My dog refuses to eat, please help - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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My dog refuses to eat, please help

Hi everyone, I posted a few weeks back, that my dog is too naughty and I am thinking of giving him away. Well I read your responses, thank you and decided to keep him.

I managed to find a training school for him (basic obedience), it's an hour away from where we live, but we are willing to make the effort and take him every Saturday.

I do have another problem with him. And I thought you might have some advice with this.

He refuses to eat his pellets. This has been going on for a few months now. I buy him Hills Science Diet. I put his food down in the evening, he doesn't touch it. I take it away and put it in the morning again, and he doesn't eat it. Even if I leave his bowl out, the pigeons and cats come and eat it before him. We tried giving him wet food as well. He will eat it one night, and then leave it the next few nights.

He is losing so much weight. Plus he is one year old now, so I think all the hormones is causing him to lose weight as well.

BUT here's the other thing. Whenever he is in the yard, he will eat whatever WOOD he can find. We had those nice garden stumps to frame the edge and whenever we turned our backs he took one and chews it up. I actually find the wood in his poo.

Is this a problem I need to go see the vet about? Why doesn't he want to eat? I am seriously worried.

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 02:47 AM
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You might want to consider switching to another brand of food. The cheapest thing to add his hot water. Sometimes my puppy is picky and if I had just a little hot water and stir it, he gobbles it right up.

Or if there's a treat he enjoys, you could try mixing that in to the food.

As for the wood, my dog used to be really bad about this too but has gotten better. I would just stay in the backyard with him when I let him out and if I saw him eating something he wasn't supposed to, I would spray the wood (or whatever the object) with Bitter Apple. I think you can also use vinegar or lemon for this.

If he's not eating to the point that he's losing weight, it never hurts to at least call the vet. I've done that a lot with Harvey being my first dog. I would call and explain the situation and ask them if you should come in. ALways better to be safe and it's free to call!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 07:40 AM
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If the non-eating gets really bad, try mixing some warmed chicken broth into the food. This worked for us. Eleanor went through a period where she did not eat much at all and this is what the vet recommended. Warming the chicken broth helps bring out the flavors so that helps. Once we got her eating regularly, we started mixing the chicken broth with water, gradually increasing the amount of water so now we just mix her food with water.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 07:51 AM
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It sounds like the dog has worms or something. I'd definitely take him to the vet.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 07:51 AM
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I hope your golden is an indoor dog. I worry with your post that he spends a lot of time outside unwatched on a chain? I personally feel that goldens are indoor family dogs so I hope that he spends most of his time indoors.

It's great that you signed him up for training classes but that hour is not a silver bullet. You must keep up what they teach you at home. You must also find ways to keep his mind active at home and make sure that he gets a lot of exercise. If you are expecting a 180 change in your dog just by taking him to classes with no changes/extra work/time at home, you will be disappointed. Training classes are a great start but are only a part of the solution. Very great of you to be willing to drive that far for them!

As for food, my friends dog was put on 7 different foods before she finally found one her picky dog would eat. It might just be trail and error until you find a food that works for you. Also, I can't remember the name but there is something that comes in a can that is super stinky and works well if you add a bit to the dogs food. Maybe someone else knows what I am referring to. I don't use it myself but I've read several posts of people who do and it works for their picky/non eating dogs.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 12:30 PM
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I think I would take him to the vet to get checked out to be on the safe side. Since you said he likes to eat bark, maybe a piece of the wood has gotten stuck in his mouth or worse he has eaten it. Or maybe worms. A healthy dog will not go without eating, so you may have to try some tough love. From what I have seen they can go at least 3 day and then will eat. If you keep changing the food, that will make the picky eating worse. Stick with something that he has been eating and go from there.
Glad you have gotten into some training classes to help him. Like someone said, keep the training up at home and do some exercise with him like running to fetch a ball. Anything to tire him out. A tired puppy is a happy puppy.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 12:34 PM
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Healthy dogs will not starve themselves.

I would definitely take him to the vet for a check up. If all clears medically, I would try a different food and maybe some tough love.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 12:39 PM
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Simple - I have one of those. When we brought Darby home at 8 weeks he was thin and the breeder said to feed him a little extra. He refused to eat Eukanuba puppy food they sent home with him. After a day in a half of not eating I took him to the vet and she opened a can of ID and he wolfed it down. Simple - he didn't like the food and refused to eat it. I switched to Science Diet puppy food and he ate fine.

At about 9 months he stopped eating again... turned out he didn't want puppy food anymore. So I started mixing the puppy food with adult and he ate again. He has never been a food motivated dog and occasionally he wants a different food so I just switch from time to time. Luckily Kirby will eat "anything" so she doesn't mind the new food.

Try switching brands.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 02:08 PM
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Tina has been doing the same thing to me so before driving me crazy, I have decided to give her an appetize booster. she's been taking it for 2 days. I'll let you know if it really works.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 02:26 PM
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Another thought is to dump out the bag of food and look for signs of insect infestation or mold.
Dogs will refuse contaminated dog food.

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