Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I first got Keller only about a month ago. He was on some pedigree puppy food formulation before I got him, with grains as its first ingredient, and had really runny stools. We started the transition after his first 3 days with us. He didn't eat much his first week, but I understand that could be a result of the stress of a new home.

I started the transition to Taste of the Wild Prairie puppy food. Over the course of 6 days I completed the transition. I also regularly add some lightly scrambled egg in the morning, some olive oil, and a spoon of yogurt. On occasion, I add cooked chicken, beef or pork, depending on what we eat that week. His stools were firmer and he had less gas (thank God!).

All was well and good. He devoured that arrangement and seemed to like the new kibble by comparison, even if just a bit of olive oil was mixed in to plain kibble. We had the vet come and do an exam for insurance purposes. He said Keller was healthy, but slightly underweight, so we could increase his food by a half cup a day, bringing his total intake to 5 cups (split into two meals). He also did a fecal sample as a precaution which came back clear of parasites, etc.

Then, a day or two later, he started refusing kibble. At first he just ate half, and then refused it altogether. He has been difficult with his food ever since. I didn't change anything, prepared it with the same ingredients, nothing seemed to trigger it. After 4 meals, I stopped adding other foods to it because I was just throwing it away instead of being able to put it back in his food bag. My trainer said, as long as I rule out any medical reasons, that he could just be testing me. He said that dogs don't need to eat everyday like people, and that sometimes they'll hold out to see if you provide something better or different. If this is mishandled, it could lead to developing a picky eater. In the past 7 days, he's eaten 2 full bowls, 3 half-bowls, and has NO problem accepting treats! (which I have used sparingly these past few days, a bummer for training).

So this is what I'm trying :
just kibble being offered, no additions for now
After 15 mins, take uneaten portion away
Exercise vigorously before offering to try and initiate higher food drive
If not successfull in 3 more days, try new dog food brand


Have any of you experienced this before? If so :
How long did it last?
What did you try?
Any moves you wish you didn't make that lead to more picky behavior?


Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,957 Posts
In all honesty I would try a different food sooner than later. It could well be that there is something in the new food that is not agreeing with him, making him feel sick - hence the reason he is refusing the food. Your puppy is growing, now is not the time to be playing 'hard ball' - 'eat it or starve' with him - it is crucial especially at this stage that he get proper nutrition.

I disagree with your trainer, willing to bet your vet would too, dogs do not 'test' when it comes to their survival, food is survival, and if there is something about it that makes them feel unwell, they will refuse to eat it.
Have tried different foods, with one of my dogs, and some kinds he ate with gusto to begin with, but within a few weeks began eating less of it, and vomiting it up - it simply did not agree with him, switched to something else, have had no problems since.
So, if your pup is not eating his food, chances are it is not the right food for him, it could be the ingredients or it could be that it is too 'rich' for him, you could try a different brand or one of the same brand but different ingredients, either way transition him slowly over at least a few days to a week or more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,284 Posts
When Max was a puppy, I did the "I must give him the best possible food ever made!" thing that I think all of us do. So I bought the most expensive food I could find. He hated it. I bought another brand. He hated it. I think it took me 6 months or trying different foods till I realized that the very expensive, rich, foods were just not what he could tolerate. (I'm a little slow to catch on, sometimes) I went down a grade, not to anything horrible, but not the super rich, expensive stuff. He loved it.

Take CharlieThree's advice - you won't find much better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,493 Posts
Agree with advice already given. My rescue is a picky eater. He's better now but it was really hard the first few months. Partly anxiety and partly he didn't like the expensive Rx food I was switching him to. I don't know if it upset his stomach or he didn't like the taste. My goal was to get him to eat for his health. Found a lower price limited ingredient that his foster mom had him on. He likes it much better. He's happy. I'm happy. It's a win-win. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: laprincessa

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
So update. I took him to a different vet for a second opinion (for insurance purposes as well as health). I feel more confident in this vet as he caught an ear infection that the first vet overlooked, among other things.

He told me he doesn't find Keller to be underweight and that he is intact, so that also factors in to his being slender at this age. He also said that Keller won't starve himself, and to contact him if anything changes or worsens.

In the meantime, I switched to Nutro limited ingredient, thinking that maybe TOTW was not agreeing with him (too rich maybe?). Our maybe it had other ingredients that bugged his stomach.

At first he ate it happily, but by the time we were done transitioning, about a week or so later, he already lost interest. Back to his old habits of not eating it.

After a few more weeks of desperation, I switched again. This time I'm trying Orijen. It's limited ingredient, meat-based dog kibble, whole prey model, yada yada, expensive as hell. Maybe he wanted more animal protein, no grains of fillers, etc. He loved it at first, ate the kibbles like they were dog treats (which he still eats by the way), and even picked out the new kibble from the old. We are only a week into the transition (I'm trying to change slowly to not trigger stomach upset and a negative association) and Keller is back to his old ways. I'm not even fully transitioned to the new food and it's already game over. I'm literally sitting on an $55 15lb bag of dog kibble that is going to be trashed. I'm lucky I learned my lesson from ordering online and now just buy it locally so I can return it.

I've tried putting his kibble in a Kong tip toy dispenser, I've tried dousing it with olive oil, I've tried everything I can think of.

I might try only offering it once a day. Anything else you can suggest? This is so frustrating! I just want to make sure he's getting good nutrition. He's 10 months old and still growing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,185 Posts
You are not going to like my tough love response.
Your dog already has you trained. Why in the world eat kibble when better foods are mixed in? If you do a search on the forum you will find this has come up over and over again. And, it's often the "add ins" causing the loose poop, not the kibble.
You need to pick a kibble and stick with it. Put down the bowl of kibble, leave it no more than 10 minutes, then pick it up and don't offer anything, including treats, until the next meal time. Keep doing that until he decides to eat.
Dogs are set up metabolically to eat once a week, so if he skips a couple of days DON'T WORRY. We've always found the magic day to be day 4, they all eat by then.
Finally, how much are you feeding him? A healthy, active 10 month old golden generally eats a total of 2-3 cups of food per day, no more than that.
The biggest growth period is over by 6-7 months, and they no longer need the amount of food they did previously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,513 Posts
You are not going to like my tough love response.
Your dog already has you trained. Why in the world eat kibble when better foods are mixed in? If you do a search on the forum you will find this has come up over and over again. And, it's often the "add ins" causing the loose poop, not the kibble.
You need to pick a kibble and stick with it. Put down the bowl of kibble, leave it no more than 10 minutes, then pick it up and don't offer anything, including treats, until the next meal time. Keep doing that until he decides to eat.
Dogs are set up metabolically to eat once a week, so if he skips a couple of days DONT WORRY. We've always found the magic day to be day 4, they all eat by then.
Finally, how much are you feeding him? A healthy, active 10 month old golden generally eata a total of 2-3 cups of food per day, no more than that.
The biggest growth period is over by 6-7 months, and they no longer need the amount of food they did previously.
Yup-this, exactly ^^^^^^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,301 Posts
You are not going to like my tough love response.
Your dog already has you trained. Why in the world eat kibble when better foods are mixed in? If you do a search on the forum you will find this has come up over and over again. And, it's often the "add ins" causing the loose poop, not the kibble.
You need to pick a kibble and stick with it. Put down the bowl of kibble, leave it no more than 10 minutes, then pick it up and don't offer anything, including treats, until the next meal time. Keep doing that until he decides to eat.
Dogs are set up metabolically to eat once a week, so if he skips a couple of days DONT WORRY. We've always found the magic day to be day 4, they all eat by then.
Finally, how much are you feeding him? A healthy, active 10 month old golden generally eata a total of 2-3 cups of food per day, no more than that.
The biggest growth period is over by 6-7 months, and they no longer need the amount of food they did previously.

Great advice. When my Tess was a puppy, I was afraid she was going to starve cause she didn't wolf down her food. So I made all the mistakes the OP is doing, once I realized what I was doing, did everything Barb is suggesting and problem solved. Tess never missed a meal after that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hotel4dogs

·
Kristy
Joined
·
9,593 Posts
....He told me he doesn't find Keller to be underweight and that he is intact, so that also factors in to his being slender at this age. He also said that Keller won't starve himself, and to contact him if anything changes or worsens....

This time I'm trying Orijen....I'm literally sitting on an $55 15lb bag of dog kibble that is going to be trashed........ This is so frustrating! I just want to make sure he's getting good nutrition. He's 10 months old and still growing.
PLEASE listen to the advice given by Hotel4dogs and given the thumbs up by some experienced and loving Golden people..... quit obsessing about his eating habits. I have been through this with one Golden and one rough Collie.

Your dog is never going to love his food. The vet assured you that you are raising a healthy puppy. Dogs are like people, teenagers tend to thin out for a while but at any stage of life, they are better off a little too lean than a little too heavy. For heaven's sake, do not keep throwing out dog food!!!!

Follow the advice, and try to relax. I guarantee he can feel your fretting at mealtimes.

Put one cup of kibble in his bowl and leave it down for 15 minutes. Allow him to eat. If he doesn't, pick it up, cover it or dump it in a baggie and give it back to him at the next meal. HE WILL NOT STARVE HIMSELF.....

Force yourself to be tough. Millions of American children have lived through parents who told them, here is a plate of food, this is what our family is having for dinner tonight - I'm not fixing you another meal. When the child doesn't eat, it's covered without comment and refrigerated. When the child comes back downstairs at bedtime begging for a snack, the plate is reheated. I promise it nips this stuff and the child is none the worse. I can tell you this for sure because it's what happens at my home. Common sense works for both children and puppies. You can do this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
A healthy, active 10 month old golden generally eats a total of 2-3 cups of food per day, no more than that.
The biggest growth period is over by 6-7 months, and they no longer need the amount of food they did previously.

Thanks for all your advice! I figured it would have to be tough love. I think it's just that I've never even met a picky dog, all the ones I took care of loved food in general. Also, since I got him and I don't know his past, I was worried that it might be something else (health related?) for a while. Now that I've spent more time with him, I think otherwise.

Keller eats anywhere from 0-2 cups a day. Sometimes just a bite. I've tried only offering food once a day to motivate him to finish his bowl and have more drive to eat. He skipped a day yesterday but today was better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Also, others on the forum were saying I shouldn't wait him out, so I was hesitant to pay hard ball after hearing that
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,578 Posts
I'm glad all three of my dogs are not picky eaters, but my cat is tho haha. I had to play hard ball with the cat. After a while, he will eat his food so hungry will win at the end of the day ;)
 

·
where the tails wag
Joined
·
13,367 Posts
I don't wait my dog out. Nor will I play hard ball.

Part of my responsibility to my dog is to provide a roof over his head, medical care, love & nutritous food.

If my dog will not eat the food I provide, it cannot be providing nutrition. And with all the recalls and bad food being offered in today's world, why would I risk feeding my dog something he turns his nose up at?

I figure each dog has their own nutritional requirements and it is up to me to figure out what they will eat :)
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,408 Posts
bringing his total intake to 5 cups (split into two meals)
There's stuff to worry about or figure out if your dog literally isn't eating anything, is lethargic, failing to thrive, etc....

But here's a highlight to keep it simple. :)

My Jacks would ABSOLUTELY gorge himself eating 5 cups of food. And he'd beg for more!!! :)

Bertie would eat anywhere between 3/4 to 1 cup of all that and walk away. My dogs only get 2 cups a day. No more.

Not all dogs are greedy piglets. :)

Cut back on the food and see.

With an 8 month old - I'd rather they be lean vs fat.

I was at a dog show this past weekend and there was a young dog (I think 6-9 month or 9-12) who was overweight. The dog had no legs to begin with, but the excess fat made her look worse. When she was gaited, she didn't just have a "rolling topline". Her body sloshed from side to side. It looked terrible, especially since she was showing against other dogs who were in prime shape. You don't want excess weight on your young growing dogs.

Lot of vets are geared to seeing more overweight to obese dogs and do not actually know what "should" be the norm for the specific breeds. Even with the weight charts hanging on their walls.

My 8 year old is about 88 pounds (last weight check last month) - our vet said for a dog his size (he's standard size - 24", etc), it's OK for him to be that hefty! This was absolutely wrong. He might be fine being over the standard weight, but not over 80 pounds.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top