German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As some of you may know, I have been having difficulties trying to get my healthy 11 months old puppy. Last week I had to go out of town anad I left him with my cousin, and told my cousin to feed him only 2 cups a day (as opposed to 4.5 cups). The first 3 days I came back, he devoured all the food (for the 1st time in like weeks). The 4th day, he didn't touch it AT ALL. Now I'm on the 5th, still not interested at all. Keep in mind, I never feed him table scraps, haven't fed him treats, and he gets tremendous exercise each day, sometimes additionally before eating (I feed him once a day at night). I can't even begin to elaborate how upset I am with his behaviour. That being said, I don't yell or anything, I keep quiet.

Makes me wonder, does your dog eat regularly EVERYDAY? Or are there some dogs who eat once every other day or once every 3 days and such?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,581 Posts
Mine eat every day, twice a day. They all act like they have never seen food before, for every meal. I do have one dog who would refuse kibble before I switched him to raw. He has GI issues, though, and kibble basically makes him explode. I cannot blame him for refusing food that makes him ill. Haven’t had a problem getting him to eat since switching him off kibble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,898 Posts
As some of you may know, I have been having difficulties trying to get my healthy 11 months old puppy. Last week I had to go out of town anad I left him with my cousin, and told my cousin to feed him only 2 cups a day (as opposed to 4.5 cups). The first 3 days I came back, he devoured all the food (for the 1st time in like weeks). The 4th day, he didn't touch it AT ALL. Now I'm on the 5th, still not interested at all. Keep in mind, I never feed him table scraps, haven't fed him treats, and he gets tremendous exercise each day, sometimes additionally before eating (I feed him once a day at night). I can't even begin to elaborate how upset I am with his behaviour. That being said, I don't yell or anything, I keep quiet.

Makes me wonder, does your dog eat regularly EVERYDAY? Or are there some dogs who eat once every other day or once every 3 days and such?
How much does he weigh? How big are the bags of food you are buying? How long does a bag last? How are you storing the food?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,030 Posts
My guy gets 1.5 cups in the morning and 1.5 cups in the evening... he acts like I never feed him. He is always starving.
I feed him the recommended amount on the bag and I think his weight is right - I can feel his ribs but he isn't skinny. He loves food - all food, any food.

Breakfast I just give to him in his bowl, dinner he earns by doing training.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,726 Posts
My dogs get a small breakfast and a bigger dinner. My gal-dog gets 1/2 cup of kibble and a boiled egg each morning. My big-boy gets 1 cup and a boiled egg. In the evening my gal-dog gets 1 1/2 cup kibble and a gloop of good canned food. My boy 2 cups of kibble with a gloop of canned dog food. They also get food as training rewards, but not kibble.

With the hot summer, my big-boy sometimes looses his appetite for breakfast. When he was younger he didn't always finish his dinner. I did hear of a husky mix that ate only every 3 days. This guy would give him a huge bowl of kibble. The dog would eat it all and then not eat again for a couple of days. I don't recommend this, but it worked for that one dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
309 Posts
What does your dog weigh? How much are you feeding him every day?

My Beau’s sire is 92 lbs lean, so when Beau was a pup I fed him based on that projected adult weight. (I feed raw.) He ate everything I gave him for months, so I figured, good guess. At ~10 months he suddenly started refusing meals - I mean a bowl of raw beef steaks just ignored. He’d go a day or more hardly eating, just nibbling a little, then quitting. He seemed fine otherwise. I was frantically researching, while coaxing and hand-feeding him, when I realized I was just feeding him too much. He just wasn’t going to be as big as his sire. So I offered him a meal, then put it away immediately if he didn’t dig in, no more coaxing. Took two days for him to actually want to eat. I also adjusted his portions until he started avidly cleaning his plate every meal. Problem solved. At 3 his current adult lean weight is 72-74 lbs.

Could you be feeding your pup too much?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
Luna eats twice a day sometime 3 times depends if she is really hungry and i can tell she is really hungry because she will not listen and will chew on things, so i will give a half a cup to calm her down or i will do some more training with kibbles. 99.95 of the time it is 2 times a day 2 cups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,913 Posts
Does he have access to another food source? A neighbor who feeds him or whose dog food he steals, a bag of food etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you ALL for your insights.
Ok, so

1. No, we live in apartment just the two of us and I can assure you if it's not from me, he has 0 access to food.

2. He weighs 80lb, lean.

3. I feed him 4.5 cups, 1800-2000cal, which is the recommended amount based on TOTW for his age and weight, and the recommended amount from my vet. In 2 weeks I am going to start decreasing to 3.5 cups (He's 12 months then).

4. When he eats, he either doesn't eat AT ALL or eats EVERYTHING. There are times when he doesn't finish but quite rarely.

5. He is healthy (checked with the vet). So this is mostly and most likely a behavioural problem. Like one of you here, he used to LOVE his food up until he was 9-10 months.

This has become a huge problem. It's taken a toll for me as his owner and mother. Don't know what else to do.

Maybe I should try feeding him just every other day?

But then it will keep the food for 2 months instead of 1 month and it will become stale........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
309 Posts
If he’s healthy and not underweight, then he’s probably just self-regulating. Just eating what he needs, no more. I maybe don’t understand, but that doesn’t seem to me to be a behavior problem. Maybe just feed him less at each meal until he starts wanting to eat every meal, and he’s still maintaining his weight and health on the lower amount.

If he’s underweight, no muscle, ribs showing, then yes, of course, refusing to eat is a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
My dog loved food never missed a meal...then boom at a year and a half his appetite dropped he cared way less working for food. He is raw fed, but I don't know if that makes a difference. I switched to feeding one time a day at night. Then his food drive went back up during the day when it came to working for food. After about a week he started not finishing his evening food. So I cut it back by 1/4 and i wait until 6-7 at night to feed him plus its cooler by then. The heat I believe has something to do as well with his appetite change. Maybe his growing has slowed and he is self regulating as someone else mentioned. If he is healthy and active like I know my dog is I wouldn't worry. I would have my dog work for all his food nearly if he wasn't raw fed. Maybe your dog would be more eager to eat if he was tracking/finding his food or working for it in some way?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
We tried the tracking thing and putting the food in a kong. It takes too long for him to finish ALL the food. I tried having him fed LESS when he stayed with my cousin, I think that's what I am going to do again.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,628 Posts
I would feed him 2 meals, instead of the one big meal. For some dogs, it’s too much to eat at one sitting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,651 Posts
Some of it depends on the dog. Of my recent 3: Sabi would have eaten until she exploded and if she didn't finish her food or refused to eat it was cause for panic, Bud cleaned his dish religiously but seldom asked for food and while still growing would occasionally refuse to eat so it bore watching but wasn't cause for panic, Shadow most often needs to be coaxed to eat at all and often will not eat until I am here to supervise so I never worry unless it goes more then a day or so.

It has come to my attention that growing puppies sometimes refuse food and I have debated if that is simply caused by aches and maladies related to growing. I also have found that some dogs do best with two feedings a day, and studies seem to point to a reduction in the instances of bloat in dogs fed smaller meals more frequently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I WAS indeed feeding him twice a day up until he started refusing his food. I would love to go back there where we had ZERO issues. I'm gonna try to decrease it significantly for 1-2 weeks until he doesn't refuse his food. But if he STILL refuses after the decreasing......... I would not know what else to do but feed him minimum amount every other day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
I WAS indeed feeding him twice a day up until he started refusing his food. I would love to go back there where we had ZERO issues. I'm gonna try to decrease it significantly for 1-2 weeks until he doesn't refuse his food. But if he STILL refuses after the decreasing......... I would not know what else to do but feed him minimum amount every other day.
Dogs are perfectly fine if they don't eat every day. Some dogs just don't hoover up all food in sight. Sometimes they might have a stomachache or gas or whatever digestive discomfort humans can have. Sometimes they get overheated while outside and lose their appetite for most of the day--if not the whole day.

He'll get hungry. Maybe he ate too much food while you were away and is letting his system rest.

I would try the following :
  1. Start with how much you've been feeding him.
  2. Divide that amount into two meals.
  3. Feed HALF of the amount that's to go in the first meal. If #2 tells you to feed him 2 cups for the first meal, you give him 1 cup.
  4. If he doesn't eat within 30 minutes (let's be generous), pick up his food.
  5. Make note of how much food he ACTUALLY ate for that meal.
  6. Feed the noted amount the next meal.
  7. If he eats an entire meal rapidly, increase the amount for the next meal by 50%. If he eats part of the meal, only offer the eaten amount the next meal. If he eats none of the meal, offer half of what you put down for the next meal.
  8. Continue to adjust the amount fed until your dog has achieved the body condition you desire. Once you've arrived at that condition and he's eating regularly, that is your baseline.
That sounds complicated, but it works to get a dog back on track with eating regularly. You're basically teaching him that food might not always be plentiful, and if he doesn't eat his food, less food will be available the next time. Eventually, his appetite will normalize and you'll have the amount of food he'll actually eat on a regular basis to maintain his body condition.

Note that I say "body condition" not "body weight". I don't put much stock in outright weight. It's much easier to just look at the dog with your eyeballs and assess his condition.

Keep in mind that he might go off his food every once in a while. That's okay so long as it's not happening every week. Once a month is normal for some dogs. I wouldn't do the exercise above if it's only been a day or two, as that's fairly normal. If you're at 3 days again, do the above.

And seriously, DON'T try to bend over backwards to get him to eat. Our Jack is like your dog and went through a "hunger strike" phase. Coaxing him to eat didn't help at all. It only made him pickier and made the situation worse. Jack still sometimes refuses to eat for a day or two from time to time. We just let him be, and he usually gets hungry halfway through the second day and wolfs down some food.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I raw feed, no kibble. But my dogs have always self regulated their food. In the summer they would often eat little or skip a day. I never worried about it unless it was multiple days in a row or they were acting off. IMO not eating all the food, or skipping meals sometimes isn't an issue as long as the dog is healthy and there are no other issues or symptoms. I know though that it can make the people worry like crazy. Just relax, your dog knows when he is hungry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
My old guy used to lose his appetite annually around May or June when the temperatures would get warmer. He was fed twice a day 2 cups each time. When it was warm, he didn't like to eat breakfast. I had to trick him into eating with either canned food mixed in or pieces of shredded chicken or chicken broth. Why force him to eat you say? He had EPI and it was a weight management issue. If he didn't eat, he'd start losing weight. People who've gone through dogs with EPI understand. He was 98 lbs at his max and he was almost too thin then. Last year, his appetite loss was significantly worse. The "bribes" didn't work. He didn't finish a lot of breakfast meals. He dropped weight and ended up in the 80s. We thought it was because he was just getting older (he was 11) and that it was a really hot summer. In October, we had no choice but to take him to the (2nd opinion) vet. Found out he had masses in his abdomen...which was determined to be liver cancer, possibly in the pancreas and other organs. Now we play the "what if" game...if we took him to the vet in May, would we have caught the cancer early and the doctors could have cut the cancer off his liver and he would have lived another year. Sorry, I digress....the whole point of my story is every year when it got warmer, my dog would lose his appetite in the mornings. So temperatures do affect some dogs' appetites. My current 5.5 months old pup loves to eat and if he had a choice he'd eat himself to oblivion. I have to limit his intake to 1.5 cups 3 times a day. He's going to turn 6 months old in 2 weeks and I'm already transitioning to adult food and I may cut his intake to twice a day instead of 3 times. I hope the changes won't cause problems because everything right now is good and trouble free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
309 Posts
“Dogs are perfectly fine if they don't eat every day. Some dogs just don't hoover up all food in sight.”

Yes, this. Kyrielle’s plan sounds great, very similar to what I did to figure out Beau’s food. Good luck !
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top