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19 January 2009 @ 10:58 am
Tiny Dog  
What do you do when a dog won't eat?

Since my husband lost his job, Daisy hasn't had to be cooped up in her crate all day, because if she is in there and she knows someone is home she will rock violently back and forth until she hurts herself. :(

So she gets to hang out with her daddy and her furry brother Gambit all day long.

When she was crated, feeding was easier. She'd have her kibbles in her crate, he'd have his in his room, and they'd eat. Now that she isn't in her crate, I am having trouble feeding them. Initially we put the food in a big bowl and let them share but Gambit seemed to be eating the bulk of it, so we seperated them pretty soon. But now feeding is tough.

With her kibbles in her crate, I guess she could pick and choose all day when she wanted to eat until she was full. Now, I can't just leave kibbles around because Gambit (aka mr. piggy) will eat them all up. But if I put her in her crate for a half hour to an hour in the morning while I get ready for work, she won't eat, she just howls to be let out because she knows my husband is home.

Dinnertime is hard, too. She used to sit pretty in her crate and have dinner, but now she wants to be with Gambit all the time. As a result, she hardly eats. She's pretty thin - not scrawny, she's got puppy fat and turkey thighs - and she goes to the bathroom ok and her energy level is fine - but she is definately thin, about 14-15 pounds, which is 10 pounds less than Gambit, though she is equally as tall. I worry that she's being malnourished. I hate to resort to putting a reward in her food like a dab of puppy gravy or some cheese but she won't stick to a feeding schedule. I know she should really stick to her crate routine, but when she knows someone is home she gets so violently unhappy she has really hurt herself rocking that crate side to side and screaming like a demon. If she hears us both leave, though, she'll quiet right down and doze (we watched her on webcam for a while). So I'm kind of in a catch 22. she'll only eat sensibly when she's got time to free range in her crate, but she cant' spend all day in her crate right now.

Any tips?
Nancie: Banjo and Lucieicnan on January 19th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
When I get ready in the morning I lock Banjo in the bathroom with me with his bowl of food. If he won't touch it I cheat and throw some gravy or something tasty in there. Getting him to eat dinner is a little harder though but generally a big bowl in the morning seems to get him through the day and a healthy weight (my other dog and cat bully him for his food hence the locking in the bathroom).
Tiffanyiftherainstops on January 19th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
My older Boston used to be a picky eater. Sometimes he would go all day without eating. Our vet told us sometimes dogs go through a growing adjustment and go through periods where they don't feel like eatting. We did end up changing his dog food (when canidae was bought out by another company) which helped. But the vet told us to put the food down and leave it for 20 minutes. If he didn't eat it in 20 minutes, to take it away until dinnertime feeding. He warned us against adding things to his food (like treats) since then they can become defendant on always wanting treats in their food. Anyway, that method worked after two days :) So maybe it was a weird growing thing.

also, we have a little piggy pug that likes to dive into his food. So we feed her first, then put her in her crate while he eats. Maybe that will help Daisy?
(Deleted comment)
Jennylittlesunflower on January 19th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
Gambit understands this routine but Daisy has not adjusted to it after several weeks. When she was in the crate, we had no choice but to "graze" them because neither of us were home when it was time for them to eat.

Daisy refuses to eat during the structured breakfast and dinner times, even if they are exactly the same time each day. :S
Nancythebabynancy on January 19th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
Typically Stella has breakfast before 11AM in her cage with the door closed over.

Stella has been trained to leave the cage when she is done.

There are days that for whatever reason she is fed later than 11AM and she isn't in the mood to eat.

Sometimes I will sit with her outside her cage and encourage her. Some days I will feed her some food by hand to get her into it.

Stella does not have a schedule per se. After she eats breakfast, she has a Glucosamine treat and a Dentastick.

Water and a little bit of kibble are left outside of the cage in her dishes for the duration of the day...

Because we both work from home - one of us knows where she is at any given time. Stella essentially has free run of the house.

In the office upstairs, there is a baseball bed for her to lounge on...

On the main floor she has her own chair - a decommissioned swivel glider, and a little bed in front of the fireplace.

Stella also gets treats after 4PMish like a White Bite, Bacon Strips, or a Dentabone, or Breath Busters or other cookies/treats in her Kong - alternating every couple of days.

Edited at 2009-01-19 06:41 pm (UTC)