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Discussion Starter #1
Mandalay (who has just turned 4 months old) was eating Purina One Large Breed Puppy since I brought her home. The breeder had been mixing in meat and veggies, so I had been having a hard time weaning her off of that, which means I have been basically cooking for her for the last 2 months since she came home.

I had her spayed last Wednesday (she weighed 35 pounds when we took her in) and I figured that since she had to be fasted Tuesday night and Wednesday, then Thursday would be a good time to give her puppy food and puppy food alone. My thought was that she would be hungry enough to eat without anything mixed in with it.

I was wrong.

I swear she had been waiting me out. She normally eats between 3 and 4 cups daily and from Thursday until yesterday she ate only about 4 cups total!!

Her activity level is fine, she plays and runs (as much as I will let her since I have been trying to keep her a little toned down due to her spay stitches) and does not seem listless. She is alert and not overly tired. She seems like her normal self. When she was spayed the vet ran a blood panel on her and that came back fine as well. She is even having a bowel movement once to twice a day (normal for her is three times though). The vet said on Thursday that it may take a few days for her appetite to come back completely and to try and wait her out as long as she is eating some, drinking water and acting ok.

I broke down and boiled chicken yesterday. I could not stand it anymore that she was not eating. Her sides look sunken to me (my husband did point out that she was spayed and there is not as much there right now to fill her out) and I was getting so upset that my puppy would not eat like she had been. She ate about a cup and a half last night and a cup this morning both with boiled chicken in it. Her ribs are not showing or anything, but just her waist seems smaller.

Should I be worrying? How can I stimulate her appetite? I have never had a dog that seemed to show such a hard headedness and held out on food like this. I have posted the best pictures I can get of her waist.



 

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I'd follow your vet's advice. If this is the food that you and your vet have decided to feed, then offer the food, wait 10 minutes, then pick it up until the next meal time. A dog will not starve to death when food is available.

You'll probably have folks tell you to choose a different kibble--there are many out there, and each has a loyal following. I don't know much about kibbles. If this brand is working out for you and you feel that you just have a stubborn pup, then wait her out. That said, perhaps a change of kibble might be just the thing to satisfy both of you---she'd get a kibble she likes better and you won't have to cook any more. With what you'd save on chicken, you could get one of the "better" kibbles. Worth considering. If you try a new one, start with a small bag to see if she likes it.

Good luck. (I don't think she looks too skinny in your photos.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If I may ask, what do you feed him?

I am always up for a better food suggestion if I dont have to smell boiled chicken to add to it. We are going away at the end of July and I am pretty sure the kennel (if I cannot find an in home boarder) is not going to spend much time cooking for my dog.
 

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If you pup was eating some thing then I would wait it out. You can create picky eaters by caving in. Offer the food, she doesn't eat in 20 - 30 minutes take it up. No treats, no goodies, NO treats. If you need training treats offer a few pieces of kibble.

You might want to look for a different food, but since she has always had goodies on the food, she is going to hold out. If you start a new kibble then you have to be firm and not crave in and offer goodies on the top.

Also you might want to offer food just a night, all of my dogs eat more at night and if they decide to throw a tissy fit, then they get no food during the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Last night I put her food down and she sniffed at it and looked at me. Mandi then layed down in front of her bowl, took a deep breath, and put her head down. I went over and stood at the sink to wash some dishes. A few seconds later, she appeared at my hip and stared at me. I know she was waiting for chicken in her food. I walked her over, pointed out her food bowl and she took three pieces and spit them out on the floor.

Since Mandi knows she is not suppose to counter surf, she decided to stand up about a foot a a half from the counter and looked up there sniffing as hard as she could sniff. Realizing that there was no secret hidden stash of chicken up there she went back over to the food bowl and proceeded to take out most of it and spit it on the floor.

I went over after about 10 minutes, cleaned it all up and put it away. SHE WAS SHOCKED!! She started to whine and I dont think she knew what to do now since her only food source had just dried up. About an hour later I put her food down giving her another chance. She RAN over, sniffed at it, looked at me and then ate about a cup and a half.

We may be on to something.
 

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Quote: I went over after about 10 minutes, cleaned it all up and put it away. SHE WAS SHOCKED!! She started to whine and I dont think she knew what to do now since her only food source had just dried up. About an hour later I put her food down giving her another chance. She RAN over, sniffed at it, looked at me and then ate about a cup and a half.
That was exactly the correct way to deal with the situation!


She was trying to 'train' you, but instead you stuck to your guns, had a good plan, and are training her!

My Elsa was always a picky eater (until I got Bretta, wow did things change then...) so I did cave and put additives in her food. BUT not going out of my way to do so, and a teeny amount in comparison with the kibble. So if I had some leftovers in the fridge, or some cheese, yogert.... I used to keep a stock of canned cat food because the cans are small, easy to add just a tablespoon or so plus a ton of water for a gravy, then put the lid on until the next meal/day.

The one time I did hang tough and NOT add anything, she didn't eat for 3 days. Not kidding, she just wasn't interested. Would sniff and walk away, and up the food would come until the next mealtime. And she'd do the same. So while she maybe wouldn't have starved TO DEATH, I couldn't handle 3 days of no food.

So for me the compromise of a tiny bit of canned cat food or other leftovers (and it was shocking how little the additive plus water had to be to get her eating) was well worth my peace of mind.
 

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Originally Posted By: Luca_stl (I don't think she looks too skinny in your photos.)
I agree, I think she looks perfect for a 4 month old puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, well now Mandi has made me feel bad.
When she nips or jumps we have been "growling" or "yelping" at her depending on the situation. This has been working.

Last night i was sitting at the table eating dinner and she jumped up on me and tried to take the food from my hand. She had never done this before so she startled me. I made a noise somewhere in between a growl and a scream since she caught me so off guard. I think it scared her as much as it scared me. LoL.

Mandi got down, walked away and kept looking at me funny over her shoulder, as if she had no idea why her human had just made that noise at her.

The result, though? She ate 1.5 cups of her own food. This morning she ate another 1.25 cups. i have been offering her 2 cups at a time since that is what she was eating pre-spaying and when she is done, or when I think she has had enough time I put it back, but measure it so I know how much she has eaten.

I think we are back on track. Thank you all so much!!!
 
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