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He's Just Never Hungry...


Guest Kristinm08
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Guest Kristinm08

I adopted Zero about a year ago and we have had problems with food since day one. He didn't eat for days when we first got him, even with cheese, chicken, yogurt, whatever added. At this point we free feed him because he won't eat if we put out the food for half an hour and then take it away. He gets 3cups a day of high quality food (right now he's on Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete). Sometimes feeding him out of the palm of my hand works. It's the most reliable way of getting him to eat. It seems like he enjoys the bonding or whatever. I don't mind doing it but I'm concerned about his weight. He came off the track at 75lbs and has never gained. Last month he was at the vet for his shots and he was down to 72lbs. He isn't sick and the vet isn't worried, but you can see about 4 ribs on each side. He just doesn't seem to like eating dog food. He'll eat my food any chance he gets to steal it (which is almost never. He rarely eats human food). Anybody have any ideas? Or should I just start giving him some high calorie goodies like peanut butter to get his weight up?

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Guest Houston1219

Have you considered raw meat? I don't feed raw but started introducing raw "treats" when we were trying to put weight on Houston. He still gets a chicken leg or turkey neck from time to time as a treat but it seemed to get him more excited about food in general. Try tossing him a drumstick and see how it goes over?

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Guest Kristinm08

As far as raw meat goes, can i just give him a chicken breast or some beef? Should I cut it up first?

 

I did try wet food a few times but he just eats that and leaves the kibble... like literally eats around the kibble lol. After his last dental cleaning we gave him wet food for a couple days and while he loved it, it really upset his stomach.

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Guest Houston1219

Usually a whole piece is more fun I hear when it comes to raw meat. It sounds like it's the kibble he's avoiding if he eats around it, though. Maybe he just doesn't like that kind?

 

Also, a dog trainer we took a class with ingrained in our heads her mantra "the stinker the better!" Houston went nuts for sardines, especially with the stinky nasty juice. When I drain a can of tuna I do it over his dog food and he is a happy boy!

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Guest Lillypad

I like your way of thinking Houston1219. It wouldn't hurt to try a raw diet. It sounds like your guy has an epicurean palate, LOL Can you blame him, would you want to eat something that tastes like greasy cardboard day in and day out... LOL If you decide to try raw, this is a great forum to get you started. It is not uncommon for a dog to vomit up his first one or two raw meals. No harm, it is the stomach adjusting to its new work load. Kibble digests with less stomach acids than raw food. The tummy adjusts the correct amount of digesting fluids quickly after a couple of raw meals. You must strive to get a balance of calcium (bone) to phosphate (muscle meat) and organ ratio. This is really not difficult and is done over time. So do a little research but REMEMBER not to get overwhelmed. I assure you it is not as difficult as you may think. I would be lying if I said there was no learning curve, there certainly is, but as every new skill we learn, you look back at that curve and say... that wasn't so hard after all and I am so glad I did it. Unless your hound has some underlying health problem that causes his lack of appetite, I can pretty much promise you he will jump for joy when you prepare raw meals for him. I wish you could see the enthusiasm my girl has for meal time.

 

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/242512-raw-feeding-basics/?hl=%20introducing%20%20diet

 

Wishing you much success with what ever you decide.

 

PS Also I often wonder, when we include "toppings, embellishments, additives, what ever you call them to kibble to encourage eating, what is that really saying about the kibble. Is that not a hint to us the kibble is just not doing it for them. Now having said this, I have in fact done this very thing when i have dogs other than my own staying with me. They see what my cat and dog are eating and they want in on it. I tell the owners what a difficult time I have trying to get their dogs to eat when they stay with me. I add lots of toppings to coax kibble eating, it is annoying, fustrating and heartbreaking all in one, so I do understand your concerns.

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I know normally people say to not give in to picky dogs, but if it has been a year and you are genuinely concerned about his weight I would personally do what I could to get him to enjoy his food (after all, what fun is life if you hate food!? lol). Going homemade or raw is an option but it does take quite a bit of dedication, reading and time, which most people aren't up for. Having said that though, it isn't hard to have a rotation of healthy add-ins if you are up for it. For some reason adding things to dog food has become a "bad" thing to do, but if it is healthy and the dog enjoys it, I only see benefits. Dogs are natural scavengers, they like variety. The key is to add things that will coat the kibble so they can't pick it out, and you only need small amounts.

 

I know you said your pup didn't do well with canned food, but if you only add a tbsp. or so with some warm water, his system may be okay.

 

If you don't want to do that, have you ever tried a different kibble? Sometimes dogs just don't like a certain food, sometimes for good reason if there is something in it that makes them feel sick or nauseous, etc.

Edited by RedHead
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Guest greyers

My most recent adoptee had terrible eating and wasn't putting on enough weight for her spay so we fostered her to try to get her weight up. I spent the next 4-5 weeks trying to get her to eat and what a nightmare!! Her spay kept having to be put off and I couldn't believe her lack of interest in food. I would think I just had it solved and then I was wrong and it was a random meal she would eat but not the same things again. Food time was a trial and a stressor for us all. I tried every kibble and canned food I could get my hands on and I also tried homecooking which worked the best but was not always consistent and she had terrible stool on it. I was seriously homecooking daily and had a freezer full of stuff when one day I gave up and tried freeze dried raw with her and she scarfed it like there was no tomorrow. It has now been 3 1/2 months and she has not missed a single meal since switching to raw. I feed stella and chewy's frozen and small batch frozen both in the highest calorie formulas so that I can decrease the cost a bit. I honestly think she just wasn't identifying the other foods as "dinner". But as soon as she saw the raw she immediately recognized it since that would have been her track diet and now she is healthy and happy and I am not wasting food nor spending hours a day cooking anymore. Just just food for thought. I had never ran into this problem with previous greys. Different food issues but not this one.

 

Also if you are looking to put on weight with good quality nutrients and a balanced food, try Ziwipeak. Its ridiculous expensive but every 1/2 cup size scoop contains about 270 calories and it doesn't resemble dog food at all. It is like chunks of beef jerky looking stuff. About a year ago I gave up worrying about low weight dogs not eating enough of their dog food each day. Now they eat what they want to eat (which for my female means everything in her dish since she loves the raw and for my male it means he might skip a meal or only eat half some meals). But then before bed they get a scoop of ziwipeak (or more if they really had a bad food day) and that way I know that I am replacing the calories they didn't eat and I am also doing so with a balanced good food. Meanwhile they think they are getting a special treat. It has been a godsend because I am no longer stressed during feeding time which means they actually eat more at mealtime.

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My boy went through chemo, and one of the side effects is food losing its taste. He was eating next to nothing for almost a month- it was awful. I tried Barkworthies Bully Flakes sprinkled on top of his existing kibble, and it was amazing! A night and day difference! He went from ignoring the food completely to gobbling it up in no time. I highly, highly recommend this product.

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Guest chickenpotpie

Canned tripe maybe? Trippet has canned green tripe in different versions. Lucky wasn't really into her kibble, I cut her kibble consumption (not that she cared!) and used addins that she would like. I don't always do the tripe because its gross as all get out (FOR ME, NOT HER!), but she does like a bit in her food now and again.

She also gets part of a turkey neck a night.

 

Fresh green tripe is not as stinky as the canned stuff.

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Guest Kristinm08

Thanks for all the help! I've tried a few different dry foods but it's not too much better. I think I'll try adding some raw food to his diet and maybe adding some goodies to his kibble and blending it up. He really likes red meat, how much is comparable calorie-wise to a cup of kibble?

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My boy went through chemo, and one of the side effects is food losing its taste. He was eating next to nothing for almost a month- it was awful. I tried Barkworthies Bully Flakes sprinkled on top of his existing kibble, and it was amazing! A night and day difference! He went from ignoring the food completely to gobbling it up in no time. I highly, highly recommend this product.

 

If I haven't thanked you before, a_daerr, for the recommendation, I'm thanking you now because the bully flakes work. Annie didn't have a serious not-eating problem, such as some of the above examples, but she was skipping breakfast entirely and eating 3/4 of her supper (she gets 1.5 cups of kibble a day). She didn't lose much weight according to the scale, but she looked so skinny for a couple of weeks that even Greyhound-savvy people asked if she was ill.

 

I ordered the bully flakes after reading your previous post about them and just a scant teaspoon sprinkled on top of her food has made her want to eat again. Annie goes after her food now as she hasn't done in a long time, and is licking the bowl! It's not expensive so IMO, it's worth trying.

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If you are going to add raw meat as a significant portion of his diet, please do your homework to ensure that Zero gets the rest of a balanced diet that he needs. You'll want some calcium (bone meal can add that), some vegetables (which some dogs love ... mine require babyfood veggies to not spit them out), and organ meat (as ~10% of their meat). There are some good books available and check out the raw food threads on Greytalk for add'l info.

 

To answer one of your questions, though ... if you switch a hound from kibble to raw, you can start with a 2:1 or 3:2 ratio (2-3c of kibble are replaced with 1-2c of raw food). Don't be surprised if Zero picks out all of the meat and leaves the kibble ... mine do.

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If I haven't thanked you before, a_daerr, for the recommendation, I'm thanking you now because the bully flakes work. Annie didn't have a serious not-eating problem, such as some of the above examples, but she was skipping breakfast entirely and eating 3/4 of her supper (she gets 1.5 cups of kibble a day). She didn't lose much weight according to the scale, but she looked so skinny for a couple of weeks that even Greyhound-savvy people asked if she was ill.

 

I ordered the bully flakes after reading your previous post about them and just a scant teaspoon sprinkled on top of her food has made her want to eat again. Annie goes after her food now as she hasn't done in a long time, and is licking the bowl! It's not expensive so IMO, it's worth trying.

Glad to hear it! Who knew 'beef pizzle' could be so magical? :lol

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4 ribs sounds healthy to me. It's not uncommon for dogs to lose some weight coming off the track because they're losing muscle tone. To me he sounds totally healthy and it sounds like he's eating what he needs. It sounds like your vet agrees. If he started losing tons of weight or had other health issues, then I'd be concerned. The more you try to entice him, the more he's going to refuse his kibble. Why should he eat kibble if he knows that not eating will get him better food?

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Guest Clawsandpaws

At the track, most trainers mix a significant portion of raw ground beef, a carb such as pasta or rice, and then kibble, some also water it down, add other things etc. Maybe that will help. That way, he's still eating some kibble. (It helps to soak it!)

 

Also, is it possible for him to have tooth/mouth pain? You said he doesn't want to eat dry food... Maybe that could be something?

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4 ribs on a pet in my opinion is not healthy. They will lose 5# in two days if they get sick and then they are really under.

 

Add ins are fine. Maybe he doesn't like the kibble you are feeding. I've found some of mine don't like certain proteins. Some of course will eat anything.

Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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