View Full Version : KAYLA WONT EAT!!!!!!! PLEASE HELP

17th August 2006, 07:00 PM
Hello all,

I really hope you can help me.... we have always had problems with Kayla eating... she just does not like eating i guess if i compare the way that Abby eats and the way Kayla eats its upsetting.....

I have tried every single brand of food you can think of
Dried and mixed with goodies like chicken and carrot or mince... so it is not like we have not tred everything...

I am at my mom today and forgot to bring food for kayla so mom gaver her some of Abbies Royal Canine Puppy food and she gobbled the food that was give at lunch and at dinner time which we thought was fantastic.....

Now the big question is can i feed her the puppy food.... she is very small and skinny so i doubt she will ever get fat? will it harm her?

Any advice on this would help and No she does not like the Royal canine Adult i have tried this too.....

Anything you can think of i have tried it is very distressing when you give your dog food and she just looks at it and walks away....

Thanks in advance for answers

17th August 2006, 07:38 PM
Hi Jen ,
Heidi and Nifa can be stubborn when it comes to eating too. When we had Ruby she was a very fussy eater and we mixed people food ie ham chicken etc with dog food to encourage her to eat , she preferred the food from our plates when we were having dinner . Needless to say she put on weight as there was no proper measurement of what quantity she was eating . We were delighted when we got Heidi and Nifa they literally hoovered up their food the first couple of monthe we had them . They lived with their breeder for afew months so they were afraid that the other dogs would eat their food if they didnt.
that didnt last long . They became difficult to encourage to eat when they realised that there was always going to be enough food around and no one to steal it. We decided that they would stay on dog food , unlike Ruby who was so stubborn she would go without food for several days until we gave her people food. They occasionally get chicken , ham or turkey for treats. but we only give them dog food on a regular basis. We feed Royal Canin nuts with marks and spencer or cesar wet food to mix. I often spend half an hour feeding them off a spoon , ever hear of doing aeroplanes with a spoon for dogs. Sometimes its the only way to get them started . Usually once afew mouthfuls are in they will finish their bowl sometimes its the spoon all the way .
I'd say Kayla was eating to prevent Abby eating her food .
I know its not much help , but you are not alone . Sometimes i wonder where Nifa gets her energy , she eats like a sparrow most of the time. Heidi is only marginally better. We do give them treats during the day usually a couple of markies and half a Rodeo . They love these especially.

17th August 2006, 08:51 PM
You should really talk to a vet about this. Puppy food has a very different set of nutrients to adult food.

Mimi I would really really try to stop the spoon feeding etc and stop worrying about whether they are eating. They are holding out because it is much more interesting to see if other foods come, and if they don;t, to get all the attention you are giving them by spoonfeeding!! :shock:

here's what you need to do:

Give them their allotted meal amount. Put it down. Totally ignore them. If they eat, they eat. If after 15 minutes there is food left, you pick up the dishes without an extra glance or comment, and put it away. NO treats til the next feeding time. Repeat every single day.

They may hold off feeding for a day or two or even three while they sit in disbelief that all their careful training of YOU is not working. Then they will get very hungry and also realise that the food has been going away every single time so this time, they'd better eat. And they will keep on eating.

This should *totally* solve your problem.

Having them place these demands is not only difficult for owners but can make it very hard to board them or for vets to keep them adequately fed should they ever be under treatment for several days. (and what typically also happens is that if the dog needs boarding, they do NONE of this behaviour with a different person as they know they haven;t trained them to this level of indulgence!! :lol: So stop it, now!).

I will place a bet that if you do this for a week, treating them with total indiffence at each feeding, they will start to eat. They will not starve with a week of no food. And I bet by day three they will wolf down the food. I have had this happen with rescue dogs regularly. This technique works every time.

I don;t know if you saw the RTE series about the kids with food issues -- in one Rathfarnham family the two kids had trained their parents into a living hell with the youngest aged 5 requiring *spoon feeding* like a baby and the son throwing tantrums just for the extra attention -- and until he got something he was more interested in eating, which tended to be junk. The approach by the child psychiatrist was just the same -- they get their food, they can eat or not eat, but it goes away and they do not get any other alternatives. For a few days it is a battle of wills but within a week they had major breakthroughs and a much happier family.

No dog is going to starve itself to death -- but it will engage in a battle of wills. Jeni I can almost guarantee you the puppy food will be of interest for a short stretch then no doubt will join all the other foods that aren't acceptable. I'd pick one (NOT the puppy food), and just feed that. I think your problem is likely the fact that you have continuously offered new things trying to get her to eat. Just feed what you want to feed and no additions and rotations of food items etc until you get her eating one thing regularly with no problems. If it isn't eaten don't worry about her being skinny. I bet your vet will confirm this approach -- this kind of food manipulation is especially common in small breeds and can cause all sorts of knock on problems if allowed. Puppy food is too rich for an adult to be fed it regularly (same goes for cat food) -- adult dogs have different nutritional needs.

Cathy Moon
18th August 2006, 04:11 AM
I've been thinking about Kayla, because India used to be that way about kibble when she was a puppy and our only dog. She would not eat, and we used to hand feed her the kibble for a little while just to get her started eating.

We had her in a puppy class, and we were learning about the 'no free lunch' concept. The trainer said that sometimes it is good to make our dogs 'work' for their meals (in a fun way!) by teaching them a few obedience commands and then feeding them their kibble bit by bit for 'sit', 'down', 'stay' commands and little tricks. So we did that with India with 1/2 of her serving, then she seemed happy to eat the rest out of her bowl. India is the kind of dog who really needs a 'purpose in life', and she lights up when the clicker comes out and it's time to work!

Of course we don't have the problem any longer with a 3 dog household - they eat their food up fast so the other dogs won't get it.

Maybe something like this would work for Kayla. One thing to be careful of is to give her time to chew and swallow the kibble between obedience commands, so she doesn't choke it down trying to get the next one!

18th August 2006, 06:56 PM
...They may hold off feeding for a day or two or even three while they sit in disbelief that all their careful training of YOU is not working. Then they will get very hungry and also realise that the food has been going away every single time so this time, they'd better eat. And they will keep on eating...No dog is going to starve itself to death ...

It was helpful to me, psychologically, to read that in the wild, dogs go for days without eating when they depend on hunting, and that they are equipped by nature to not eat for days, unlike humans who might begin suffering from malnutrition, as i worried would happen to Zack. But after finding out about this and finding out that there is actually a number of people who believe in not feeding every day or even every other day,and who delibertately feed ever several days and contend it's the healthiest approach, i felt ok about zack choosing not to eat for days if he wanted to reject the food i gave him. As it turned out, he has always eaten whatever i gave him by the end of the day, but i was prepared to wait him out if necessary, once i realized it didn't hurt him.

I would not be comfortable with the approach i was referring to above (might be called the "prey model?" not sure) because the human is controlling whether the dog gets food or not, it's a structured system. but each dog is different and whatever they might do in the wild might not necessarily be the same as how the human is structuring the feedings. It also seems not like the wild if the human is eating three times a day while the dog must wait days to be fed, unlike in the wild where i imagine the whole pack is not eating. But i don't know. i just read about this a little bit on the web.

I'm not against people doing it if their dogs are healthy, it just isn't something i would want to get into, because for me personally, it would be overly controlling and involving me too much in the dog's feeding and eating, i am not that organized myself. in a word, it's too high maintenance for me.

but if these people are correct and their dogs are healthy and happy with this every several days feeding approach, then maybe knowing this could be a relief to anyone who carries a burden on their shoulders of feeling they must make sure their dog eats every day or else the dog's health will suffer.

Zack has always acted more interested in puppy food versions of the kibbles, i guess they put more flavor in or more protein? i noticed this when i accidentally got him puppy kibble of the brand i wanted (California Natural Lamb and Rice), the word 'puppy' was not very prominant on the labelling and i didn't see it, and i fed it to him for weeks before i realized it was puppy food, and i noticed he liked it better than the others. but it might also havesometing to do with it being in smaller bits than the adult kibble of the same brand.

19th August 2006, 03:49 PM
Merlin was very fussy as a puppy, it used to take me an hour to feed him - throwing the kibble round the room to make it a game. We tried a bit of cheese on top - that worked for a few days, tried sardines on top - agai worked for a few days. He then had tea at Grandmas - their dog has biscuits and the raw chicken block ( but cooked) - they put a bit of the juices on Merlin's and woolf it was gone!

He more or less eats well every day now - I don't worry if he only eats a bit one day ( he now has a bit of the chicken (minced- on top of his complete food to remind him of the juices)

I have also found that I make a fuss of a clean dish ( much like a child) and he receives a treat afterwards - he now comes looking for you if you have gone out of the room as if to say "Mummy - I got a clean plate! - can I have treat now?"

Finns Family
21st August 2006, 08:17 PM
I have to say that I am with Karlin on this one. I took my daughter to Disneyworld and Finn got babysat at Grandma's house for 2 weeks. Grandma of course thinks he is adorable (and I agree;-) and decided that as a treat she would feed him Caesars Wet food while he was visiting.I think it took him about half a minute to decide that this was waaaay better than the kibble he has been perfectly happy with up to this point. (I feed Canidae).

When we came home and Finn got fed the first morning I was shocked to see the food in his bowl 5 mins later. Typically he eats as soon as his food is down, finishes and his bowl is picked up until his next meal. 15 mins later he wasn't even glancing at it so I removed it. I tried later that night and no response. I called "Grandma" to see if he had been ill when I was informed that he ate everything for her, what a good boy and doesn't he love that Caesars food! Oh brother.

It took us almost a full week for Finn to back down and admit that Canidae is better than nothing and go back to his regular feeding routine. His bowl is never down for more than 15 mins which is usually a lot more time than he needs, but had I caved I know he would be lording it over me while he dined on his "gourmet" treats with that expression he can get...you know the one;-).

Since I am not completely heartless and he followed his routine for a full three weeks, I did begin mixing a little bit of Caesars in with his food which he seems to appreciate:-). I sincerely hope that you and Kayla come to an agreement that is happy and healthy for both of you:-)

Bon Appetit!

13th September 2006, 12:13 PM
yep karlin was dead right!!!!!!!!!!!!! your treatment of kayla mirrored mine of jadan exactly and i mean EXACTLY!!!!!! i cannot say that any clearer. but believe me doing as karlin said to the letter has improved jadan a million fold. i make him come to me and sit then put it DOWN infront of him and WALK AWAY!!!!!!! ;) ;) ;) . i dont come back for 15 mins even if he has FOLLOWED ME!. he KNOWS where the FOOD is and i KNOW he has EATEN it BEFORE when i first caved in a tried him on ALL those differnent variations. so i KNOW its NOT because he doesnt like it. he is JUST MANIPULATING ME. this started at 8 WEEKS when we first got him and he is now 6 MONTHS!!! it has been only the last couple of weeks that he has actually realised that thats ALL he is going to get . i know it sounds hard and believe me i had to fight myself not to think AGAIN "well you know maybe if he just wolfed this other one down then i could start again with that one". DONT EVEN THINK IT!! as soon as you change it again they are going back to their old ways of manipulation and this time it could take even longer because they know it has already worked. she WILL give in eventually. and if EVENTUALLY its only a mouth full at each feed, just keep at it. jadan finally got the message and knows that food WONT give him ANY ATTENTION but he gets plenty of that anyway. Karlin told me that i was actually training jadan to starve himself and that really hurt me. but it was SO TRUE. why would he want THAT food when after a couple of days he is going to get something else mouth watering waiting for him. and then again. and then again. when i realised that was true it was a turning point and i have not looked back. now jadan may not finish his bowl every time, but at least he eats some. and the only treat he gets is after training time. after he has completed training he gets a tit bit......... and a huge cuddle/ruff about/tummy tickle etc etc. :p :p :p and will continue to do so for at least a couple of weeks. :yikes :yikes wow that was another long one. but hope it spured you on and that kayla realises YOU are not going to cave in.good luck :flwr: :flwr:

13th September 2006, 12:32 PM
ooops just an after thought and i hope to make it quick. icon_whistling whilst jadan was refusing to eat i reintroduced his lunch time feed. (not that he would eat it at first mind!!!! :x :x )this gave me another oppurtunity to make him see i meant buisness. i could see the look of disbelief on his face when i would take it away after 15 minutes :shock: he would look at the place the bowl was then back at me and i could almost hear him say to himself " what ! your not supposed to do THAT.... AGAIN..!!!! :yikes ok maybe i shouldnt have given him another chance and kept it breakfast and tea. but i do think it helped give him a reminder that this was what was on offer take it or leave it. :shock: :shock: it worked for me. and is now back on twice a day. (oh how we are being taken over by our little bundles of fluff ;) ;) )

13th September 2006, 01:02 PM
Angie, you go girl :rah: I've never known such manipulative dogs as these :lol:

The day before yesterday I had some left over cod so I mixed it in with their Burns kibble. Of course they both wolfed it down..

Yesterday when it was feeding time, Maxx ate his dinner immediately (he knows Mamma won't have nonsense - eat it or leave it :badgrin: ).
Charlie however, decided that he wasn't going to eat the kibble on its own. He sat and looked at his dish and then at me as if to say 'Is that IT?' I left it down for about 10 minutes and he was still sat there looking from dish to me and back again.

Maxx thought that he'd have a look to see if Charlie's dinner was edible and I had to tell him 'off' four times :roll:

Eventually I picked his dinner up and put in on the worktop. About an hour later I could hear this grizzling coming from the kitchen - Charlie was at looking at his dish asking for his dinner. I put it back down and he looked at it again so I walked away. Next thing I heard him gobbling it down - I think he got the message quite quickly really :lol:

13th September 2006, 09:37 PM
Holly was an a very poor eater as a little pup, and she was tiny and scrawny into the bargain, so this was a real concern. I did the usual switching and changing- even having her on canned/premium 'wet' dog food for a time. Gradually I put more kibble in, and then finally I pretty much did a variation of Karlin's suggestion- only kibble and nothing else. Now she'll eat the kibble, but I make sure that she doesn't get treats if she's been particularly fussy. I notice she picks through it- you know, choosing the nicest bits and working through to the kibble equivalent of veggies! However, I've started to give her a very small portion in the morning, and then a second small portion late in the evening. I notice she's less likely to leave a pile of the green and orange bits :D She's canny, too- won't eat the kibble when we're at my parents 'cause she knows she'll probably get something much nicer... :roll: