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I have a 1.5 yr old female GSD. She’s never been food motivated, and we’d had a hard time getting her to really eat a whole lot up until a few months ago. We got her when she was 10 months old, and her previous owner would feed her cooked chicken and some Purina Pro Plan. We couldn’t afford to be feeding her chicken every night, so we just bought Purina Pro Plan. It took about a month of also mixing it with wet food to get her to finally adjust to the dry food. She wouldn’t gobble it down, but she usually finished the bowl before her next feeding (we feed her once/day at night). Back in February, she finally got to the point where she was consistently eating all of her food.

A couple weeks ago, she stopped really eating her food. She’ll go days without eating much (except her Blue Buffalo training treats that she loves). After a few days of that, she started acting a little more sluggish and listless. We called the vet and he told us to give her Kaopectate for two days, Famotidine for 10-14 days, and to switch her dog food to Science Diet. She ate the Science Diet enthusiastically two days later, but has turned her nose at it since. So we brought her to the vet two days after that. No worms. So they gave her a shot of fluids because she was dehydrated, a shot of Famotidine, and sent us home with antibiotics, tablets to help firm up her stools, and 6 cans of prescription dog food to help her stomach. She loved the wet food, so we mixed it with the Science Diet kibble. She ate around it. Once we ran out of the wet prescription food, she wouldn’t eat again. So we tried to switching her back to her old food (Purina Pro Plan). She seemed happier with that but still wouldn’t eat much. So we took her back to the vet again last Saturday. Another fecal exam and xrays - nothing. So they switch her antibiotics. She still won’t eat much, though, and her bowels still vary in being soft or healthy firm.

Does anybody here have any idea what we might be dealing with and how we can help out our little girl? We just want her to be healthy and eat well, but we don’t want to keep throwing hundreds of dollars at the vet with no resolution!
 

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I've had a couple of dogs do that. If there isn't something medically wrong, the general idea is put the food down and if they don't eat pick it back up, wait till next meal time.. Sometimes we make it worse and create finicky by trying to bribe them with something better if they don't eat what you gave them. Do make sure she has fresh water all the time though.
 

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I've had a couple of dogs do that. If there isn't something medically wrong, the general idea is put the food down and if they don't eat pick it back up, wait till next meal time.. Sometimes we make it worse and create finicky by trying to bribe them with something better if they don't eat what you gave them. Do make sure she has fresh water all the time though.
We have started trying the method of picking up her food after 30 minutes and not putting it back down until next feed time. It’s only been a couple of days, so she hasn’t responded much yet, but we’re hoping she’ll learn to eat her food when we put it down!
 

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I use a food line that has a few flavors and switch it up, beef for one bag, game bird for another etc. Right now we are on Fromm. If one of the dogs is really not eating for a few meals no big deal if everything else is normal. If all three seem to not be hungry I then suspect the food as stale or maybe blended wrong, I dump that bag, if it happens more than once I switch brands.
 

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Have you tracked the ingredients in the foods you’ve fed? For example, is the main protein in all the foods you’ve tried chicken? It may be possible that there’s something in the food that’s making your dog not feel great, so she stops wanting to eat it. Then you offer a new food and she’s excited to eat it... until she realizes that one makes her feel crummy too. Just a thought!

Other than that, it does sound like she’s being picky and you’ll just have to wait her out like you’ve been doing.
 
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Have you tracked the ingredients in the foods you’ve fed? For example, is the main protein in all the foods you’ve tried chicken? It may be possible that there’s something in the food that’s making your dog not feel great, so she stops wanting to eat it. Then you offer a new food and she’s excited to eat it... until she realizes that one makes her feel crummy too. Just a thought!

Other than that, it does sound like she’s being picky and you’ll just have to wait her out like you’ve been doing.
We have a little bit, but haven’t really figured out a pattern yet. She loves chicken flavored treats, and her former owner fed her cooked chicken. But she hated the chicken flavored Science Diet kibble. Seems to possibly like the salmon & rice flavored Purina Pro Plan (depending on the month apparently lol). The wet foods that she’s loved had a lot of vegetables mixed in. As I write this out, she just sounds like a super picky princess 😂 I’ll take a picky princess over a sick dog, though, that’s for sure. Hopefully that’s all it is!
 

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I had this issue with my girl, she is pretty skinny and not very food motivated at all. I tried for a long time with fresh meat and treats to encourage her to eat, and I tried taking her food away method also, no luck. She would only eat when she felt like it, and she would quickly get bored of all new foods and treats.

Honestly, the best method I found was the opposite of taking food away. I let her free feed, and often would find her eating in the middle of the night when the house was calm. She no longer gets any treats. I'm fine with just giving her the choice of when to eat, she tends to graze throughout the day now she is older, and her body condition is stable although still skinny.

P.s My girl never acted listless (only when she is in heat), even after days with little food, that would worry me the most. Did your vet run bloodwork? Best of luck to you.
 

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I had this issue with my girl, she is pretty skinny and not very food motivated at all. I tried for a long time with fresh meat and treats to encourage her to eat, and I tried taking her food away method also, no luck. She would only eat when she felt like it, and she would quickly get bored of all new foods and treats.

Honestly, the best method I found was the opposite of taking food away. I let her free feed, and often would find her eating in the middle of the night when the house was calm. She no longer gets any treats. I'm fine with just giving her the choice of when to eat, she tends to graze throughout the day now she is older, and her body condition is stable although still skinny.

P.s My girl never acted listless (only when she is in heat), even after days with little food, that would worry me the most. Did your vet run bloodwork? Best of luck to you.
That’s good to know. Sounds like pickiness can just be a GSD thing. I can deal with that if that’s what it is lol

Our vet hasn’t run bloodwork yet. They’ve done 2 fecal exams and 1 X-ray. All came back clear. What could show up with the bloodwork?
 

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I would slowly switch her to a higher quality food like Fromm's.
Put your zip code/city in on this page to find a location that sells it near you. Where to Buy Fromm

Purina is known for it's cheap, low quality ingredients.

I would also purchase 2 or 3 small bags of different flavors within the same brand (like Fromm's) and rotate with each meal to keep her interest.

IF you are picking up the food after 30 minutes........
You can add some warm water to the kibble and let it set on the counter for about 15 minutes to bring out the aroma (to encourage her to use her nose) and it will peak her interest in the food.

Any kibble/water mix MUST be put into the refrigerator until the next feeding to prevent bacteria from forming.
 

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Any other issues? Stool still soft? Might be time for bloodwork. I played this game with my vet for a few months before getting bloodwork. Bloodwork revealed a low but normal b12. Started b12 injections and tylosin. Still finishing up the regimen but stool is now firm. She eats. And seems much more happy/enthusiastic


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Any other issues? Stool still soft? Might be time for bloodwork. I played this game with my vet for a few months before getting bloodwork. Bloodwork revealed a low but normal b12. Started b12 injections and tylosin. Still finishing up the regimen but stool is now firm. She eats. And seems much more happy/enthusiastic


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Oh that’s good to know. We’re going to hold off another week for now. Her stools were firmer the past 2 days and she devoured her food last night. We’re going to monitor and hope she improves with the method of picking up her food after 30 minutes. If she still doesn’t get better, though, we will he taking her to the vet again next weekend and requesting bloodwork be done. Thanks for the input about looking out for possible low B12 levels!
 
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