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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've switched from chicken to lamb to fish back to lamb. All premium foods. For some reason my dog doesn't eat heartily although I've added cheese, eggs, bacon, ham, chicken-skin roasted chicken, wet dog food, etc.. I think she eats about a cup a day and I'd like her to eat at least 2 cups per day.

I don't know what else to try. I don't want to create a habit that she will only eat her food if there is some additive but its become very difficult as she won't eat her dry dog food. What are suggestions I can do where I can wean her off additives completely or a very cheap additive as constantly trying new things is getting expensive. I've never had this problem with my other dogs.


EDIT: I just want to say that what is bothersome is I don't want her to get habituated to always having to have something NEW in her food in order for her to eat. That seems to be the case now that's why I've switched so many times. I've also tried moistening and heating the dry-dog food as well. I figured to stick to Lamb because I was told it is the least reactive most hypo-allergenic food.
 

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First off how old is your dog? Most dogs will eat when they're hungry. Have you tried putting her food down and setting a timer for 10-15 minutes and then picking it up until the next meal time? Eventually they get hungry enough to eat. Another option would be to find a canned food that has a lot of gravy stuff and mixing 1-2 tablespoons each meal. When Koda had daily meds for an infection I would do that and mix the pills in. One 12oz can lasted 4-5 days like that.
 

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I agree in wondering why your dog isn't eating.

When I had to get one of my dogs to take pills with her meals, I made my own additive so she would just eat it all together. I bought chicken thighs (bone in) and boiled two for a very long time, I'm talking hours here. Then minced up the meat and took out the bones, boiled down the sauce and froze the sauce in three ice cube trays. Two chicken thighs would last four weeks for one dog, so it was pretty cost efficient. Then for meal times I'd just microwave a cube for a few seconds and spread it on top of the food. The bowl was licked clean every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First off how old is your dog? Most dogs will eat when they're hungry. Have you tried putting her food down and setting a timer for 10-15 minutes and then picking it up until the next meal time? Eventually they get hungry enough to eat. Another option would be to find a canned food that has a lot of gravy stuff and mixing 1-2 tablespoons each meal. When Koda had daily meds for an infection I would do that and mix the pills in. One 12oz can lasted 4-5 days like that.


I've done both. Its just very frustrating to put the food down and then come back hours later and it isn't eaten. Secondly, adding treats to make the food appetizing isn't a good option over the long-term. So maybe it will work once or twice but not all the time. I've never had this issue before but it is very very frustrating. I'm sorry if others don't think it is ...but to me it is.

One problem I had that dissuaded me from doing this constant additive nonsense...is I added some beef strips from the butcher shop (cooked) and then she had diarrhea that night and over the next couple of days. Cleaning up diarrhea in middle of then night that is on the floor is no fun.I think its best to stay away from constantly adding things to her food.
 

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I've done both. Its just very frustrating to put the food down and then come back hours later and it isn't eaten. Secondly, adding treats to make the food appetizing isn't a good option over the long-term. So maybe it will work once or twice but not all the time. I've never had this issue before but it is very very frustrating. I'm sorry if others don't think it is ...but to me it is.

One problem I had that dissuaded me from doing this constant additive nonsense...is I added some beef strips from the butcher shop (cooked) and then she had diarrhea that night and over the next couple of days. Cleaning up diarrhea in middle of then night that is on the floor is no fun.I think its best to stay away from constantly adding things to her food.

Personally I've never left food down for hours for my dogs. If they don't eat/finish within the allotted amount of time it gets picked up until the next meal time. Most of them learned pretty quickly to eat when offered or go "hungry" til the next meal. Mine only get mixins when meds are involved. But that's just me :shrug:
 

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My dogs get Nupro on their food, and they can鈥檛 eat it fast enough. It makes a nice gravy. Since Carly is almost 10, I use the Nupro Silver.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Personally I've never left food down for hours for my dogs. If they don't eat/finish within the allotted amount of time it gets picked up until the next meal time. Most of them learned pretty quickly to eat when offered or go "hungry" til the next meal. Mine only get mixins when meds are involved. But that's just me :shrug:

That's good advice. What about locking her in her crate with the food for 15-20 minutes and if she doesn't eat take out the food and leave her in there....if she does eat then reward her with maybe a dog treat?

Or letting her starve and then feed her once per day to let her know if food is out she has to eat it. Then maybe she will get used to eating when shown food so you can go back to feeding her twice per day.
 

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Or maybe find a food she likes.
I would hate for someone to give me something I hate and let me starve until I had to eat it.
Food should be enjoyed, and looked forward to, even if you鈥檙e a dog.

PS- dogs have a remarkable sense of smell. Maybe something in the food isn鈥檛 agreeing with her. When Hans wouldn鈥檛 eat, it was because his food was making him nauseous.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Or maybe find a food she likes.
I would hate for someone to give me something I hate and let me starve until I had to eat it.
Food should be enjoyed, and looked forward to, even if you鈥檙e a dog.
To some degree you are right, I obviously don't mind switching around and adding stuff to make her like her food.

But I am totally against being at her disposal for whatever happens to please her on any given day. It reminds me of those awful parents who treat their 3yo kids like they are little lawyers and negotiate whatever their meals are. I know someone who gets his child whatever he wants to eat at any given time and now the child is so demanding knowing that when it comes to eating he writes his own menu. I don't want to be like that ...I refuse to be like that.
 

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I agree 100%.
But dogs usually are pigs, and if she isn鈥檛 eating, there has to be a reason.

Do try some canned. Maybe she will like that better.
 

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I also would steer clear of big bags of food. It can go stale and dogs would like it even less.
 

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Is there a reason you want the most hypo-allergenic? From your other threads she's a year old or so? I know our dogs didn't like the fish/salmon and got tired of lamb all the time.
All mine as seniors have gone thru stopping eating dry, moo eats just a little dry now, his main meals are canned, he's probably about 12.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I add about 1/4 cup of boiled water to my dog's 4 cups of dried food. It moistens the food while slightly warming it.
I was actually going to mix the cheapest additive (water) with her food later today. This afternoon she didn't eat her lunch-meal and now all she gets is her dinner.
 

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I'd feed her twice a day once in the morning and once in the evening. Give her 10-15 minutes to eat and then take it up until the next meal.

My dad's shepherd will eat very little unless she's been exercised for a good chunk or is put on a feed schedule. Does your gal get a lot of exercise or fairly laid back most days?
 

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My dog did well on Kirkland Lamb & Rice kibble (Costco). We have since "rotated" to Costco's Nature's Domain salmon (They say rotating the base protein is better to avoid food allergies?) .

The cheapest additive for us is whatever we happen to be eating ourselves...so if we're eating chicken for dinner, he gets some cooked plain chicken. If we're eating fish, he eats cooked plain fish, etc. It's a few warm spoonfuls and I mix it in with his kibble. My thinking is that the protein in kibble is probably subpar and it is the most likely place where they skimped - so I like adding some fresh cooked protein. I put down his bowl just as the family starts eating dinner, so after smelling me cooking and all the humans are now eating too, he has quite the appetite. If we're going out to eat or it's a vegetarian meal, he gets wet dogfood as a mix-in -and when we get home, I've usually saved a few tasty tidbits in a napkin for him. OK he is a spoiled dog! But this works for our family, pricewise and convenience-wise...

Anyway, I think, just as with kids, try not to create conflict and resentment over food? Just try to find something nutritious that your dog likes, offer it matter-of factly, take it away if not eaten. Dogs won't starve themselves! ( But I always wish pet shops would offer little "sample stations" so you can see if your dog actually likes a kibble before you buy a 20 lb bag of it...)

I would not want to eat the same thing every day for years, so I guess I "project" onto my dog. :)
 
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