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Do Greys Eat Less Regularly "at A Certain Age"?


sobesmom
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When Diana was young I always fussed about her weight because she was thin. Sobe was always big. Experience taught me that they have different builds and metabolisms. I went through a bunch of fosters and all the eating issues that new dogs have off the track.

 

I don't cater to fussy eaters. I think it causes more issues. I know now that dogs go through spurts of not eating, or acting like they're starving , and that's not a biggie. When a dog a has a medical issue with food I will tend to that.

 

Anyway - Diana is now 11. The oldest grey I've ever had in my house. Not "old" at all. But she's gotten goofy about her food. Sometimes she'll eat as soon as it's down. Sometimes not. I put out her dinner at 6:30 last night. She hadn't eaten it by morning so DH thought it was breakfast that I'd put out so he didn't replace it. She ate it at 6 tonight. I just gave her a half-serving and she gulped it down 4 hours after the last meal.

 

I guess I'll just stick with our normal schedule and feed twice per day. She's fine, healthy, thin as always. Is it normal for slightly older greys to take it or leave it at mealtimes? When she was younger you could set a clock on her wanting her food. Except when I was trying to "fatten her up" and she'd have none of that. She's always eaten just what she needed.

 

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I think they do eat less when they get older. Some quit eating in the morning, some still eat two meals, but less food, some just get random about when they eat, which is what it sounds like Diana is doing. It makes me crazy, but I have learned that if they are otherwise healthy, to just deal with it :rolleyes:

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Has she had recent bloodwork to make sure there isn't an underlying medical cause to the change in her appetite? Some dogs do just get more picky and sporadic in their eating habits as they get older, but sometimes it's the first sign of a health problem. My 15-year-old whippet mix has had less of an appetite in the morning and has been needing a little more encouragement to eat in the last 4-6 months. The start of that change in appetite coincided with an episode of back pain but has persisted even though she's no longer painful and bloodwork has been normal.

 

I also had an IG who had always been a chow hound, scarfing down any food you put in front of him. At 12 years old, he started eating a little slower and not finishing his meals immediately, but still eating it all over a longer period of time. Bloodwork indicated kidney disease. A previous blood panel done just 7 months prior had been completely normal. Personally, I feel that changes in appetite don't usually happen just because of age itself - it's usually related to some kind of health change due to age, although it may not be anything that can or needs to be addressed.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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I wonder if dog taste buds lose their sensitivity to flavors? Lots of elderly people lose their appetites because food tastes different or no flavor is discerned at all. At 65, I don't consider myself elderly -- yet -- but obviously I'm older, and I've noticed that food just doesn't taste as good as it used to, not even ice cream (OMG!), and I notice I'm eating a bit less.

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I consulted an animal communicator about my 13yr/7mo. Bancroft and her eating habits. I was told that what tastes good in the morning doesn't always later in the day. She also has some oral pain but she doesn't want surgery. In addition to that, the digestive tract is slowing down and just not working as well. I've made drastic changes to accommodate her needs. She now gets whatever she wants which may be hamburger, sausages, mackerel, cream cheese, peanut butter, chicken liver, pizza...Everything is now almost pureed, and it helps if it is a little warm. The list of previous preferences is much longer.

I am thinking that she was close to 12 when she showed less interest in eating. I then added chicken to the kibble and that went well for a long time.

Be observant and patient and just know that it might not be a behavior problem but her age.

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As long as we don't have another dog in the house, I think I'll just continue to feed her twice per day, and leave the food for her to eat when she wants to. Tonight she started fussing at me at exactly 6:30 and gulped down her food.

 

I DID find out that my DH now puts "extras" on her morning meal, because she wasn't eating it. Spoiling. That's what that is. I totally disapprove. But.... as long as she's an only dog.... oh well, whatever. His extras are reasonable - a bit of beef or chicken or whatever from dinner. Apparently she quit eating breakfast with enthusiasm a month or so ago.

 

It's probably a combination of aging and being spoiled with extras by DH. And maybe the taste buds are changing. That makes sense, too.

 

I might go back to some doggie crock-pot food. Chicken, ground beef, rice and sweet potato. It's easy and cheap. I don't mind using that as a supplement. I won't go raw or totally home-cooked. That doesn't work for my house, but a bit of doggie stew is probably ok. Diana is so thin (always has been) that if she gets sick her weight gets really bad, really quick. So maybe catering to her a bit wouldn't be the worst thing.

 

She's gone through fussy eating spells before - when the weather changes, etc. No biggie. I think this is different. I'm not worried. I just might relax my "NO SPECIAL TREATMENT" rules.


Has she had recent bloodwork to make sure there isn't an underlying medical cause to the change in her appetite? Some dogs do just get more picky and sporadic in their eating habits as they get older, but sometimes it's the first sign of a health problem. My 15-year-old whippet mix has had less of an appetite in the morning and has been needing a little more encouragement to eat in the last 4-6 months. The start of that change in appetite coincided with an episode of back pain but has persisted even though she's no longer painful and bloodwork has been normal.

 

I also had an IG who had always been a chow hound, scarfing down any food you put in front of him. At 12 years old, he started eating a little slower and not finishing his meals immediately, but still eating it all over a longer period of time. Bloodwork indicated kidney disease. A previous blood panel done just 7 months prior had been completely normal. Personally, I feel that changes in appetite don't usually happen just because of age itself - it's usually related to some kind of health change due to age, although it may not be anything that can or needs to be addressed.

She's due for shots soon. I'll have a full workup done. I don't think it's an issue but you're right, it can't hurt to check.

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My mixed breed senior girl definitely lost interest in food as she got up in years. I do think they lose some sense of taste/smell and that it affects their appetite. I feed mine kibble in the morning generally and raw for dinner. She got to where she would refuse kibble often but never the raw. At first she'd go ahead with kibble if I put warm water in it, or a bit of canned or gravy or something. But she reached a point she wouldn't eat it at all. She did get very thin despite all my efforts, but she did still eat raw. Even the day she passed, she ate her raw dinner that day.

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I would add Probiotics and a digestive enzyme and see if that helps. Dogs do sometimes have more difficulty with digestion as they age, which could contribute to inappetance and the latter may help (and can't hurt). I would do the medical check though.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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