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-   -   Suddenly a picky eater... (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/feeding-our-puppy/197136-suddenly-picky-eater.html)

yuriy 12-27-2012 02:48 PM

Suddenly a picky eater...
 
Hi all,

I mentioned in another thread that my 4.5-5 month old pup isn't eating properly... feel it's time for a dedicated thread. Liza has been on the same diet all of her short life: raw meat, mostly chicken, mixed with some bones, hearts, liver, etc. and a bit of veggies. This is all ground up, frozen, and sold in large pieces by a local distributor who specializes in making raw dog food. This is what the breeder was feeding her, and what I've fed her. Normally she devours 2.5-3 lbs of this stuff per a 24 hour period.

About a week ago she outright refused to eat one meal, then another. She'd sniff and lick the meat, then turn around and walk away. If I give her any other meat (beef and pork which was previously been frozen for close to a month) she devours it instantly, so there's no loss of appetite, she just doesn't want to eat what she's always been eating.

If I lead her to the food bowl, tap on the bowl a few times with the finger and encourage her to eat, she'll nibble a bit and then turn away. Similarly, I left about half a pound of her meat in a bowl in her kennel overnight, and she ate that by the morning.

I should mention that she's teething - I've found teeth around the house a few times over the last few days, and she's got a bit of blood where the old teeth have come out (visible if she chews on a bone or toy aggressively). Was at the vet a few days ago and she mentioned that Liza has gingivitis (will be starting brushing her teeth now).

Any suggestions for how to get her back to eating her regular meals? I don't give her excessive amounts of treats of snacks, and never any human food.

yuriy 12-27-2012 03:36 PM

I added some of the kibble I've used as treats to her meat and she's eating that fairly well. Mostly the kibble, but a bit of meat, too.

1sttimeforgsd 12-27-2012 08:41 PM

I was thinking that it might be a little painful for her to eat if she has teeth that are half out from teething and when she puts pressure on them they hurt. I didn't know that a pup that young could get gingivitus, someone more knowledgeable will have to chime in on that.

yuriy 12-27-2012 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1sttimeforgsd (Post 2665034)
I was thinking that it might be a little painful for her to eat if she has teeth that are half out from teething and when she puts pressure on them they hurt. I didn't know that a pup that young could get gingivitus, someone more knowledgeable will have to chime in on that.

The thing is the food is pretty much a paste - not much chewing required.

Just a few minutes ago I opened a can of Wellness wet food (never given this to her before) and mixed it into a bowl of Wellness kibble and she practically ate the bowl. Definitely has an appetite, and this wet food is very similar (texture-wise) to the food she's been eating all her life, just different taste.

yuriy 12-28-2012 07:29 PM

An update for anyone who runs into this 'problem' in the future: the solution is fairly simple, add something tasty-smelling to the regular food. Something to peak the dog's interest and keep her excited. Doesn't have to be a lot, just enough to spread a tasty new smell on the food. I've been adding 1/4 can of wet dog food (about 3oz) to her regular food and she's eating pretty well now.

msvette2u 12-28-2012 08:12 PM

yuriy, you are describing the perfect scenario to create a picky eater.
GSDs are notoriously picky anyway.
Adding things to the food will only cause her to realize that if she turns her nose up, something new will be put in the bowl!

She would eventually eat without the toppings, but it's up to you, how you want to feed :)

yuriy 12-28-2012 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by msvette2u (Post 2665710)
yuriy, you are describing the perfect scenario to create a picky eater.
GSDs are notoriously picky anyway.
Adding things to the food will only cause her to realize that if she turns her nose up, something new will be put in the bowl!

She would eventually eat without the toppings, but it's up to you, how you want to feed :)

The thing is, without adding something to the food, she simply does not eat. I tried the waiting game, thinking she'll eventually get hungry enough to eat, but no dice. She'll nibble on the food a bit, but won't eat properly. She went almost a week like this. But I do agree with you that giving in to her isn't a good idea long-term. I'll be trying to get her back on the normal diet and decreasing the amount of extra food I put in.

msvette2u 12-28-2012 09:09 PM

Quote:

She'll nibble on the food a bit,
I think we create picky eaters, also by how we behave when they won't eat. I am saying "we" as in all of us!
We have a rescue and a year ago had a sickly little Pom-poo mix. She had chronic colitis and so was understandably finicky but also underweight at times so had to eat.

I found if I simply set her food down and left and shut the door behind me (she lived in our bedroom, being blind and deaf) when I came back, she'd have eaten.
If I stood there trying to encourage her, she'd walk away. I must have been portraying my stress of her not eating on to her. Leaving her alone for 20-30 min. worked much better!

It's tough but it can be done, but again, it's up to you to decide if you want to go to the extra lengths all the time ;)


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