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He's Scared Of His Dishes And Has Stopped Eating


Guest Samm88
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Hi there, my skittish greyhound and I have moved into my boyfriends house and obviously things have changed and he's adjusting to a new routine. Which for the most part he's been good with. He lets us know when he needs to go out, no messes made in the house, and he was eatting both meals a day and drinking. However in the past 2 weeks he's seems to regress and obviously something has happened that has made him scared of his bowls. I just don't know what. We watch him when he does eat something at night. But he stands so far away and shakes and looks like something's going to jump out and get him, then for no reason it seems he spooks and slides on the hard wood floors and looses it and it's like we're back to square one. I can't physically see what's scaring him, but he's only eating half a meal a day now. And he's weight is suffering. I've started hand feeding him, and he hoovers it. Any suggestions?

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I remember reading about some other hounds with this problem. Are the bowls metal? Sometimes the sound of the tags banging on it scares them. If you haven't tried already, try feeding from another type of bowl, even a paper plate right now to see if it helps. I am sure that others who have had this problem will chime in :)

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What kind of bowls are they? Are they metal? Could they be catching the reflection of something and spooking him that way? Does he wear a collar with tags that could be clanging against the bowl and freaking him out? It might be something as small as the reflection of a ceiling fan in the bowl that's getting him...

 

Can you change the location of his bowl to see if that does it? Or if you have a metal bowl, could you try feeding him out of a plastic bowl?

 

Even though everything else is going well, obviously there's something that's spooked him. There might even be a new sound or smell that's messing with him.

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He is wearing a collar with dangling tags? If so, take them off. The bowl could have rattled in the stand, if you are using one. If you are not using a stand, then try that. I had to change the bowl itself before when one of my dogs became afraid of the bowl itself. It could be the location, too. Is the bowl on a rug so while he is standing there his feet feel secure? Busy area or too secluded? Lots of mix up things to try.

 

Good luck!

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Check teeth, try different food, different location, with you petting him, without you in the room, with water, without, different bowl. Those are my suggestions. My italian mastiff went through a phase exactly the same...what made it different was feeding her right beside my greyhound at the same time. Sometimes they just need to see another dog eating happily :)

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Molly has done this a couple of times. I never found the cause, but what worked was changing the bowls, changing the location (if the floor is slippery, make sure the bowl doesn't slide and he has a non-skid rug to stand on). This last time, adding Rescue Remedy to her water seemed to help (yeah, I was skeptical, and it might be a coincidence, but she got better when I started adding it)

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Guest BiancasMom

I second the rug idea. Maybe the floor has scared him and he just associates it with the bowls. My non-grey is like this. I have rugs all over!

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My lab mix is very sensitive about bowls (and about slippery floors). They have to not slip around and she can't wear tags that bang on the dish or she's a nervous wreck. I got a big heavy stoneware type bowl for her that she does well with.

 

Hope you can figure out the solution so he settles down and begins eating normally again.

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i use stackable stainless steel bowls when traveling and annie always freaks out. at home she has no issues w/ her plasitc rubbed based bowl, it sounds like annie's reaction to the clang clang clang of her tags on the bowl. she is fine w/ ceramic and plastic bowls, just the metal. a mat at the feeding station and plastic should help as well. when we camp i end up holding her bowl then lowering it to the ground. but that's only when we camp.

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My mutt pup is deathly afraid of the reflections in the metal bowls. We switched him to the big, heavy green plastic bowls and he's fine. Although he does wait for the water to stop moving around after I put it down before he'll drink.

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Harold's tags got caught on the raised feeder. He pulled away and the bowls of water and kibble went flying. He refused to eat at the raised feeder stand. For over 9 months until he died I held the bowl for him for each meal.

 

Hopefully your boy will get his confidence back.

 

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Change the bowl and location. Make sure he has a rug to stand on. Good luck!

 

Exactly.

 

You've heard the expression "if nothing changes, nothing changes"?

 

Do something different. Yes, ideally he'd get over it. But why stress both of you? Feed him in a room with carpet out of totally different dishes.


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Thanks guys! He doesn't wear tags on his collar, so i ruled that one out. However, changed the location, and same result. He now has a matt to stand on however. We will see if that works. Currently, I hand feed him in the morning, with the bowl, i try feeding him with my hand over the bowl, and he won't come near.

 

He usually eats from a raised stand, I heard its bad for them to eat from bowls on the ground, is that a myth? or can it be done? I found bowls that weren't metal, but they don't fit in the raised stand, there meant for the ground.

 

Thanks so much for all the suggestions! Im trying!

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There is mixed opinion on raised stands, but racers are fed on the floor of their crates and seem to do just fine.

 

Try a paper plate or something. I would not continue hand feeding him. He'll eat if he's hungry enough. You don't want to create a monster while trying to fix a fear issue!


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It's fine to try feeding from the ground. Either from a bowl or the paper plate idea sounds fine.

 

Are there hardwood floors throughout the house? Are they bothering him? If so, it might be more of a floor issue than a bowl issue.

 

Where is he comfortable? Can you feed him there? I don't mean on the couch, but if he hangs out in the livingroom, can you just set a bowl on the floor there?

 

Do you leave the food he doesn't eat or pick it up?

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