I piggy backed the vet's recommendation with another piece of advice...boil chicken and rice and give that with her then slowly reduce the amount of chicken and rice and add kibble. Tried it!! She gobbled the chicken and rice. When I mixed it with the kibble, she ate it right away. When I changed to just kibble, she started the funny eating habits again.
Then she wouldn't eat out of her food bowl. I could put the food on a paper plate and she would eat it. So I decided that it was the bowl and I bought a new bowl. It worked for a few feedings. She then stopped eating from the new bowl. The original bowl was stainless and I tried a totally different shape bowl in plastic. Like I mentioned, it worked at first but then she stopped again.
I thought she wasn't getting enough exercise. I started walking her more. Still no change in the eating habits. She would only eat about half of her food.
I tried changing her food. I thought maybe her taste for food changed and I bought a small bag of new food. Still no change.
Rheba used to get excited about eating. She would jump around as though she "wanted" the food. I would feed her in the morning as soon as I woke up.
This has been going on for about a month. She hasn't ever gone more than a day without eating. She does eat, it's just frustrating because she isn't with any sort of eating consistency. I got Rheba in November from a rescue. She is about 3 years old or so. She had a normal eating routine until about June/July. Now, she has been eating everyday. I have been putting the food down in the morning and she slowly eats later and later in the day. There has been a huge change in our household. I am a teacher, I've been home on summer vacation since May (remember the problems started in June). It's obvious that being home is a major routine change because I am home all day instead of work. Would that trigger this eating behavior? I'm starting back at work tomorrow. Should I just do everything that I used to do when I was working last year? If she doesn't eat in the morning, should I pick up the food and not give it to her until the next morning? I want her to eat in the morning on a schedule. I was told to feed her once a day and stick with a schedule. Is that okay?
Today I took Rheba for a good walk. I allowed her to cool down then I gave her a bowl of food. This time, she barely ate the food from my hand. She ate nothing from the bowl. Yesterday she did not eat anything. I figured that today would be a good time to have a long walk and she would want to eat after she cooled at home. She is driving me nuts!
I keep thinking that this is a behavior issue because it has been going on for about a month. She has been eating food, it's just been at her own will. I know if she doesn't eat for a day, she isn't going to starve and isn't going to die. I am also afraid that it may be a medical problem and that I am neglecting her by not bringing her back to the vet but I already brought her to the vet and nothing came out of that. Do I bring her to another vet? If so, does anyone have any recommendations for a vet in Jacksonville, FL? Rheba isn't a very active dog. She will play if my husband or I play with her of if she is with another dog. Usually she is sleeping. She sleeps a lot!! She never gets into anything when we are gone except romping around on our bed if we leave the bedroom door open.
Sorry about this post being so long winded. I'm just trying to give all the details and maybe someone could give me some words of wisdom!!
I'm lost...I'm baffled...I'm losing patience...Please help!!
|Reba sounds like a cutie. Thank you for taking her in.
My three love homemade rice & chicken or rice & boiled hamburger. I can always count of them eating it when they turn their noses up at other things.
In the summer, even though they are in the AC all day, they tend to slow down their activity level. And they often skip a meal. As long as they are interested in their dog cookies, I don't worry too much about the occassional missed meals. It's one of the ways they keep their weight down. (Did you know that one of the theories on why we weigh too much is the use of AC? When you get hot, you tend to drink more and eat less - nature's way of keeping your weight down.)
W use metal or ceramic bowls for meals, mainly because Ben loves to chew plastic (bowel obstruction boy). Clean them out after each meal, using a minimum of soap (the soap smell lingering?). Plastic also tends to retain smells longer, even if you put it in the dishwasher.
We also have lots of rice and hamburger mix in the freezer, in individual size containers. If does thaw well in the microwave, so you could add a small amount to the food at each meal.
You need to wait awhile between activity and meals - or meals and activity. It will increase the risk for bloat. My s-i-l lost her St Bernard to bloat and it's very painful for the dog and owner.
I have a similar work schedule and the dogs have adapted without any problems. They have figured out that I leave first on days I work and I sleep in on days I stay home (7:30). They also don't like to eat until I get up. Give Reba time to figure it out.
|Thanks for the advice. I'll work on her...or maybe she's going to work on me! We'll get through this and hopefully she'll be on a regular schedule soon.|
|Maybe you should just put the food down in the morning without any fuss, and check in the evening to see how much she's eaten. Try that for a week. It could be that she senses your stress and it makes her stressful about eating. They're very sensitive to our feelings.
Sure, it's convenient to be able to schedule our dog's meals. But as long as you control the amount of food she gets every day, I can't see anything wrong with letting her eat when she wants to.
|Archie is not a good eater: he used to (before the puppies, who love to poach) sometimes skip a day or even two without eating. No decrease in energy level, no vomiting or diarhhea. Just no eating. He's very slender--not too skinny, but definitely not at all heavy. I've come to accept that he is just different that way. Sure, he'll always gobble up chicken or hamburger and rice, but in absence of any real necessity, that's not going to be an every day or even every week treat.
He's very healthy. Just not a big eater.
|If the problem continues, you might try feeding two scheduled meals per day. Give her 15 or so to eat in the morning. If before you leave she hasn't finished, pick up the bowl, throw away what's remaining and wash the dish so it's ready for the next meal. When you get home, feed her an evening meal about 12 hours later, allowing her 15 minutes to eat. What's not gone, goes in the garbage and she's not fed again until the following morning (maybe a small snack before bed would be ok though ). You'll be able to judge the amount of food she needs by what she eats (a measuring cup/scoop is good to use so you can accurately adjust portions) AND by feeling her ribs or weighing her.
We sometimes top the kibble with human foods... cooked meats, plain yogurt, etc. I found that Wellness has a 95% meat canned food (venison, salmon, chicken, turkey or beef) that we just started using as an occasional topper. Maybe just a tablespoon or so will get her primed to clean up her dish.
A few final things to check into...
Her teeth are okay? No broken teeth that might be causing her to eat slowly.
She hasn't lost any weight?
She sleeps a lot!!
Has she ever been tested for low thyroid? She might just be a laid back sheepie but low thyroid can cause dogs to slow down. Visit this link to see if she has any other symptoms. Again, she might just be a very contented sheepie (cool! ) -
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-ang ... isease.htm
If things don't straighten out, it's probably time to have her checked out again.
|My Paige was the Queen of Finicky! We went thru many different foods with her and finally I said, "I'm not playing this game any more." I fed twice a day, if she walked away, fine, I took the bowl and tried again at night. If she refused, I'd toss that food and try fresh food in the a.m. Initially she turned away 5 times before her tummy ruled and she ate. For the next 8 years I took great pains in keeping her interested in her food with suprises every once in awhile: mackerel, chicken stock, etc.
Paige was very sensitive to dog foods with a lot of salt in them, she disliked salt in general, she could dog food approaching it's expiration date, she detested anything IAMS even cookies.......etc.
So relax, they will not starve. Paige was never, ever fat.......she was always thin and the vets would comment until I explained she regulated how much she ate and she just didn't like an extra ounce on her. (obviously a strange situation for this house!)
|Well, I'm feeling better about hearing that there are others out there who fight the food battle. Why can't we be like dogs....just not eat...then eat...then not eat! Maybe if they make Krispie Kream Doggie treats or Buffalo Wing doggie treats we would have more chubbie dogs.
As far as the schedule and routine, I start working tomorrow and I guess I'll have to try to feed her in the morning and if she doesn't eat it...no food until the next feeding. I feel mean doing that but like everyone has mentioned and like I already through...she's not going to starve!
I appreciate everyone's help and input. It's great hearing the suggestions.
|Well, I've been to work (I'm a teacher and summer ended). Rheba has been waking up with me every morning. She has been eating as soon as I put the food down. It seems that we are back to a schedule.
The funny thing is that she never ate her food for my husband the same way as she eats for me. She gives him more trouble than me.
Cross your fingers that she keeps up with the eating thing!!
|Good luck! We are going through a similar thing with Bingley as I am also back to school and my husband has a different schedule along with me. Bingley isn't a huge eater so any schedule change usually throws him off a bit!|
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