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We have a 11 yr Golden named Gunner. He will be 12 on March 24 th. He has not been well and we have finally connected the dots. It’s the Royal Canin we switched him to on Dec 13th. Slowly things started to deteriorate until he was throwing up kibble and just stopped wanting to eat. 2 weeks ago, I started to feed him cooked chicken breast or ground beef. He will not eat any rice. I cook him carrots and he likes snap peas. He also wil only eat snow an$ WILLNOT drink water !? After reading reviews on Consumer Affairs and Pet Advisor, the stories are very similar to mine. This stuff is toxic. After 2 weeks of not eating this stuff, he is wagging his tail!!! ?., he snores less, doesn’t curl up in a ball all day, his fur looks better, you can see it in his eyes, he is feeling better.
I realize he is almost 12 and things are slowing down, but now we are getting our boy back. ?. But, he just won’t eat anything but cooked chicken breast or ground beef, cooked carrots, snap peas and the odd homemade pumpkin cookie.
I tried buying a better quality food to try, Blue Wilderness and Merrick Turkey (which smells 100% better than Royal Canin)
But not interested, I mixed it with his ground beef, he almost gagged. In the last few weeks, he also will not drink water, only eats snow. That is just odd..
I’m sorry if this is long, but I’m hoping someone with similar experiences can help. I worried his diet really isn’t balanced. Any suggestions sure would be appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Gunner is a handsome boy! I think if I was you I would take him to the vet just to get him checked out. Maybe he is having a throat issue in addition to the need for a change of food.
 

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the party's crashing us
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I've been happily feeding Royal Canin for a year now.
When old golden retrievers start acting weird there's usually one cause...
 

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I have an 8 year old that I recently tried to switch to the Royal Canin Golden Adult, and a 10 month old puppy that I tried to switch to the puppy food. They both loved it the first two days I was transitioning. My 8 year old ended up having an anaphylactic reaction while transitioning. We figured out quickly he's allergic to chicken. That's an entire separate issue.

The 10 month old ate it happily for about 3 weeks and then started itching more then normal, but I let it go figuring it was just changing the food. He then refused to eat it completely. I put him back on his Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Chicken formula and he's eating fine again. I didn't even transition him.

The interesting thing for me was that rather then throw out a 30# bag of the adult food I gave it to my son who has a yellow lab. His lab has been on Pro Plan Sport forever. He was just mixing it in to use it up and he called me and said his dog started scratching constantly. He finished the bag. He's in his 20's and on a budget, but we both wondered what made everybody itch.

The lab and the puppy are both back on Pro Plan happily. My 8 year old with the allergy is on Farmina Cod and Orange Ancestral Grains now and he's fine, but he does have some horrible gas. I'm hoping his system just has to adjust to it and that will go away. If not I have no idea what I'm going to try and feed. Probably one of the RX foods strictly for allergies. I hate switching foods!

At 11 I would probably feed him whatever made him happy.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Gunner is a handsome boy! I think if I was you I would take him to the vet just to get him checked out. Maybe he is having a throat issue in addition to the need for a change of food.
I agree with the above. Regardless of the change in his diet, I would have my vet give him a senior checkup including blood work. At his age, it could be something more serious than diet alone. Is he still not drinking water? If yes, this too is an indicator that something more serious is going on inside of him. How active is he since you changed his diet, and how does his stool look? Is he urinating?

Keep us posted, and I sincerely hope is issues were diet related only.
 

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Thanks for all your replies. He is still just eating snow, no water. He does still want to go out and will urinate, but , of corse, it’s very yellow. His stool is small. He eats his snow, rolls around doing his upside down doggy wiggle, wags his tail... seems so happy.. ? , then comes in to sleep.
I will call the vet today. This morning he doesn’t even want his chicken, just eating snap peas, a pumpkin cookie and licked peanut butter from a bone. I just am running out of things to try for food.
Oh.. this makes me sad... we lost his Mom, Sadie in Nov 2016. She was 12 yrs and 5 mos.
 

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It's so hard when they get older. Would he drink warm chicken broth or something of that nature? If he's eating snow would he want ice chips when he's inside? That way you could have some idea of how much fluid he's taking in. I always try broth when they aren't eating or drinking like I want them to.

I missed that he also wasn't drinking in your first post. Sorry
 

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Hello I’m sorry your boy’s not feeling well. We have a 10 1/2 yr old male who does spend a lot of time sleeping. We got a male pup in September and it’s pepped him up somewhat but he’s still pretty lazy. Have you tried Purina Pro Plan. They have a few “senior” dog foods, plus a sensitive stomach brand too. Glad you are taking him to the vet. Please let us know what his findings are. Good luck.
 

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Definitely take him in for a vet visit. Something could be up with his digestive system, his throat or his stomach...I always thought that when dogs stop drinking water that is a major indicator that something is wrong. Please keep us updated on how he is doing, and good luck!
 

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Thanks for all your replies. He is still just eating snow, no water. He does still want to go out and will urinate, but , of corse, it’s very yellow. His stool is small. He eats his snow, rolls around doing his upside down doggy wiggle, wags his tail... seems so happy.. ? , then comes in to sleep.
I will call the vet today. This morning he doesn’t even want his chicken, just eating snap peas, a pumpkin cookie and licked peanut butter from a bone. I just am running out of things to try for food.
Oh.. this makes me sad... we lost his Mom, Sadie in Nov 2016. She was 12 yrs and 5 mos.
Not trying to make you worry more than necessary, but this update doesn't sound encouraging. The fact that Gunner is not drinking water and now not eating is regular diet are telling signs for concern. He probably is only eating snow to be playful, but without care and treatment, I bet this and just eating snap peas will soon pass... Glad you're scheduling a vet visit. I would get him to the vet ASAP...Without jumping to any conclusions, let's wait and see what the vet report reveals.

Please do update us on what the vet finds is going on.
 
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