixed up emotions about that....the food is there...but nope...can't touch it for a long long time (from their perspective)....so while it's logical to you...doggie emotions might have been telling the dog to be leery of eating if 'ya just can't go eat when it's put down'.

This is just a suggestion, since you didn't mention that you've tried it or not.
But maybe you just just put the food in a bowl that is not her regular food bowl, and then put it in another area of the house. Just .dump some food in it and walk away....let your dog discover it on her own terms and see if she'll eat it just because it's 'out of the ordinary' as far as where it's at and the container it's in.
Don't watch or hover around her to see if she'll do it or not either, or make a big deal of it if she does eat.

I had a little dog that had some bad teeth infections, and the teeth were pulled, but then one of sockets abscessed up into the roof of her mouth. She became difficult to feed too, because I think she started to associate food with mouth pain. It hurt for her to eat with the bad teeth, then the raw gums after they were pulled and compounded when the abscess happened soon after.

It took me a few months to figure out how to get her to eat again, but I think one of the things I did do wrong at first was I fretted too much about it, and she picked up on it...and that also made her leery as to why I was focusing on her food so much.

Not sure if any of that will help...but moving Shilo's food bowl was one of the ways I did get her to start eating...although, even after that, sometimes I would have to make her taste the food before she would start eating. I would just touch her nose with a little bit of it and when she licked her nose, she decided it tasted good and she was hungry.

Stormy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
I have a really hard time feeding Tucker before switching to raw, much the same as you seem to be having with every type of food. Took a lot of trial and error before finding something that stuck. What I would try is leaving kibble out all day and let her graze, see if that helps. Not really something that you can do with raw, but if you have a kibble she likes I would try that and see if it helps. Some dogs are just grazers.

Had a husky growing up who would only eat like that. He always self regulated and would eat a bit here and there when he wanted to. His weight never seemed to fluctuate more than 1-2 lbs in either direction. Some times he would eat all his food and some days not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I don't have a lot of time before work but I want to clarify @Stormy I did not make her wait five minutes. She had to sit and wait for me to put the food down. (I hate pushy dogs around the food bowl) then as long as she stayed she would be immediately released. It was a good way to work her sit/wait as a puppy. She would choose to just sit there for five minutes herself, even after under standing her release cue.

Now I don't even do that, I just put the food down, say her release word immediately and hang out in the kitchen but ignoring her. If I leave she will follow me.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,224 Posts
I wonder if anyone else has this problem.

Aayla is a terrible eater and makes me want to pull my hair out. This is making raw feeding very hard and wasteful. I'm throwing away 30% of the food because she decides randomly that she won't eat. I'm halfway considering switching off raw because I can't keep a balanced diet with her being so picky and hard to feed. She is getting too boney (I like a little ribby but she is getting too ribby now) She should be around 43lbs and has gone from 44lbs to 39 lbs.

She has always been weird about her meals from the time she was an 8 week old puppy. I have always made her sit/wait for food, I would release her and she was spend 5 minutes just staring at me, before even sniffing the food, walking away from it and then coming back to eat it.

Organs were very hard to get her onto, but we managed. For a good 5 months she was solidly eating all of her meals, four rotating meat sources, fish oil, and rotating organs. We just upped her exercise and her amount of food to 18oz. Then we had some big life changes and the stress made her stop drinking she got dehydrated and very nauseous. She went days without eating so I took her into the vet. She was on medication as well as cooked chicken, pumpkin and rice. She hated it, so I took out the rice and left the pumpkin and chicken, which she picked at and somewhat ate.

This was about a month ago. I don't think she has eaten a full meal since. Right now she will not touch her liver (seared, minced, frozen....nothing) or kidney. She will eat some of the chicken, but not the hearts or gizzards, and stopped eating the pork. She will eat the beef shoulder and some of the beef heart.

I offer her food for 20 minutes once a day, she avoids her bowl at the edge of the kitchen, then after 10 minutes will walk up, lick some of the food, drag the pieces out on the floor, then leave it and lays down at my feet. Then once the 20 minutes are up I bag everything back up and put it away, and she gets the same meal offered the next day. I worry a bit about the sanitation of this.

Right now we are on day 3 of her not touching her meal.

Vet says teeth and mouth look good. She will eat the kibble in her puzzle feeders (she gets 1/4 cup for while I'm at work) and will eat the lamb lung/kibble I have for treats with enthusiasm. So I don't think its a health problem.

She does this with any meals; commercial raw, freeze dried (but rehydrated) raw, kibble, cooked meal and anything that I give in a big amount in a bowl to feed her. Though overall she does eat the freeze dried raw and kibble better than anything else.

Anyone have other advice or have similar problems?
I don't agree personally with making them sit and wait to eat. That really accomplishes nothing. Just confusion. I have one who sits and stares at her food for a few minutes before eating as well, but she eventually does eat. If not, its offered at the next meal. I think yours is being picky, and you will need to continue tough love. Otherwise, maybe a vet checkup is in order. But, some dogs are just picky as can be, and remember a normally healthy dog will always eat.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,820 Posts
I don't agree personally with making them sit and wait to eat. That really accomplishes nothing. Just confusion. I have one who sits and stares at her food for a few minutes before eating as well, but she eventually does eat. If not, its offered at the next meal. I think yours is being picky, and you will need to continue tough love. Otherwise, maybe a vet checkup is in order. But, some dogs are just picky as can be, and remember a normally healthy dog will always eat.
I do make my dogs sit and wait to eat. In my case it accomplishes teaching the dog impulse control, and in the past it accomplished not having the bowl knocked from my hand and the food scattered everywhere by a jumping dog. I just expect the dog to put it's but on the ground for as long as it takes me to bend over and put the bowl on the floor, I do not ask for a sit stay.

ThatYellowDog, have you tried warming the meat up? Not cooking it, just bringing it to room temp, sometimes that makes it more appealing. If you haven't tried it I'd just do so with a chunk or two, to see if that's not the problem, because I don't think you'd be able to reserve the meat the next day if she didn't eat it.

Another thing you could try is making her work for her meals. Maybe using it as a reward for doing tricks or something like that would perk her interest. You could try mincing it and putting it into a Kong, or some sort of puzzle toy that's easily cleanable, to see if it would help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,929 Posts
Vet says teeth and mouth look good. She will eat the kibble in her puzzle feeders (she gets 1/4 cup for while I'm at work) and will eat the lamb lung/kibble I have for treats with enthusiasm. So I don't think its a health problem.

She does this with any meals; commercial raw, freeze dried (but rehydrated) raw, kibble, cooked meal and anything that I give in a big amount in a bowl to feed her. Though overall she does eat the freeze dried raw and kibble better than anything else.

Anyone have other advice or have similar problems?
Just get small bags of kibble and rotate a good food like Origen or Zignature if she likes kibble feed it. At least with kibble it won't go bad in the bowl if left untouched. Don't put a lot in the bowl 1/2 cup at a time build up to the amount she is supposed to eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,177 Posts
Touching on what StormyPeak said maybe try moving the bowl some were else. I used to feed Sawyer in the kitchen from day one and had no issues but for some reason one day he started being wary/not wanting to eat/drink as redily/as happily as before. So I ended up moving the bowls into the dinning room, I'm not sure if he was going through a fear period or what but moving the bowls helped and he's been fine ever since. Maybe Aayla might need a change of venue for her bowl.

Since you feed raw cant exactly put it into a puzzle toy, my other suggestion might be do multipull meals during the day instead of just once if possible. Maybe she's the kind of dog that likes to eat a little at a time.
Have you tried other types of meat? I don't know if I missed it but does she get some exercise or play before she eats? just a thought but a little morning exercise may get her a bit more hungry.
I don't know very much about raw, but maybe she could just prefer the freeze dried and kibble over the raw.
How much do you think she eats in a day now compared to how much she should be/how much you give her?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,368 Posts
OK her teeth and gums look good, but what about the rest of her. Pancreatitis, perhaps, that would not only be painful but make her nauseated too. What about acid reflux, may she associates eating with pain after. I think you should have her checked by a specialist, perhaps an internist. If all is well, then you can start looking for something she does like, anything, which could be mixed in with her food. There is a difference between won't eat, and being super picky. My guess is the vet is going to want to find a way to control and reverse the weight loss, then work on the nutrition part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thank you everyone for your responses. First of all, I want to say that Aayla ate a full meal the last two nights without any assistance. For once she was enthusiastic about eating it, guess she was hungry enough. I had a friend that arrived which normally Aayla will drop anything to say hello, but she just wagged her nub and kept eating. I really feel like its a picky thing. She is not loosing the weight drastically it just has been a few pounds over a two month span. Its not that she is just flat out not eating. She does eat, just not always her full meal, which is important for raw and her high energy levels.

I can't free feed because of cats and ants.

She doesn't want to work for raw food.

I'm now starting to let the meat get to room temperature. We will see if that will help in the long run.

Normally she gets exercised before her meals, then given about an hour or more to cool down before feeding.

With raw you should have at least four different types of rotating meats. So our normal meats are chicken, beef, pork and turkey. Sometimes I get duck, lamb, rabbit or bison. So she does get a nice variety of things to eat.

I would say she typically is eating her boney piece of meat (chicken typically), and the beef. So out of the 19oz I'm serving she is eating 10oz on average. Some days she won't eat anything and somedays she does eat everything.

I've started giving her goats milk after she actually eats everything because of the added fat and as a treat to maybe encourage her to eat everything for a reward at the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,177 Posts
I'm glad she is seeming to go back to her old eating habbits, maybe it is just a picky phase she's going through.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top