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Dog Owners - feeding advice needed!

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Re: Dog Owners - feeding advice needed!

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    I dog sat a dog that refused to eat their food dry.  You always had to add a few tablespoons of water to the dry food before she would eat.   If you didn't she would just look at you like "dude, why is this dry?"


    Sometimes it's something silly like that to get a dog to eat.
    My MIL puts broth in with the dry food for her dogs. They love it. And they get a little variety depending on chicken or beef broth.
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    edited April 2015

    Yeah, don't take her food away. Leave it out and let her eat when she wants to. Take her for walks. Engage in exercise with her. Throw around a ball. Just letting her roam some land is not the same. 

    She may need more than just a walk.  She may need to actually run.  Most herding breeds need to be run since they were bred to be chasing and herding animals on a working farm all day.

    But you said she is more low key, so maybe not.  I'd try running her a few times though.
    tcnoble said:

    littlepep said:

    She has the opportunity to be active. DH works off his parents property - she has acres to roam around, and 3 other dogs to play with. She is just in general a more low-key Aussie. She was rescued from a breeding situation where she did nothing but pump out puppies for 7 years, so she didn't grow up living that typical active Aussie life.

    We could try having DH take her for a walk in the morning, then feeding her before they leave. In the past, when we have left her food out for her, even after walks she wouldn't come in and eat.

    Could be she is just peculiar and will eat when she wants. Just curious if others had experienced this with their dogs.
    Do either you or your husband actually play with her, though?  And regularly?
    tcnoble said:

    .

    So you took her to a vet, the vet made a recommendation, but you're not going to do that because you don't want to cater to a dog?


    Dogs aren't like children. She isn't being "picky" to test your limits, or get junk food when you want her to eat green beans. She's using her limited methods of communication to communicate to you, she dislikes her food.

    My friend swears by putting a little bit of gravy on top of her dog's food. Or mixing in some scrambled egg. Dog goes nuts and devours the whole bowl.
    We tried the canned food, it didn't work. We tried the shredded cheese, it didn't work. So we have switched her food to a higher quality food, and she will eat it happily... when it appears she is hungry. We definitely think the quality of food was effecting her before. Now, she just doesn't always seem to want to eat, period. 

    By catering I mean I don't feel like we should be trying every item in the pantry to get her to eat... rather, do we just let her pick and choose when she eats vs. trying to get her to eat twice a day on a schedule.

    You should do whatever it takes in order to find out why she isn't eating and to ensure she is eating.  Whether that means she eats on a schedule or not.  Whether that means you try 500 different foods.  Whether that means you prepare raw food or cooked food for her every day.

    Whatever it takes.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


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    lyndausvi said:

    I dog sat a dog that refused to eat their food dry.  You always had to add a few tablespoons of water to the dry food before she would eat.   If you didn't she would just look at you like "dude, why is this dry?"


    Sometimes it's something silly like that to get a dog to eat.
    Ditto this. When I rescued Big Dog, he was teeny tiny. I had been told he was 9 weeks old. Turns out, he was only 4 weeks. They just wanted to dump him as quickly as possible. When he wouldn't eat dry puppy food, I put warm water on it to turn it into kind of a mush. Then he would devour it shokingly fast. Turns out, the dry food was too hard for the poor little guy's tiny teeth. 

    How are her teeth? Has the vet checked them? 

    I also had a dog when I was a kid who wouldn't eat unless his food was elevated (like we had to set it up on a foot stool for him). 

    So like Lynda said, sometimes it's just a weird thing like that. 

    In answer to your question about whether or not to feed them the full amount all at once, we give our beagle the amount she should have for just breakfast. When we come home for lunch, if there's still food in her bowl then we leave it. If it's gone, then we give her another scoop that's enough for just lunch. Same thing with dinner. Sometimes her bowl gets filled 3 times per day. Sometimes just once in a day. She just picks at it when she feels like it. 
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    We feed our border collie/lab mix with this (the red and blue game) ,both for a brain activity and so he doesn't wolf. But he loves food, so it's usually not a problem. He used to eat immediately when we gave it to him, but lately he has been letting it sit and eating it when he's ready. I think it's fine to just give your dog the required amount of food all at once and just leave it.image
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    We feed our border collie/lab mix with this (the red and blue game) ,both for a brain activity and so he doesn't wolf. But he loves food, so it's usually not a problem. He used to eat immediately when we gave it to him, but lately he has been letting it sit and eating it when he's ready. I think it's fine to just give your dog the required amount of food all at once and just leave it.image



    What is that red one?

    I have a few for K, but I've never seen that one!

    Mostly she just gets this one at the momentimage

    because she destroyed this oneimage

    and one of theseimage   

     

    image

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    luckya23 said:

    We feed our border collie/lab mix with this (the red and blue game) ,both for a brain activity and so he doesn't wolf. But he loves food, so it's usually not a problem. He used to eat immediately when we gave it to him, but lately he has been letting it sit and eating it when he's ready. I think it's fine to just give your dog the required amount of food all at once and just leave it.image



    What is that red one?

    I have a few for K, but I've never seen that one!

    Mostly she just gets this one at the momentimage

    because she destroyed this oneimage

    and one of theseimage   

     

    Did you get these at a place like Petsmart/Petco??? I'm wondering if our girl might like one!
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    Yes, I'm sure you can, although I got mine on Amazon because they're cheaper and I have Prime.

    I think next I want to get the Kong pyramid thing.

    I would start with the IQ ball to get her used to the food dispensing.  Kiki is super smart so she picked right up on it and we moved up quickly, but I've gotten a couple other dogs just the Tug a Jug and they don't get it at all.

    The IQ ball also has an adjustable opening to make it easier or harder.  I think the mushroom did too, but it was definitely more challenging.

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    We feed our border collie/lab mix with this (the red and blue game) ,both for a brain activity and so he doesn't wolf. But he loves food, so it's usually not a problem. He used to eat immediately when we gave it to him, but lately he has been letting it sit and eating it when he's ready. I think it's fine to just give your dog the required amount of food all at once and just leave it.image

    Ha.  This very sweet guy gave the bulldog one for his 1st birthday like the wood one.    The bulldog destroyed in less than an hour.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    We have this one.  We do not use it as often now, but when the bulldog is being annoying it keeps him occupied for a while. 






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    luckya23 said:

    We feed our border collie/lab mix with this (the red and blue game) ,both for a brain activity and so he doesn't wolf. But he loves food, so it's usually not a problem. He used to eat immediately when we gave it to him, but lately he has been letting it sit and eating it when he's ready. I think it's fine to just give your dog the required amount of food all at once and just leave it.image



    What is that red one?

    I have a few for K, but I've never seen that one!

    Mostly she just gets this one at the momentimage

    because she destroyed this oneimage

    and one of theseimage   

     

    I got it at petco. It's just a kibble drop puzzle. http://www.thatpetplace.com/kibble-drop-treat-puzzle-dog-game?utm_source=aft&utm_medium=affiliates&utm_content=feeds&utm_medium=affiliates&utm_source=cj&cj_linkd=11020908&cj_webid=2139937&cj_sid=&cj_affid=1215075&cj_affname=Animal-World
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    Sometimes you just have to figure out what works. Maybe it's broth. Maybe cheese. Maybe different food. Whatever. I would follow the vet's instructions before I'd come knocking on TK's door.

    My cat is a princess and will not drink water out of anything except a ceramic bowl. And it can't be dark blue, it needs to be light blue. 

    I can't make this stuff up. 
    I believe you.  Cats are pretentious dicks ;-)

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


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    @Huskypuppy14 - Got it, thanks!  I think she'll probably try to flip it over because that's how most of her dispensers work, but worth a try at that price!

    We have one like that other you have, but I was disappointed that it's just basically cardboard - she damaged some of the sliders really fast!

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    Sometimes you just have to figure out what works. Maybe it's broth. Maybe cheese. Maybe different food. Whatever. I would follow the vet's instructions before I'd come knocking on TK's door.

    My cat is a princess and will not drink water out of anything except a ceramic bowl. And it can't be dark blue, it needs to be light blue. 

    I can't make this stuff up. 
    Beagle refuses to eat out of anything that's not metal. I think it's just cuz she likes the annoying clanging sound it makes when she kicks it all over the kitchen (she'll kick it whether it's empty or full. She just likes to kick shit) 

    Oh and another weird thing; sometimes she'd rather eat off the floor. So she'll kick the bowl till it flips upside down and then eat. Whatever. 
    image
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    Sometimes you just have to figure out what works. Maybe it's broth. Maybe cheese. Maybe different food. Whatever. I would follow the vet's instructions before I'd come knocking on TK's door.

    My cat is a princess and will not drink water out of anything except a ceramic bowl. And it can't be dark blue, it needs to be light blue. 

    I can't make this stuff up. 
    Beagle refuses to eat out of anything that's not metal. I think it's just cuz she likes the annoying clanging sound it makes when she kicks it all over the kitchen (she'll kick it whether it's empty or full. She just likes to kick shit) 

    Oh and another weird thing; sometimes she'd rather eat off the floor. So she'll kick the bowl till it flips upside down and then eat. Whatever. 
    Mine won't drink out of metal (she only eats from those dispensers) because one time a toy hit the metal bowl and made a weird noise.  Poor thing went without drinking for about a week before I realized!!  Luckily there was snow on the ground at the time so she wasn't dangerously dehydrated that I know of.

    image

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    We do a scoop/cup in the morning then another at night, assuming he ate his food from morning. He nudges at his bowl if he is hungry. Could you also maybe send food with your husband to give her the option to eat later while she's at work with him?

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    I dog sat a dog that refused to eat their food dry.  You always had to add a few tablespoons of water to the dry food before she would eat.   If you didn't she would just look at you like "dude, why is this dry?"

    Sometimes it's something silly like that to get a dog to eat.
    Ditto this. When I rescued Big Dog, he was teeny tiny. I had been told he was 9 weeks old. Turns out, he was only 4 weeks. They just wanted to dump him as quickly as possible. When he wouldn't eat dry puppy food, I put warm water on it to turn it into kind of a mush. Then he would devour it shokingly fast. Turns out, the dry food was too hard for the poor little guy's tiny teeth. 

    How are her teeth? Has the vet checked them? 

    I also had a dog when I was a kid who wouldn't eat unless his food was elevated (like we had to set it up on a foot stool for him). 

    So like Lynda said, sometimes it's just a weird thing like that. 

    In answer to your question about whether or not to feed them the full amount all at once, we give our beagle the amount she should have for just breakfast. When we come home for lunch, if there's still food in her bowl then we leave it. If it's gone, then we give her another scoop that's enough for just lunch. Same thing with dinner. Sometimes her bowl gets filled 3 times per day. Sometimes just once in a day. She just picks at it when she feels like it. 


    This is what I was wondering. I know OP said something about talking to the vet previously, but depending on the dog's age, teeth can sometimes break or decay. Our old terrier just got his teeth cleaned recently and had several extracted. Although he should be sore still from the procedure he already is seeming like he eats a bit better and more quickly. 
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    I agree with PPs that she may not be hungry because she isn't getting enough exercise/burning enough calories. I'd try to engage her in more active play - take her for a jog, throw the ball around, etc. And dogs definitely don't understand timelines like "you have 20 minutes to eat so make it snappy." They can't tell time, and I doubt she's trying to play you for treats.

    Her nutritional needs may also be changing as she gets older. Is she considered a "senior dog" for her size? I'd look into/ask your vet about senior food... it's generally a little lighter since they're less active and don't require as much fat/protein as younger, more active dogs. 

    And then there's my goofy skinny 10 year old dog, who I'm supplementing with puppy food because he needs more fat. Go figure.

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    tcnoble said:

    AlisonM23 said:

    Is there a reason you couldn't leave the bowl out when you leave? We generally fill our dog's bowl at the same time every day, but he doesn't always immediately want to eat (but it is almost always empty when we come home).

    There are nights he doesn't eat his dinner but we don't push it. He will eat when he is hungry.

    This. As long as the dog isn't under or over weight, this is what I would do.

    Did you ask your vet what s/he recommends?
    She isn't losing weight, at least not an alarming amount that we are noticing. She is a lightly active dog, so I guess not eating doesn't impact her much if she isn't expelling a lot of energy.

    They suggested canned food, shredded cheese, etc. but I just don't feel like we should be catering to the picky dog that way, personally.
    We had a problem with our dog eating regularly, too. We put all kinds of different yummy additions to his food, but he would get tired of each one in turn. The vet finally suggested the low dose pepsid once before food and that helped a lot. She als suggested we change his food to a fish-based food and that has helped. I had no idea that dogs can get acid reflux or be sensitive to food with grain. It might be worth looking into. 
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    novella1186novella1186 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited April 2015

    AlisonM23 said:

    Is there a reason you couldn't leave the bowl out when you leave? We generally fill our dog's bowl at the same time every day, but he doesn't always immediately want to eat (but it is almost always empty when we come home).

    There are nights he doesn't eat his dinner but we don't push it. He will eat when he is hungry.

    This. As long as the dog isn't under or over weight, this is what I would do.

    Did you ask your vet what s/he recommends?
    She isn't losing weight, at least not an alarming amount that we are noticing. She is a lightly active dog, so I guess not eating doesn't impact her much if she isn't expelling a lot of energy.

    They suggested canned food, shredded cheese, etc. but I just don't feel like we should be catering to the picky dog that way, personally.
    We had a problem with our dog eating regularly, too. We put all kinds of different yummy additions to his food, but he would get tired of each one in turn. The vet finally suggested the low dose pepsid once before food and that helped a lot. She als suggested we change his food to a fish-based food and that has helped. I had no idea that dogs can get acid reflux or be sensitive to food with grain. It might be worth looking into. 
    ----------where the hell did that box go?!------------------------------------------



    We feed our dogs grain-free Blue Buffalo Basics (the salmon one, usually) because big dog was having some allergy and tummy issues. They can have some food intolerance just like people, and the vet suggested we try that brand in the grain-free variety. It made a huge difference. 
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    What about feeding your dog only once a day - at dinner?
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    madamerwinmadamerwin member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2015
    We give the pup a cup of food in the AM, and whatever he doesn't eat in the hour he is up before I have to go to work (and he goes back in the kennel), I put back out at lunchtime. He never seems to want to eat much early in the day. 

    Sometimes at night, he will eat a bite, run away, come back for another bite, and repeat this process over the course of hours. We just leave it out, and he eventually eats it all.

    One odd thing, though - if he doesn't seem to be interested in his food in the bowl, I scatter it on the kitchen floor. He will scour the floor to make sure he gets every single piece. So yeah, I think some dogs just don't eat all their food in one sitting, or prefer to have to work for it (those feeder ball/game thingies, scattered on the floor, etc.)

    ETA words
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    We give the pup a cup of food in the AM, and whatever he doesn't eat in the hour he is up before I have to go to work (and he goes back in the kennel), I put back out at lunchtime. He never seems to want to eat much early in the day. 


    Sometimes at night, he will eat a bite, run away, come back for another bite, and repeat this process over the course of hours. We just leave it out, and he eventually eats it all.

    One odd thing, though - if he doesn't seem to be interested in his food in the bowl, I scatter it on the kitchen floor. He will scour the floor to make sure he gets every single piece. So yeah, I think some dogs just don't eat all their food in one sitting, or prefer to have to work for it (those feeder ball/game thingies, scattered on the floor, etc.)

    ETA words
    My dog will do this too. But not over hours, just a couple minutes. He also does the scour the floor thing. 
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    We feed our border collie/lab mix with this (the red and blue game) ,both for a brain activity and so he doesn't wolf. But he loves food, so it's usually not a problem. He used to eat immediately when we gave it to him, but lately he has been letting it sit and eating it when he's ready. I think it's fine to just give your dog the required amount of food all at once and just leave it.image





    *********
    This thing arrived today!
    How big is your dog, @huskypuppy14?
    Kiki seemed to have trouble getting her nose under the flaps because the thing is so small.  She's about 50 lbs, with a pretty big head.
    She also kept trying to use her feet, which is how all her other treat dispensers work, and she would flip it over or tear off the flaps.

    We'll keep practicing though!

    image

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    luckya23 said:



    We feed our border collie/lab mix with this (the red and blue game) ,both for a brain activity and so he doesn't wolf. But he loves food, so it's usually not a problem. He used to eat immediately when we gave it to him, but lately he has been letting it sit and eating it when he's ready. I think it's fine to just give your dog the required amount of food all at once and just leave it.image





    *********
    This thing arrived today!
    How big is your dog, @huskypuppy14?
    Kiki seemed to have trouble getting her nose under the flaps because the thing is so small.  She's about 50 lbs, with a pretty big head.
    She also kept trying to use her feet, which is how all her other treat dispensers work, and she would flip it over or tear off the flaps.

    We'll keep practicing though!



    Our dog was only 15 pounds when we got him in November. That's when we started with that feeder. He's now 40 pounds.
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    My animals are/were weird with food too.

    My mom's cat would ONLY drink out of the tap. She was far to good for a bowl,

    And my beagle will only eat off of the floor (she dumps her bowl) and onky the red pieces. She leaves all of the brown ones for her brother.
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    My cat likes to take her dry food out of her bowl, then put it on the floor, and then eat it piece by piece. Animals can be so weird.
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    Since we stopped trying to keep her on a schedule, she eats most of her food in the afternoons from 4-6pm.. she ends up eating her entire daily portion, just prefers it at this time. Doesn't seem to be upsetting her stomach or causing any potty issues, so we are letting her do what she is comfortable with :)
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    I worry about free feeding because generally speaking dogs have to go to the bathroom very shortly after they eat and if no one is home and they don't have access to an approved potty area I think that is more cruel to the animal then trying to get them on a schedule.  Our dog trainer specifically spoke about feeding patterns and she was very much of the 3x a day until they are 6 months or so, then 2x a day.  If they don't eat within 20 minutes remove food until next meal and if they still are reluctant to eat after a day or two then you look at the food (they are telling you they don't like it).

    Our pup is very scheduled, we were having food issues with him at one point and I went to the pet store to investigate food options and the assistant looked at me like I had two heads when I said our lab puppy didn't want to eat.  Changed up his food and he is back to clearing the dish in record time.  We actually had to invest in one of the slow feed bowls to slow him down because we were worried about bloat.

    If you aren't sure about the food check out www.dogfoodadvisor.com.  Great place to check the overall quality of the food.  When I was researching I also took my top 10 contenders and looked them up on either Amazon or Chewy.com to see what other pet owners were saying about them.

    I will second the importance of exercise/activity too.
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    ShellD13 said:

    I worry about free feeding because generally speaking dogs have to go to the bathroom very shortly after they eat and if no one is home and they don't have access to an approved potty area I think that is more cruel to the animal then trying to get them on a schedule.  Our dog trainer specifically spoke about feeding patterns and she was very much of the 3x a day until they are 6 months or so, then 2x a day.  If they don't eat within 20 minutes remove food until next meal and if they still are reluctant to eat after a day or two then you look at the food (they are telling you they don't like it).

    Our pup is very scheduled, we were having food issues with him at one point and I went to the pet store to investigate food options and the assistant looked at me like I had two heads when I said our lab puppy didn't want to eat.  Changed up his food and he is back to clearing the dish in record time.  We actually had to invest in one of the slow feed bowls to slow him down because we were worried about bloat.

    If you aren't sure about the food check out www.dogfoodadvisor.com.  Great place to check the overall quality of the food.  When I was researching I also took my top 10 contenders and looked them up on either Amazon or Chewy.com to see what other pet owners were saying about them.

    I will second the importance of exercise/activity too.

    She isn't confined, otherwise we too would worry about the potty issues! She has full access to the outdoors during the day, and when she is at home she has a dog door that she is comfortable using.

    Based on other posts, I don't consider what we do as "free feeding" because she doesn't have access to an unlimited amount of food. She only ever has access to her total daily amount.

    We used dogfoodadvisor to find her new food! Definitely made a difference in her willingness to eat.
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