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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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golden not eating

any advice on a 9 year old golden not eating. he seemed to stop 2 days after we got a new black lab puppy. its been going on now for about a week and a half. vet said they are very emotional. Is this true? He will eat a few things but not much. at my wits end on how to get him to eat!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 10:02 AM
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Feed both dogs separately, so there's nobody bothering your older dog. Also, put the food down, wait 15 minutes, and take the food away. Nothing till the next meal, and no more than 2 meals a day. I wouldn't try adding in goodies, switching foods, giving him attention for not eating or eating either - just put the food down, come back and take it away after time's up.

If he thinks you'll add gravy, or treats, switch foods or give him attention for not eating, he'll continue to do so. My own dogs have tried this from time to time and have no problem eating better the next day.

Now, if after doing that for a week he's still not eating much I'd suggest a full geriatric blood panel to see if there's anything going on, but seeing as it's at the same time as a puppy coming into the house it's likely his nose is out of joint. Might be an idea to have some time alone with him each day as well, when puppy is napping.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 10:20 AM
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I agree with Lana about the 15 minute rule. It can really stimulate the appetite, while coaxing the dog or bribing him with rich foods can often just encourage him to be picky. Feeding separately is also wise as well, so he doesn't get to smell the super-rich puppy food and wish he got it too.

Older dogs can get very upset by the addition of a new puppy, and it can throw off their routines. The disruption usually fades gradually. Is there a way to let him go have his own space away from the puppy if he chooses? If you have a two story home, allowing the older dog access to the stairs so he can go up and sulk might help him calm down about the new little guy. And then he has the opportunity to come back down when he feels like it so he can check out the puppy and get more comfortable with his presence.

Also, try to make some training time with the old dog that's separate from the puppy. It doesn't matter what you teach him, but it can help refocus him on his relationship with you and ease his discomfort with the changes in his routine and his sense of the pack's relationships. If you spend 1/2 hour with the puppy playing and training, crate the pup for 20 minutes and spend that time teaching your older boy some new tricks.
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