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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this is really getting annoying. I don't know what the deal is or what to do at this point, other than fast them for a few days and then see if they'll eat.

The problem is with Jak and Jessie. For probably 2 weeks with Jak, and ever since Jessie was dealing with her most recent bout of pano (which was 3-4 weeks ago), neither of them want to eat. They might eat a little bit, like, a cup or less, and leave the rest, or they might just sniff it and walk away. Even if I leave it for them all day (which I tried for just two days before going back to the regular schedule of leaving the bowl down for only 15 minutes), they won't touch it. This behavior from two dogs that normally DIVE IN when they're fed, really has me stumped, and it's not good, because both are starting to lose weight. Being on the lean side anyway, I'm starting to worry.


Here's a list of everything I've tried so far:

I've tried adding ground beef to their kibble (Canidae). They pick out the ground beef and leave the kibble.

I've tried mixing canned food with it - they eat until there's no more canned food and then quit, leaving just kibble remaining. The kibble is easier mixed into canned food than ground beef, so they do get more kibble into their tummies this way than with the beef, but they're still really only interested in the canned food and that's probably the only reason they 'tolerate' the kibble.

I've tried switching kibble. No change. I even tried (gag) Purina ONE, which I figured they'd eat because it's nasty. :lol: Nope.

I've tried feeding them next to each other, or on either sides of the baby gate, hoping that maybe competition will entice them to eat. Nope. They could care less. They sniff their bowl, sniff the other's bowl, and then either eat a few bites and walk away, or just walk away and eat nothing.

I've tried not offering them dinner, and only feeding them in the morning. No change.

Now, I've resulted to trying a fast them for a couple of days and THEN offering them food again. The last time I offered them food was Monday evening. Both dogs nibbled at it, but that was all.


Both will still take treats, of any kind, but the only time I have been giving them a treat is for going in their crates, and it is only half of a regular-sized dog biscuit - about an inch, and both are drinking normally. Gypsy and Sadie have shown no indication of not wanting to eat, and all four dogs are on the same food. The food smells fine, is not even close to being out of date, and tastes the way it always does (no comments from the Peanut Gallery are necessary here! :lol: ).

At this point, I just don't know what to do. I'm going to offer them food again tomorrow morning, but if they won't eat it then, I swear I'm going to scream and pull out my hair. Any other suggestions are more than welcome.
 

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LOL...Anne, that's too funny. After years of frustration, picky eating and kibble after kibble, my GSD, Grace, loves raw.

Kristen, I know you feed raw occasionally - will they eat a raw meal or are they refusing all food (aside from treats)?

Personally, I'd say there is something wrong with the food.

Regardless of the fact that the other dogs are still eating it... I know my Cairn Terrier would eat rotten garbage/tin cans/books/whatever, while my GSDs would easily turn their noses up at something that is the least bit off.

Melissa
 

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Don't know what your temps are like up there now, but it might have something to do with the heat. Try feeding them later at night or very early in the morning. Even my biggest "chow hound" (Jarko) does not eat his normal amounts of food (RAW) in the summer. I'm of the philosophy if they are their normal selves in all other aspects ......if they are hungry....they will eat.
 

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Because a few ailments present with loss of appetite, I'd call the vet about bloodwork.

It's true that some reasons for appetite loss are unlikely to affect two dogs at once, but some might (parasites and a few bacterial infections).

I'd take both their temps and have those numbers handy when you call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All four dogs had their yearly exams this past Saturday and were deemed healthy by the vet.

Their activity level and water intake has not changed.

They usually get raw at least once a week, but since this 'pickiness' started, I have not tried to give them JUST raw. Perhaps I should, just to see. I'd feed raw exclusively if I could afford to and had the space/time. I just can't, though, so I try to feed the highest quality kibble I can afford, which, ATM is Canidae.

Lacey, I wouldn't say the temperatures have been too bad as of late (upper 80s, mostly), and all four dogs are inside all day, so the only time they are out in the heat is when I let them out to potty at 5:30pm. I don't even walk them or let them out to play until after 7:00pm, when it's cooled down some. I did try only offering them food in the morning, rather than 1 meal in the morning and 1 meal in the evening, but it didn't make any difference.

I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with the food, because if that was the case, wouldn't they happily have eaten the Purina ONE:?: I know for a fact that Gypsy will not eat food that's gone bad, based on past experiences, so if it was the food, I'd expect that Gypsy wouldn't be eating, either. It doesn't smell or taste any different than it does as soon as a new bag is opened, and it's just as crunchy, so I just don't think it's the food.
 

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I have one dog that doesn't eat much and in the summer he really gets skinny, probably the heat.
 

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By switching brands you ruled out a bad bag of food. I'd get another bag of Canidae, and try feeding them in their crates. Leave them in there with the food for a couple of hours and see if that doesn't get them to eat.

I have a couple of dogs that will get distracted sometimes, distracted enough to not want to eat "right now" But if put them in their crates, will soon start to eat because there is nothing else to do. This is one reason I feed when I do, which is at night. All the dogs are put up for the night, wherever they sleep (a bedroom, crate, etc) and are fed right before we go to bed.

When possible I prefer not to add extras to kibble if a dog is being picky, IMO it encourages them to be picky. But if they are loosing weight, and just leaving them in the crate with food doesn't work you might try mixing a little bit of the canned food with hot water to make a thin gravy, then pour it over the kibble. They can't eat just the canned this way. I'll do this when I have a bitch in heat and my males aren't eating enough because of hormones. It encourages a little more food intake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kadi, I tried feeding them in their crates one morning, and leaving the food in there with them all day. Jak didn't eat any of his, and Jessie ate a little bit, but not enough to matter (I re-measured it when I got home), so it isn't that they're "too busy to eat right now."

I'm almost to the end of this bag.


I don't like to add stuff to their food either, for the same reasons you stated, Kadi.

I guess I was just looking for confirmation that I had tried everything possible, and NOT done anything I shouldn't have, so from now on, it's going to be 'tough love' for them both. I don't plan on trying anything additional when I offer them food again. It's just going to be straight kibble. No seameal, no vitamin E, no fish oil, no B-complex, no Ester-C, and no acidophilus. JUST kibble. If they don't eat it in 15 minutes, too bad. Lost opportunity.
 

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The feeding in the crate thing worked for my dogs. I have a house full of picky eaters. So picky, that they even turned their noses up at RAW after about a month. I got tired of wasting the money on it for them to not eat it. They have been on EVO for the past few months, they get 20 minutes in the crate with food in the morning, 20 minutes in the evening, and thats all they get. If they dont eat it, I put down the same bowl of food the next day. They have REALLY started getting the picture, and life is much easier. It also keeps my fatty poo puppy from eating everyones food.
 

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Do they normally finish their food in one setting or do you leave it out for them? Put it down for 10 mins. If they don't eat, it comes up till the next day.
I'm also not fond of adding extras unless the dog is ill.
 

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Medical issues aside, picky eaters are normally made, not born. Dogs do not starve themselves!

Assuming there is nothing wrong with them or the food, I would put the food down for 10 minutes and then lift it. No food until the next mealtime, but if you are using food rewards in training use the normal kibble (nothing fancy).

I've not known a dog go without for more than a couple of days and as long as this regime is stuck with, they usually develop into healthy eaters......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've always given them their bowls to eat, and taken them back up again 15-20 minutes later. Until this started, the bowls were empty in no more than 5 minutes.

I fed them in their crates this morning. They were each given 2 cups of food, with nothing added - not even the supplements, and I left it in there for 15 minutes. Both of them had stopped eating after 8 minutes, and were showing no more interest in the food. I was in the bathroom getting ready for work while they ate. There were no distractions - the cats were downstairs and Gypsy was in my bedroom (Jessie, Jak, and Sadie's crates are in the living room, spaced apart). Jak and Jessie each ate about 1.5 cup. I'm not going to offer them anything tonight, and I guess I'll try again with the 2 cups in the morning. Before this started, they each got (and ate) 3-4 cups a day, depending on activity level.

Stupid dogs.
 

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Quote: "Stupid dogs"!
Cmon now! They may just be telling you they had enough. ;)
If health and weight are good, I wouldn't worry about it. A vet is the only way you can truely verify good health though.
 
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